Theme and What is It?
As with many family board games designed with the younger crowd in mind, the mechanics of the game are simple. This is a dice racing game, where going up and down the elephant slide, is quick and simple, and allows a younger child to pay attention to the game, as the reward for doing so is immediate. When all the toys are collected, the winner is determined by the person who collected the most toys.
A dice chucking game at its heart, this is a racing game, where no two people can share the same step of the slide, much like the playground. So, of course, if you roll and would land on a step otherwise occupied, you automagically move to the next step. Once you have reached the top, you slide down the slide, and collect one toy. You then start the slide race over, until all the toys are collected.
Simple, but yet it feels as you play that you are "planning" your next move based on who else is playing.
The game is appropriately cute, and appropriately simple. It is not designed to be fun for adults, it is designed to get kids into playing games. It does that quite well, my 5 year old daughter understood the concept, did her own counting of the steps, and ultimately won the game, without any help.
The base elephant takes a bit of time to setup, based on the short length of the game, but I expect that to shorten, as we open the box the next time
Quality of Components and Insert
Cardboard, dice, meeples, and a box. This is not rocket-science, but all components are nicely made, and do what they are expected to do, be a children's game about going up and down a slide.
It makes me think of the movie 300, for some odd reason, "Cardboard and dice". However, this has more to do with me being the king of the non-sequitur then of being relational to this review.
Kid's games should be cute, and call to their attention. This game does that, and in abundance. The colors are bright, the meeples are large, and the dice are chunky.
I think this game is exactly what it needs to be.
I hesitate to grade children's game based on my own liking or disliking of a game. I tend to be cerebral, and that doesn't help anyone else.
With that in mind, I played this with my daughters and two men who were retirement age, and we each laughed or chuckled a couple times. Zoe, my daughter was excited to win, and she played the whole game without walking away. On that basis, I'd give the game fun factor, good marks, if only because she liked it long enough to play through it all.
Difficulty and Age Range Suggestion
The game is rated at 3+, and I would tend to agree with that assessment. The pieces have all been designed with choking hazards in mind, and it is simple enough that even a child that couldn't count, could play with help.
Kid's games can be tough as an adult, to have a like or dislike towards. This game is designed for kids, and they could play it alone, without adults, so long as they can be appropriately nice to each other. They seem to like the theme, and the art calls to them.
For that reason, I would not hesitate to give this as a gift to any child, in need of game time.
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