Number Busters game review
By MICHAEL ERB
I collect games, and not too long ago while shopping for a birthday present for my three-year-old I found Number Busters, a collectible figures game aimed at toddlers and kindergartners.
The deluxe starter featured 10 heavy plastic figures ranging from dinosaurs to robots to dragons, all in cute, blocky, cartoonish styles. The starter also included 10 cards, one for each character.
Also available are six-figure boosters that give you more characters, and an arena set that gives you two unique monsters and cards, as well as a booster and an electronic gameboard for your monsters. The starter and arena each cost about $20, and the boosters are about $12 each, if you can find them.
The idea behind Number Busters is to help teach children numbers recognition and simple addition while giving them cool little figures and a collectible game. It is a lot like Pokemon for even younger children and slightly educational. The characters each represent one of four elements - fire (red), water (light blue), land (brown) or space (dark blue).
Each character has a number on the bottom of them, usually on a foot or the main body. The number ranges in value from 1-7. Each character also has a playing card with a picture of the character and a number. There are three levels of play, all rather simple. The youngest level has players revealing their character number and the higher value wins a point. The first player to get 5, 10 or 15 points (depending on the length of the game) wins overall. This version of the game is recommended for ages 3-4.
The second version allows you to add in your matching character card. The cards are revealed first, then the monsters (which have to match the cards played). The players add their card number to their monster number, and the higher total wins the point. This one is for ages 4-5.
The third version foregoes the cards but adds speed. Each player flips their monster, and the first player to call out the total value of the two monsters wins the point. This is for children ages 5-6.
There are some goofy little rules which actually add to the fun for your toddler, such as coming up with a battle cry or sound for each character. The players then go "1..2..3...ROAR!" or whatever sound when revealing the number. Adults may find it silly, but kids love it.
Now, the numbers on the bottoms of the characters are random, and here is where the collectible part comes in. You can have more than one of the same character, but they will have different numbers. They can use the same card so long as they are the same character listed on the card. The numbers on the creatures are covered up in the packs, so even though you can see which monster you are getting, you can’t tell what value they are, which again promotes the collectible nature of the game.
If you are looking for a fun little game with heavy toy elements, or a way to introduce your child to collectible games, this is a great place to start. The figures are neat, and my 3-year-old loves playing with them. My 7-year-old enjoys the actual games and always challenges me to duels, at least when his little brother isn’t busy using the figures.
For more information, check out www.littletikes.com. For more game reviews and discussion, check out my blog at http://merb101.livejournal.com