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Row Row Row Your Boat» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Playing Row, Row, Row Your Boat with kids rss

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1603-1714
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I've had this game for my sons for a few years now, but just recently noticed that there are no reviews posted on boardgamegeek, so I thought I'd add a review to the site. This is a very simple game made to be played with preschoolers or earlier (it even contains a short storybook to provide young players with the background story for the game). My sons enjoy it and, even though it is not their favorite, will ask to play it on occassion.

The game consists of a shared player marker (a plastic bear in a boat), a gameboard shaped like a pond, a spinner, and four puzzles depicting different pictures. Set-up is simply - the board is placed on the table, the bear is put on the start square, and every player gets their five puzzle pieces (marked with a color on the back) and the matching puzzle frame.

On a player's turn, he just spins the spinner. The player will either spin a 1 (25% chance), a 2 (50%), or a 3 (25%). The boat is moved around the pond in the direction indicated. There are a total of nine spaces in the pond and six of them have a frog in the space. If a player lands on a space with a frog, he earns one puzzle piece. If a player lands on an empty space, he gets nothing. There is also a spin again space with a frog in it. Landing there gives a player a piece and, believe it or not, an extra spin. The game ends when one player has built his or her entire puzzle. The whole process takes about five minutes.

As I stated, my sons enjoy this game. I think their favorite part is building the puzzle. They will often just play with the puzzles after we're done with the game. They also like the game because they can win, but when they don't win, the game can be a bit frustrating. If they don't win, it means that they don't get to build their puzzle, so the two reasons my sons enjoy the game (puzzle building and winning) are both gone. Since gameplay isn't very fulfilling, even to a child, there's not a lot to the game if a player doesn't win. But the game works well for younger children since they can understand it and play it without any help. There are a few better games available for the same age group that are fun to play even if a person doesn't win. I've found that those types of games are the ones my sons prefer to play.
 
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