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Hats Off» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A fun, simple, dextrous game for very young children. rss

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Simon Taylor
Live in Perth, Australia
Born and bred in Britain
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...into Microbadge ;-)
- Few/Some/Many/Loads
- Intuitive/Medium/Confusing

- Few/Some/Many
- Plastic/Wood/Card
- Low/Medium/High Quality

- None/Some/Much/Loads

- None/Little/Some/Much/Loads

- None/Little/Some/Much/Loads

- None/Little/Some/Lots

'Party' Fun:
- Silly/Amusing/Mild/Serious

Strategies/Methods for Winning:
- One/Two/Some/Lots

Tactics During Game (adapting to situations):
- None/Few/Some/Lots

Ability to Pick on Winning Player:
- None/Some/Lots

Time (mins):
- under 30/30-60/60-120/over 120


My copy of this game was sold as Flying Hats, so it's that version I'm reviewing.

The game is very simple.

Built in to the inside of the box is a flat piece of cardboard containing a series of holes.

Each player has a spoon-like piece of plastic, and a number of plastic cones - "hats".

Players take it in turns to put a hat on the round part of the spoon-thing, and then hit the handle of the spoon-thing so that the hat is flipped into the air and lands in the box. Assuming you get it in the box, it should make its way into one of the holes, and you score points for doing that.

That's really it. Take it in turns to flip plastic hats into a box.

Good things are that it is a good theme. The hats do look a little bit like hats (though not much), and it's good fun to be flipping hats around. It requires a little physical effort and dexterity - not a challenge for most adults, but difficult for pre-school children, for whom this game is really aimed, I think.

Bad things are the quality of the pieces. The hats are made from very thin plastic, and as a result, half the hats in my box are now squashed, or have suffered from plastic-fatigue, or have splits in them. As a result, some are too far-gone to fly properly at all, some give you nasty plastic-cuts if you don't take care handling them, and they all look rather moth-eaten. The cardboard inner of the box is too flimsy, and also suffers from wear and tear. It's not made to be relisient enough for the small children who are liable to play it.

Ignoring the quality of the pieces, it's a pretty nice little game. Something physical you can play indoors, where the spoon-things limit the amount of power that can be generated, so ensure that little hats stay on or near the table, not knocking ornaments off the mantlepiece. There is no evidence to suggest that playing Flying Hats causes children to learn to flick mashed potato at their teachers using spoons at school lunchtime, though it is essentially the same game ;-)

If you can get a version with decent pieces, I could rate this an 8 for its target market of pre-schoolers. With my particular version, that drops to a 6 or 7 due to the poor quality pieces.

Compare also Bounce It-In Game. I grew up with an older version of this, that was just called Bounce, but worked in a similar fashion. Bouncing balls into holes in the box, rather than flipping hats. Funnily enough, that suffered from the same problem - half the plastic balls are now flattened discs, and the box is falling apart.
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