Pete Belli
United States
Florida
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"If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."
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Sesame Street Great Big Parade Game has everything I like in a children’s game. It is colorful, it has a fun theme, it is crafted with high quality components, and it is BIG. This classic title was published in 1990 by Milton Bradley and is designed to be enjoyed by two, three, or four players ages 3 to 5 years old. No reading is required to play the game. This game marched into my collection after I paid $2 for a used copy at the local thrift store.




A game for kids should have big, easy to handle components and have a big "footprint" on the table. Pushing tiny wooden cubes around a small but colorful board is acceptable for older teens and adults. A child’s imagination can be sparked by large plastic game tokens or a huge cardboard playing surface. Getting that kid involved in the game through visual stimulation is the first step to a great play experience.




The colorful board used with Sesame Street Great Big Parade Game is four feet long. The parade backdrop is lavishly illustrated and features many familiar Sesame Street characters that should bring a smile to every kid’s face. Most young children would be fascinated by the colorful plastic components and the delightful spinner.




The object of the game is to move a stand-up playing piece along the parade route and give away all five of the plastic balloons assigned to each player at the beginning of the march. Movement is determined by a spinner with a player moving forward to the color indicated or to the next available Big Bird space when that icon appears.




Sesame Street Great Big Parade Game is a game without confrontation or conflict of any kind and the entire point of the game is to "share" things with the Sesame Street characters. Kids place the balloons on the colorful backdrop as they give a token to Elmo or one of the other cartoon figures. This might be the best element of the design because a child can give his or her balloon to a favorite character and giggle with delight.

In spite of this magnificent presentation the game just isn’t fun. The tactile enjoyment of distributing the balloons is smothered by the frustrating results on the spinner. The outcome of the game is determined when one player spins a couple of "Big Bird" results during consecutive turns and teleports ahead of the other children. While the unlucky kids crawl along the parade route trying to give their balloons away by making the proper color matches the child favored by Big Bird romps to the finish line.

Even a close contest is likely to be determined by the number of "Big Bird" results so the discerning child will have a negligible sense of achievement. Kids aren’t stupid. Why do so many games for young children treat them like they can’t use their brains? I’m not sure if I should give this game away to a neighbor or just salvage the superb stand-up playing pieces for one of my own designs...
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David Spitzley
United States
Belleville
Michigan
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pete belli wrote:

Even a close contest is likely to be determined by the number of "Big Bird" results so the discerning child will have a negligible sense of achievement. Kids aren’t stupid. Why do so many games for young children treat them like they can’t use their brains? I’m not sure if I should give this game away to a neighbor or just salvage the superb stand-up playing pieces for one of my own designs...


You owe it to Sesame Street fans everywhere to find a better way of playing this one! Any chance that having Big Bird give them a balloon would work better?
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