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Rob Burns
United States
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Max is a clever little co-operative game by Family Pastimes, a company that specializes in family-friendly co-operative games. I very much appreciate the whole concept of co-operative games; we probably teach competitiveness at too early a stage in our contemporary American society (dodgeball, anyone?).

I'd poked around a long time ago, trying to find a good co-operative game for when our kids were old enough. I'd pegged Max early on, even carrying it in my wishlist for a long time, but just ordered it recently. It came today and my son (3.5 years) and I gave it a spin.

He's still new to the game concept, but by playing, he started to understand the goal and mechanics. Max is a cat that starts on the porch, Little Creatures (a bird, a chipmunk, and a mouse) start on the stump several spaces ahead. The goal is to get all three home before Max can catch them. Special dice indicate whether the creatures move, or Max moves. Each Little Creature can use its own shortcut, but Max can use them all -- however, there are cat treats on the porch, and if you so elect, you can 'spend' a Cat Treat and bring Max back to the porch. That's about it, really.

I tried to give my son the decision-making ability (with lots of guidance). Sadly, the chipmunk got eaten fairly early on, but hey, it was a first play. I think Johnny was still getting used to the Cat Treat idea. The other animals made it home quite handily as a result. It's probably a bit more challenging when you're trying to shepherd all three back to their home in the tree.

Fun game; great for kids. Highly recommended.
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