Now I can add text to my avatar? Sweet! How do I do it?
Last Christmas, my mother sent this game to my sons. They've played it a few times and I've even played it with them and since there are no reviews on boardgamegeek for the game, I thought I'd add my perspective for those looking into the game.
This is the first DVD game that my children or I have played. That said, it seems to have a lot in common with all DVD games. In the box, there is a DVD and a collection of 16 small pad (that's right, no instructions or anything - it's all explained on the DVD). These pads depict the cranium characters, farm animals, birds, ocean animals, and jungle animals. They are also all specific shapes and colors. The play, you put the DVD in and random lay the pieces out on the floor in front of the television. On the menu screen, select play the game and your off.
After starting your game, five mini-games are randomly chosen for you and/or your children to participate in. These games will usually last around 15 minutes, though there is no standard length for the games. Rather than have 5 randomly selected mini-games, you can choose which one you'd like to play. Here is the complete list of the mini-games:
Elephants and Peanuts
Fly Like a Bird
Take a Bow
Sneak and Hop
Worm Word Wind-Up
Wiggly Squiggly Octopus Arms
Swim With Shark Fins
Use Your Elephant Trunk
Snap Your Crap Claws
Jump as High as You Can!
Take a Pretend Nap
Act Like a Chimpanzee
Despite the extremely diverse titles, these mini-games have a lot in common with each other. They all involve having the players move from one pad or another based on some type of category. For instance, players will start on a purple Cranium pad and then move to a yellow pad, or a square pad, or a pad depicting a farm animal. At times, players are asked to move in a certain way, such as giant steps or walking backwords. Most of the mini-games also have twister-like elements. While standing on a red pad, for example, you will need to put your knee on a bird and a hand on a circle. The problem is that the pads are randomly distributed, so there is certainly no guarantee that you can reach the needed pad.
There are also slight variations in the mini-games. For example, in "Take a Pretend Nap," players will be instructed at one point to lay down and pretend to be asleep. In Octopus Dance, players will be asked to dance like an octopus while they move between pads. In "Elephants and Peanuts," an elephant appears and the players are asked what a elephant eats. In "Swim with Shark Fins," . . . I think you get the idea. At the end of any mini-game, the narrator asks if someone is standing on a specific pad. For example, if the last request made is to stand on a farm animal, players will be asked if anyone is standing on a cow. That player will then be declared the winner. He or she is supposed to show "Hullabaloo!" and then perform a victory dance. So the "winner," if that's what you want to call it, is completely random.
From my perspective, there isn't much game involved in this, or probably any, DVD game. It's simply a video that gets kids moving a little bit and there is no competition or real gameplay involved at all. This is probably better than just having a child sit and watch TV, but not much . My sons do enjoy the activities though, but not for very long. After about the 5 mini-games of one session, they are ready to stop playing. They are clearly having fun when they play. The narrator character is a bit annoying to adults, but great for kids. There is also a lot of footage of kids being silly and having fun while they play the game on TV, and my sons seem to like that. Cranium has also thrown in some National Geographic footage of animals at times and there is an attempt to make the game mildly educational, but there's not much there.
I probably wouldn't have purchased the Cranium Hullabaloo DVD Game for my own kids, but since we have it, it does get pulled out on occassion and my sons enjoy it for what it is. I'd be careful about purchasing this for your own children unless you've already had some major success with DVD games. There's just not enough in this one.