Theme and What is it?
This is a very lightweight game that generally has players matching pictures to goals. It’s got a silly side to it which appeals very much to young players.
You and your fellow players have two decks of cards: the mission cards and the picture cards. The mission cards each contain two short phrases like “something with teeth” and “a female”. The picture cards depict wacky cartoonish illustrations of things like sharks and monster ladies holding purses.
There are four variants of the game that you can play with these two decks: 8-Away, Alphabetti, Matchureka! (pictured below), and Cow’s Creative Combo. 8-Away is a fast-paced game, while Matchureka! is much slower and more thoughtful.
When I first unboxed this game, I immediately thought about how my nine-year-old was going to love it and I was going to be a little bored. I was pleasantly surprised by how much we both enjoyed it!
Game Build Quality
The cards are of a good enough quality to hold up to lots of shuffling and slapping down on the table, but don’t expect a linen finish for this kids’ game. The instructions are very well-written and easily understood. A+ there.
The cartoonish aspect of the pictures really draws in the younger audience the game is geared for. I’d personally prefer to see more color in the pictures (they’re all black ink drawings on red, light blue, or dark blue backgrounds) but it does bring back fond memories of my childhood reading the black-and-white funnies in the newspaper every day.
My son and I played all four games multiple times, and he was begging for more. I enjoyed being silly with him (who doesn’t like to giggle about hairy, stinky feet being pinched by a crab?) and I’m surprised at how much I’m looking forward to sneaking in a few quick games here and there while the baby naps. This is perfect for us to be able to have some fun when time is a constraining factor.
Age Range & Weight
The box suggests ages 6+, and for the most part, I think I’d agree with that. You can get by without reading skills in some of the games by having an adult or older child do all the reading aloud for the group.
In Alphabetti, no mission cards are used, and the picture cards are laid out one by one until someone spots an item on a card that starts with a particular letter of the alphabet. This could be played with Kindergarteners or preschoolers to strengthen their knowledge of letters and associated letter sounds.
We will be keeping this game on our easy-access shelf, so our son can easily grab it to play with us or his friends when they come over. The rules are pretty simple, which means he’ll be able to teach the game to his friends by himself. We like that each of the four games takes less than 15 minutes start to finish, so we can play a quick round before bed or while I’m waiting for dinner to cook. A great game for families!