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Now a Major General
United States
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    It is with more than a bit of pleasure that I sit down and take a moment to review Froggy Boogie, as the game has proven to be a big, BIG breakthrough at my house.  But before I explain why, let's look at the details. 

    Price
    $25.95 full retail

    The Components
    Froggy Boogie consists of nine "mommy" frogs, six "baby" frogs, eleven lilly pads (one a bit larger than the rest), and a pair of dice.  Now, when I say there are nine mommy frogs, what I mean is that there are nine mommy frog faces and 18 mommy frog eyes, which are removable.  This is an important part of the game that we'll dive into in a bit. 

                                

                                                                          The pieces.

    All of the pieces are made of hardwood, all are painted (including the the two dice -- no stickers) and all are very high quality.  Even the box has a fine matte finish and is built to last.  In short, this game with just a bit of care could last well into the 22nd century.  The colors are bright, the overall theme is unified, and it is pleasing to the eye.  My kids were immediately attracted to the copy sitting out on the table at the Family Game Store in Savage Mill Maryland, and Robin went out of her way to show it off.  I bought it at (gasp) full retail price.

    Game Play
    Froggy Boogie is a simple enough game, but has two magnificent mechanics that make it both accessible to little kids, and interesting enough to hold their attention.
    The first mechanic that I'd like to emphasize is how the dice work.  The dice have colors painted on their sides instead of numbers or symbols, and for each combination of colors that can appear there is exactly one mommy frog that corresponds (note in the photo above that each mommy frog has a base color with a different color stripe painted through the middle).  In spite of two dice spitting out 36 different possible permutations, all combinations are covered by the 9 mommies available.  The beauty here is that a four-year-old can look at the two dice colors and find the corresponding mommy frog with no help from mom or dad whatsoever, and kids love it when they can do it on their own.

                   

                                        My kids, ages ten, six, and four playing unsupervised.

    Mechanic number two is how the baby frogs move.  The goal of the game is to hop your baby frog from one lilly pad to the next all the way around the mommy frogs.  You start on the big lilly pad, and with good skill you hop across all the smaller lilly pads back around to the big one again.  The baby frog that makes it home first wins.
    But that's what you do, not how you do it.  How you do it is this -- after rolling the dice you find the momma frog with the corresponding colors.  Each momma frog has two removable eyes.  One of them is blank on the bottom, the other shows a silhouette of a baby frog.  You select an eye, lift it, and look to see which eye you have gotten.  If the bottom of the eye is blank, momma hasn't seen you, and you get to hop to the next lilly pad.  If the bottom of the eye has a frog on it, you're busted! You have to stay put.  The first time each momma frog is selected, it's luck.  But after that the players have to make it on their wits, carefully remembering which eye in each momma frog is going to let them get on their way to the finish line, and which is going to stop them in their tracks.  Since all players see each draw no one has an advantage -- it's good solid competition. 

                   

                         My twins showing the two different eyes -- one with a frog, one without.

    That's all there is to this game, and that's what makes it such a good play.  A four-year-old can sit down at this game, understand the rules in ninety seconds, and be in the thick of it 30 seconds later.

    My Impressions:
    I'm a big fan of pretty pieces, but to me a game has to stand on its own regardless of how it looks.  Froggy Boogie is just plain a darn good game.  The rules are ultra simple, the game play is easy to manage and captivating, and the game length is just perfect for its target audience.  What I find remarkable about the game is that your average four-year-old isn't at much of a disadvantage to older siblings or even mom and dad in this game because it's a matter of simple memory and applying it.  Given the amount of complication in my life right now (four kids including four-year-old twins) it's likely that my kids may be at an advantage on memory tasks.

    My Kids' Impressions
    Something remarkable happened today.  I've played Froggy Boogie several times with my kids over the last week and all have enjoyed the game very much.  But this afternoon my six-year-old boy brought the game out onto the patio and called to his two four-year-old brothers to play.  They dropped their shovels, got out of the sandbox where they live all summer and sat down to a game.  They played two, including a second when my six-year-old couldn't play anymore.  The two four-year-olds continued the game on their own, and played without adult supervision! For those of you without twins, this is just shy of a miracle.  For those of you with twins (especially boys), feel free to testify in this thread.  Young twins are far more difficult to manage in sit-down activities than siblings, even two that are close in age.  I have struggled just to get small slivers of board games in with these two, and Froggy Boogie got them sitting down on their own, unsupervised. 
    But we're not done here.  I cleaned the game up after they finished (had they cleaned the game up on their own I would not merely have considered it a miracle but actively sought out the second coming of Jesus who almost certainly would still have been in the neighborhood) and put the game away, and then, an hour later, found the two of them again in my living room, game spread out on the floor in neat fashion, halfway through a game! Two four-year-old twin boys.  Ladies and gentlemen, this is as good a recommendation for a kid's game as you're ever going to get.

