Children's Board Games Medieval Board Games

My First Carcassonne Game Review

Roads? Where we're going, we're only going to need roads.

Every journey begins with a step. Join David as he takes his child on their first foray into the world of Carcassonne in our review of My First Carcassonne.

Last year, while browsing through a random shop in scenic Gatlinburg, Tennessee in the quest for something, anything, to keep my four year old occupied during the vacation downtime, my wife and I discovered something we hadn’t expected to find out in the wild, and certainly not in such a random place.

We found a copy of My First Carcassonne.

She looked at me. I looked at her. Without even exchanging a single word, we both knew that this was it. We’d found the holy grail. But the question remained: would it perform its function? Would he be entertained? And, more importantly, would we? There was only one way to find out.


Designed by Marco Teubner (whose game Safranito was an official recommendation for the Spiel des Jahres in 2011), My First Carcassonne takes its namesake and distills it down into a very child-friendly format. Gone are the abbeys, cities, and fields. Gone are the opportunities to block your opponents from finishing their structures. In fact, gone is the aspect of playing out workers and retrieving them after scoring features. My First Carcassonne is not a victory point competition. It’s a race to the finish.


The setup for My First Carcassonne is incredibly easy. Each player selects a color and receives all the workers of that color. Then, the game tiles are shuffled together and placed face down into several stacks. Next, a tile is drawn from one of the stacks and placed face up as the starter tile. Once that’s done, choose a starting player and you’re all set!

How to Play

On your turn, you’ll draw a tile and then place it somewhere into the tableau of tiles that will be created in the center of the table. Unlike Carcassonne which has different types of terrain along its edges, every tile in My First Carcassonne contains a connector for a road on each of its edges. Some tiles also contain cartoon characters that are wearing clothing matching the player colors and who are walking along these roads.

Simply place the tile you’ve drawn so that it connects to an already existing road. If the placement of your tile would cause a road to become completed (with an endpoint at either end), then each player places one of their workers onto each character on the road wearing clothing of their color. The first person to place all of their workers in this way wins.

Skills For Life: It goes without saying that playing My First Carcassonne with your child is going to familiarize them with a few aspects found in the game’s namesake: connecting matching features together, completing features, and placing out their workers. While playing My First Carcassonne isn’t going to turn them into a Carcassonne master overnight, it’s a great place to start.


At first I thought that, being such a massive Carcassonne nerd, I was going to truly dislike this game, but I was pleasantly surprised at just how much strategic depth Teubner has been able to achieve with such a simple concept. Not that my four year old picks up on those subtleties just yet. While he quickly grasped the concept of closing roads, he doesn’t savvy the concept of only trying to close roads that benefit him. Instead, he tends to try to be more altruistic, placing roads in such a way as to benefit as many other players as possible should they be closed.

As a gamer, this really bugs me. I long for him to be able to play tactically. But, as a parent, I applaud his thoughtful and considerate approach. He’s turning into a fine human being, and that causes my heart to swell with pride.

Skills For Life: Even playing the game incorrectly is a teachable moment. For instance, unbridled philanthropy is the name of the game in Castle Panic, a game which sees the players beset on all sides by swarms of approaching monsters, having to work together to defeat them.

Is My First Carcassonne going to scratch that itch if you’re wanting to play Carcassonne but have a child (or children) in tow? Probably not. But it’s got just enough magic to make it a palatable experience for adults and a phenomenal one for the child involved.

After all, it’s not just about building roads. It’s also about building memories.

About the author

David McMillan

IT support specialist by day, Minecrafter by night; I always find time for board gaming. When it comes to games, I prefer the heavier euro-game fare. Uwe Rosenberg is my personal hero with Stefan Feld coming in as a close second.

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