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Subject: Animal Pairs - Memory, with a Spinnerific twist... rss

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Jason Sample
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Pelham
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Game Review - Animal Pairs

OVERVIEW -

Animal pairs is a memory game made by International Playthings. The game itself is very simple. There are 24 cards with cartoon animals depicted on them. On each turn, a player spins the Spinnerific (the evil spawn of a spinner, a la Snakes and Ladders, and the Pop-O-Matic, a la Trouble) and turns over the number of cards indicated. If any of these cards match, the player gets to keep the cards and play continues clockwise. At the end of the game, the player with the most cards wins.

COMPONENTS -

1) Spinnerific - The Spinnerific is awesome. I realize that I referred to it as "evil spawn", but it makes the game a little bit more fun than if it had just been a simple spinner. Gimmicky, I realize, but you have to make something different to sell yet another memory game. You can see the Spinnerific in the pictures of the game. It will lead to scores of 2, 3, or 4.



2) Cards - the game comes with 24 animal cards. There are twelve different animals depicted in cute cartoons. My daughter thinks that the bear is especially sweet and cute. The cards are a nice size (a little smaller than standard Bridge playing cards) and they fit equally well in adult or child hands. That being said, the cards are not held "in hand" so it is almost a non-issue. I just so happen to prefer Poker/Bridge sized cards to the smaller cards (a la Settlers), so I thought that I would mention it.

3) Packaging - this leaves a lot to be desired. The box is terrible and the cards come in a plastic "choking hazard" envelope/baggy. Your average 3 year old may not be at risk, but her 1 1/2 year old brother may have problems.

FUN FACTOR -


My four year old daughter and I sure do like to spin that Spinnerific! She loves the cartooniness of the pictures and they just so happen to make me smile too. It is easy enough for a 3 or 4 year old to grasp because there are only 24 cards in a 4X6 grid. Plus, the drawings are done with different colors making it easier to distinguish and easier to remember where the cards are. It only takes a few minutes to play so it keeps her, and my, attention. She usually asks to play again, and again...

At the end of the day, it is another Memory game, but with a few features that make it different enough from the others. The Spinnerific is cool and the opportunity to turn over more than just 2 cards at a time makes it easier for us all. My daughter and I play a few house variants that involve making the sounds of the animals as they are turned over and her favorite, "Where's the Bear?". In this complicated variant, the first person to match the Bear animal pair, wins.

BOTTOM LINE -

It is inexpensive and fun. Plus, it leads to animal sounds (What sound does a giraffe make? That's funny, your giraffe sounds a lot like a rabbit.) and a lot of laughter from the under 5 crowd and their parents, for that matter. It remains a Sunday morning staple that brings us closer together time and time again.

Peace,
Jason (father of a 4 year old and a 1 year old)

"Real men don't steal other men's catch phrases!"
 
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