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Subject: Great Co-op/Memory/Deduction Game for 3 Years Old rss

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Billy McBoatface
United States
Lexington
Massachusetts
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I accidentally got this game for my youngest daughter for Christmas. I say "accidentally" because I intended to get Orchard, but my German wasn't up to snuff and I walked off with the wrong game! Luckily, this has been as good a game as I could hope for, so I am happy to have made that mistake. The game may have some similarities to Orchard/Obstgarten, but I can't say for sure since I haven't played that game.

Rules Summary



There are 15 cards. Each card has one of five types of flowers on the back, and one of three "events" (cherries, sleeping animal, or crow) on the front. There is a die with each flower type on a face, and the sixth face is a sun which means "any flower type." In addition there is a cherry tree with five pair of cherries, and there is a wooden crow who walks a 5 step path to the tree. All components are cute and great quality, as you would expect from Haba.

All 15 cards are spread out face down. The crow is at the start of his path to the cherry tree. Players take turns rolling the die and flipping a flower card of the matching type. If you get cherries, you leave the card face up and pick one pair of cherries from the tree. If you get a sleeping animal, you say "Shhhhh," flip the card back over, and whisper for a while. If you get a crow, you say "Caw, caw!" as loud as you can, move the crow one step along the path, then flip the card back over. If you pick all the cherries before the crow gets to the tree, then everybody wins; if the crow gets there first, then everybody loses. That's it!

Note that there are five crow cards, and five steps in the crow path. This is important! It means that if you remember each crow card, you must flip all five to lose. If you can remember all the crow cards you flip, and use deduction to identify at least one crow without flipping it, you are guaranteed to win! Thus you get a good balance, an group of players who pay attention will win almost every time, but if you get careless and forget where the crows are, you could get into trouble very quickly!

What I Like (in addition to the great bits which I already mentioned)

Making sounds: It's just plain fun to be sitting with a bunch of young children, and whisper "Shhh...the bunny is sleeping!" Then a moment later, shouting out "Caw, caw!" It's especially fun if all the kids join in with the whispering and cawing.

Tension: Lucy (who will be 3 in a few months) is scared of flipping a crow when we are close to the end of the path. Even an adult will get nervous if they are one step away from losing and aren't completely sure which card is the "safe" one to flip!

Deduction: It doesn't sound like a game with deduction, but think about this: If you have found the dandelion card with cherries, and you saw (and remembered) the dandelion card with the sleeping animal, then what is under the other dandelion card? Since each flower type has one crow card, clearly, it must be a crow! For an adult this is straightforward. My 5 year old got this right away without being told. My almost-3-year-old does not get this. We have explained it to her, when we do she agrees with us, but I haven't seen her yet make that jump in logic on her own. It's this that makes me call it a deduction game: the deduction may not be worth mentioning for you, but it's a great first lesson in the topic to your three year old!

Final Summary

I'd call this a "can't miss" for anybody with a 3 or 4 year old. Even my 5 year old has lots of fun, and asks her little sister to play. I wouldn't recommend it as a first game; my daughter probably wouldn't have fully understood it six months ago. But if your child is ready for it, it's loads of fun.
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Kevin Dusik
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Richmond
British Columbia
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A great review! This one is going on my wishlist as a result. Thank you.
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Matt Crawford
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Pacifica
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Going on to my wish list too. And that decision was made right at "If you get a crow, you say "Caw, caw!" as loud as you can." How awesome is that in a game?
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Richard
Greece
Marousi
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My daughter (age 4) absolutely loves this game, up to the point that she sometimes cheats so that the crow could win, in order for it to get some food laugh
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Mara Rivera
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I got this great game for our 2 1/2 year old, and we all love it!
Caution: your 2 1/2 year old wants to put the lovely cherry pieces in her mouth!
But we accept this risk, and just watch closely.
Our little one LOVES to play "games" - sets that come in a box, and result in a "quiet time" intimacy with an adult. Particular attractions of this game are pretty and meaningful graphics and objects, such as the standing cherry tree, and the intriguing wood raven piece, cherries, and real straw basket.
For now, we skip the memory aspect, and don't use the die but just pick cards at random, even possibly as the top one from a stack.
And since losing can be harsh for a small child, we play cooperatively - with the raven! Our objective is to get most of the cherries, and if we should get them all, and the raven none, we give him one of ours! This has happened.
But if he/she gets some, we say that the raven has to eat, too, and wants a treat too, so we are happy that he/she got some and we got MANY!
And of course all the cherries the humans get go into the one family basket.


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Dex Quest
United Kingdom
Maryport
Cumbria
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Lovely review. thanks. Any other games for 4yrs you like by chance?
 
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