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Subject: Blink! - A Mini Review rss

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Dr. Dam
Australia
KILLARA
VIC
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All of my reviews aim to offer a brief overview that allows people to get a good feel for what the game may offer them. I feel that other reviews can be sought if detailed game mechanics is what you are after.

As this is a game based on educational principles I am also able to draw on my experience as a primary school teacher (Australia) when reviewing them. I hope you find this insight useful.

Blink can be played in as little as 30 seconds and not many games will go longer than one minute let alone two. Surely a game of this timeframe can’t be any good…..care to eat those words?! This is a great little game that lends heavily from a premise or two used by Uno and then adds one or two other elements to the mix. The game consists of 60 cards, which are divided into two equal piles- one pile for each player.

The top card of each deck is then turned over to form a discard pile and both players draw three cards. The aim of the game is to be the first player to exhaust your deck and all cards in your hand by playing them to the table. As soon as a card is played to the table a card should be picked up from the draw pile to replace it, thus enabling players to exhaust their decks.

Each card can have 1 of 6 colours and is made from 1 of 6 different symbols. Finally each card will have a certain number of those symbols ranging from 1 to 5. As soon as the game starts, players can put a card down if it matches the colour, shape or number of symbols of either of the two cards on the discard piles.

The final edge to Blink is that players are not restricted to individual turns. All play is simultaneous as players rush like mad to get that next card down before their opponent, draw replacement cards and exhaust their deck.

The Final Word

I honestly can’t remember seeing or playing a game simpler than Blink (I don’t regard 52 card pickup as a game) and yet it is great fun to play. As your hands move at light speed you can’t help but get a little jittery as your opponent gets their card down just a split second before you, forcing you to re-think which card will go next and for this reason the game is aptly named.

People of any age can enjoy this game and it can be learnt in less than a minute. I ran a ‘Mind Games’ session for Year 1\2 students at lunchtime and within 15 minutes they were furiously whacking cards down and attempting to beat their best times. Later that day my Year 3 students played it and had just as much fun.

The concept of not limiting players to individual turns is a BIG winner with students, as they love the ability to get in there and race a friend. Blink is also a great resource for helping children visually recognise number patterns quickly and can aid mental retention of those visual images.

This understanding can then aid children in their ability to use dice that use dots rather than numerals, which in turn opens up further understandings. Blink is a great game for the library shelf at home and can easily be played after dinner and before bed as a treat.

As a classroom resource it is ideal for use during maths sessions as multiple plays are possible and a class time-record can be set-up to spur the students on. The game encourages students to have a third person ‘time’ games and offers a series of titles for achieving particular times. Blink is definitely a winner!

One word of warning though is that the cards are not the thickest I have seen. As kids are in a mad rush to get their cards down they can take an awful beating. Thankfully it is a cheap game so replacing it isn't too big a fiscal problem.
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