                    

                                    Twin four-year-old boys setting up and playing on their own.

    Only Potential Drawback
    Since the game is color based, there is a possibility of trouble with kids who suffer from some level of color-blindness.  Given how close the green and yellow are on the pieces this could be an issue.  A sharpie pen would resolve this in short order, and the game might be a good indicator if color-blindness is present in you child.  Worth keeping in mind.

    Time To Make The Call
    I've tossed a 7.8 rating on this game to start, which flies in the face of the usual threes and fours that good games for kids get on Board Game Geek.  But this isn't for us big kids -- it's for the little ones.  And this game is more fun than an in-the-park home run by my measure.  The only other kid game that I have seen captivate my kids as much as Froggy Boogie is Amazing Labyrinth (which I also highly recommend) but it simply cannot reach down to four years of age like this game does.  The publisher, Blue Orange is small and likely doesn't print large runs of its games -- don't miss out on this gem.

             Sag.
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Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
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Extremely well-written review - as a fan of games for kids (and a fan of my kids, ages 2 & 5), it's nice to have someone describe a game so well, components & all.

Well done!
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J Weintraub
United States
Commack
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An excellently written review. And clearly a well-designed game! I wonder if the designers are aware that 9 is the number of items that the ordinary person can hold in their immediate memory at one time? Either way, this game will almost certainly get onto my list of things for my daughter's next birthday. Thanks!
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Boise
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Top notch review. Perhaps one of the best-written reviews on BGG. Adding the pictures was a great idea.
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Now a Major General
United States
38.978164N 76.486881W
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    Thank you all for the kind words. My hope was that writing a review for this game would drive a bit more traffic to its page, and it appears that has happened. It had only 44 hits before I published.
    With luck a few parents and grandparents will stumble onto this.

             Sag.

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Monica B.
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Sag, I bought this game based on your glowing review and was not disappointed. It's a huge hit in my home with my 4 and 3 year-old sons (the older, especially) and gets 3-4 plays daily.

What's great to me is that even the setup of Froggy Boogie can become part of the "game" - my oldest son loves to arrange the mama frogs, their eyes (taking extra care to give the mama frogs one of each eye type), the lilly pads, and the baby frogs. The skill aspect (memorizing the eye placement) is perfectly balanced with the luck aspect (dice rolls). For a punchier game, we let a successful baby frog move two lilly pads at once.

When I think of all the time wasted on less expensive, inferior "Candy Land" type games, the price of this game is more than justified.
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Now a Major General
United States
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Maryland
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mozilla wrote:
Sag, I bought this game based on your glowing review and was not disappointed. It's a huge hit in my home with my 4 and 3 year-old sons (the older, especially) and gets 3-4 plays daily.

What's great to me is that even the setup of Froggy Boogie can become part of the "game" - my oldest son loves to arrange the mama frogs, their eyes (taking extra care to give the mama frogs one of each eye type), the lilly pads, and the baby frogs. The skill aspect (memorizing the eye placement) is perfectly balanced with the luck aspect (dice rolls). For a punchier game, we let a successful baby frog move two lilly pads at once.

When I think of all the time wasted on less expensive, inferior "Candy Land" type games, the price of this game is more than justified.


    Another happy customer. I wish I could take more credit, but all I did was gush over the game. My copy is still getting play, and indeed you're right -- the twins enjoy the setup as much as the gameplay itself.

    It's been an ice breaking game for us, getting my more-difficult twin to focus, wait his turn, and play nicely. He does quite well with it. The skills he's learned with Froggy Boogie are now serving him well in PitchCar, Hisss, Feed the Kitty, and Labyrinth. I have finally reached the point where I can sit down with all four of my children and play a game.

             Sag.
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John W
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Excellent - just a wonderful review -
I wish these kinds of reviews were more common - especially for children's games.

A true resource for boardgamers who play (or buy) for kids.
 
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Stephen Groves
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Great review. I think I'd better have more kids to justify buying this game.
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J. Michael Graham
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San Rafael
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Thanks for this excellent review! The anecdotes about your kids were a great addition.
I just returned from the game store, disappointed to have missed the last copy of Chicken Cha Cha Cha.
I was recommended this one instead by a friendly salesperson, but wasn't sure about it.
Now I'm definitely looking forward to how things will go on Christmas morning...
Mike
 
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Craig Hebert
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Goodlettsville
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This is a great kids game. It amazes me a game like this gets such a low rating because adults rate the kid game based on how they like it - really - wow.
 
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Now a Major General
United States
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    Thinking outside of one's own perimeter is more challenging for some people than others. BGG has good information but you need to read between the lines for some of it.

             S.


 
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