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Rein damit» Forums » Variants

Subject: Variant for the dexterity-challenged rss

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Rebekah B
United States
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My kids and I aren't exactly what you'd call coordinated. Still, we enjoy other dexterity games, like Animal Upon Animal. I really wanted to like Spot On, but after a couple of tries with my 4-yo and 6-yo, in which we'd go several turns with nobody getting any balls in any rings (okay, so we're really uncoordinated!), and hearing, "Do we have to finish this?" I realized it just wouldn't work for us as is. To be fair, those rings are very small and very shallow, and the balls (which don't seem to be exactly round) often bounce in odd angles.

I decided to replace the twelve rings with nine bowls. I put four animals in each bowl. Play is basically the same as the original rules, except when players get a ball in a bowl, they get to choose which of the animals in the bowl they want. Empty bowls are treated the same as empty rings in the original rules, where a player who gets a ball in one gets to choose an animal from another player to place in the bowl. The written English rules are a little bit unclear about which animals can be taken. We play that animals in pairs or families are safe; only single animals can be replaced in the bowls. We play until all the animals are either in pairs or families. At that point, whoever has the most complete families wins.

After our first play, the kids immediately wanted to play again. And again. After several plays, they still enjoy it and ask for it, always with the request to "play with the bowls." The ability to choose which animal to take from the bowl is a small change, but it makes collecting sets more strategic rather than just a matter of luck. For example, players may have to decide whether to go for an animal pair to protect those animals from being replaced, or to complete an animal family for a guaranteed point at the end, or to take an animal that another player is collecting to make it harder for them to complete a pair or family or to delay the end of the game.

We haven't tried the memory variant, but I suppose you could place the four animals facedown in a square pattern in the bowl.

I know, it's not a terribly creative variant, but it did take a game that was frustrating and essentially useless for us and turn it into a fun game that I would rate a 7 or 8 when played with the kids.
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