Bushchicken
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Alright, alright...I'll admit it. I bought this game for the sole purpose of using the rooster meeple as a start player token in Agricola. Does that make me a bad father?



I didn't even care if it was a good kid's game or if my kids would enjoy it. That said, this game is now one of my kids' favorites. Here's a further look into this gem of a game:

Object

Elefantös, Wer erkennt das Tier? or "Elefantastic: Who Recognizes the Animal?" in English is a childrens game by HABA that teaches children about various animals. For 2-4 players, the game is suggested for ages 5-99; no centenarians accepted here, folks. Players start by taking an equal number of unique animal shaped meeples and placing them behind a screen.



Players take turns rolling a die. Two dice are included (one basic, one advanced) to vary the level of difficulty. On the dice are various ways to give hints about the animals behind their screen.



The player who rolled the die selects one animal behind their screen, gives the hint, and then holds the animeeple in a closed fist in the center of the table. The other players select a animeeple from behind their own screens and hold in a closed fist in the center of the table. If anyone has the matching animeeple in their hand, the pair are placed in the center of the table. Here's an example:



Play continues until one player has run out of animeeples; this player is then crowned "king of the animals" as the rulebook states.

Components

Like most HABA games, Elefantastic is surprisingly well made. The box is sturdy, the player screens are heavy cardboard with bright colors. The rulebook is in four languages (German, English, French, and Dutch), is well written, and has an 'encyclopedia' about all 16 types of animals. I can't believe how cheaply they can produce so many different animals! The 16 animals are very cute, easily recognizable to children and...they're....they're great for use in other games...ninja



Quality of Gameplay Experience

I have two boys, ages 3 and 5. The 5-year old picked up on this game easily from day 1. It was loads of fun when he, my wife, and I played together. However, the 3-year old was a little too possessive for this game to work. After several attempts though, he was able to abide by all rules and make the game an enjoyable experience. It's a great opportunity for parents to get crazy and let loose with their kids. I mean, when else would it be appropriate to spit like a camel or snort like a pig while on all fours? And the kids really get into it too. Here's a picture of my son acting out a fish;



Here's another shot of the boys just being silly while playing this game (for some reason this pic cracks me up);



Anyway, it's fun for our whole family. My 5-year old is a pro, and my 3-year old is learning quite a bit from the game. With the more difficult die in play, I could see this game being enjoyable up to age 8. However, the big shortcoming of the game is that there are a limited number of animals to play with; I haven't quite reached the point with my kids where the game feels monotonous, but I could see it happening (and it already has happened for my wife). The advanced die will help with this problem, but it's really just a small pool of animals to begin with.

Conclusion

You know, this game is what it is - a fun little game that teaches kids all about animals...or at least 16 types of animals. It's well-made and fun enough that I would recommend it to parents with Pre-K kids. As I stated earlier, this is one of my kids' favorites. One of their other favorites is Sorry!. Honestly, which one do you think I'm going to choose?

Elefantastic? Maybe not. Elefanfun? Absolutely.
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