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Subject: Initial review rss

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Myk Deans
United States
Rotonda West
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(I'm a SimplyFun consultant, so treat this as you will.)

This is a game targetted at the younger game player, listed on the box as 4 and up, and is a memory/recognition game.

The game comes with 12 large tiles of various shapes. Each tile has a cute drawing of an animal, front and back (some are different on each side), and are different colors on each side. These are about Settlers of Catan tile thickness, rather than Carcassonne tile thickness, so there is a concern that they might get bent.

There are 4 magnetic boards, with matching pictures of the 12 animals and a score track, along with 3 magnetic tokens, in 4 colors. The boards are solidly made, and the tokens stick readily to the board.

Depending on the age and ability of the players, a number of the animal tiles are chosen, fewer for younger players or more (up to all 12) for older players, and they are placed on the table.

One player is chosen to be the Zookeeper (the rules suggest the player that makes the best monkey noise!), and all other players turn around and cover their eyes, so they can't see the tiles. The Zookeeper then chooses 2 of the tiles, swaps their positions and also turns them over. He then marks the two tiles that were moved on his board using the magnetic tokens and turns it over so it's hidden.

The other players now look at the animal tiles, and try to figure out which 2 tiles have been moved. As the tiles are different shapes and colors, and have different animals, they have different cues to work from. The other players each mark on their boards which animal tiles they think were moved.

After all players have marked their boards, the Zookeeper turns over his board and shows which tiles were actually moved. Each player who correctly identified the moved tiles scores 1 point, and the Zookeeper scores 1 point if no-one correctly identified them. The next player now becomes Zookeeper. The first player to score 3 points wins the game.

Fairly straightforward, it's not going to present a huge problem for adults. With 12 tiles it can grow with the abilities of the kids, and the pieces are brightly colored with cute, attractive artwork. It encourages pattern/shape/color recognition and memory, and social interaction. My kids are too old for this type of game, so I can't give it a true test, but I think it would appeal to the age range it's targetted at.
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