Netmums recently sent us a selection of games from Mattel to try out at home. My children love playing board games (and other types of games that don't include a board and I have no idea what to call them...) and consequently we are amassing a rather large collection! When we were asked would we like to receive a few games to review, we couldn't say no! Mattel sent us Chameleon Crunch, Junior Scrabble and Uno Roboto and detailed here is our verdict!
Chameleon Crunch is not a game I had come across before, however my 5 year old was instantly drawn to it because it's an animal, and he loves any game that involves an animal. It was the game most suitable for him as the concept is simple. Chameleon Crunch is a game for 2-4 players aimed at aged 4+ and to get started you need 3 AA batteries which are not included. It's a race to feed him the most bugs and the object of the game is to be the player to have the most bugs in the Chameleon's mouth when he stops moving. In the box you get 1 Chameleon, 4 grasshoppers, 4 ladybugs, 4 dragonflies and 4 butterflies. You also get 1 Chameleon tail which you have to put attach - but note, this NEVER detaches again. No big deal of course however we like to put games back into their boxes for storage, they stack neater and we all know that I have tendencies The tail not detaching again means it doesn't fit back in the box. Not a deal-breaker but irksome all the same.
There are two ways to play the game, Color Crunch and Bug Crunch. To set up you need to place the bugs in a 5 foot diameter circle. This means you need a large area to play in and ideally this needs to be a hard floor. We attempted this in the living room first but the Chameleon really didn't like the carpet so we had to retreat to the kitchen where it worked a lot better.
Whilst both of my children enjoyed playing this game, it was the 5 year old that got the most enjoyment out of it so I would say it's best suited to younger children especially as the concept is easy to understand and there are no complicated rules.
The game retails at around £19.99 which seems a little on the expensive side as the games don't take very long to play however it does provide good fun and entertainment and seems well-made.
The second game was Junior Scrabble, a game for 2-4 players, aged 5-10. I was quite excited about receiving this game as I had contemplated buying it for my daughter. I'm sure everyone knows how to play Scrabble so you don't need too much background, however Junior Scrabble has two levels of play. The first game is called "Words and Pictures" and is for younger children, using the illustrated side of the board and the other is called "Colours and Counters" and is for older children and is more like the Scrabble we all know and love. I played this with my 6 year old and we skipped the first level because she's pretty good at literacy and I knew that she'd find that too easy. However "Words and Pictures" will be ideal for my younger child.
With "Colours and Counters" the object of the game is to score as many points as possible by making complete words, which interlock horizontally and vertically on the board. In the same way as grown-up Scrabble, players score points for each letter they use and by crossing over red or blue bonus squares. The player with the highest score is the winner.
I really liked this game as it has an obvious educational slant whilst being fun. I think it could really help with spelling skills as well as pushing children to use their minds a bit more. At £19.99 I think it's well worth it for the amount of play and value you could get out of this.
The final game we were sent was Uno Roboto. Now I am a lifelong fan of Uno, even buying a new set of Uno cards recently to take camping. I also have it as an app of my iPhone but Uno Roboto takes the basic card game to a new level. With Uno Roboto you can customise your game by recording your families name and your own special rules using the "house rules" cards and then the robot, which is very unpredictable takes care of the rest of the game - you have no idea what he's going to say.
Uno Roboto is aimed at aged 7 and up which means it's perhaps a little old for my children but as it's a fun family game it's something you can play together whilst they grasp the concept. We played it as teams so we could guide them through it and I'm sure it won't be long until they've mastered it themselves. They were in love with the robot, in fact, they could have just pressed his buttons all day and been happy!
My one gripe with Uno Roboto would be that the commands aren't very clear so when playing with children - who by nature are noisy - you can sometimes miss what the robot is saying, however other than that this is a fun, interactive game for all the family that I'm sure we'll enjoy playing with lots.
It retails at around £24.99 and is worth it for entertainment value alone!
If you've got any of these games I'd love to hear your view on them. With thanks to Netmums and Mattel for providing these games for review.
“I am a member of the Netmums Blogging Network, a unique community of parent bloggers from around the UK who have been handpicked by the Netmums team to review products and brands on their behalf. I have been paid expenses and supplied with a product sample for this review but retain all editorial control. All my Netmums Reviews will display the Netmums logo within the post.”
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