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Subject: We are going on a bear hunt, going on a bear hunt... rss

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Judit Szepessy
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Introduction

“We are going on a bear hunt, we’re gonna catch a big one! I’m not afraid, it’s a beautiful day!” This song came to my mind several times while playing Gummy Bear Factory where you have to assemble bears using three parts (leg, body and head). . It is a set collection game suited for families with younger children. The game is for 2-5 players.



Gameplay

Players take a gummy bear player card in the colour of their choice and place it in front of them. During the game they have to assemble gummy bears in that colour. Each card depicts one part of the bear.

Gummy Bear player cards in different colours

Everyone starts with three cards. The rulebook says " The player who looks most like a gummy bear (or the youngest player) starts the game".

Draw Phase: At the beginning of your turn the active player draws one card from the deck revealing it to the other players.

Decision Phase: Now the active player has to decide if he wants to keep the card he drew or not. If he/she does not want to keep it, you can trade it with the other players. The trade can be voluntary or involuntary.

Trading Phase: In the trade the active player can ask for either colour or a certain part of a bear. In the case of a voluntary trade any player can accept the trade request. In the forced trade the active player can ask another player if he/she has a type of body part or a colour. If the player has a requested card he/she has to trade. If not, no trade occurs. The active player gets a card from the player he trades with and gives the card that he/she drew to him.

During his/her turn the active player can build a gummy bear if she/he puts down three cards that make a bear. On completing a bear the player puts a token in his colour on the bear showing that this is his/her bear. Players can also build chain bears (more than one bear in a chain); this will give extra VPs at the end of the game.


Multiple Bears in a chain

There are also joker cards for each part of a bear. You can use these parts for any coloured bears. The game ends when the draw pile gets exhausted.

Wild Card

The game also has a solitaire variant which is very similar to the full game. You have more deck of cards in the solitarie variant and there is no trading phase.

Scoring: You score one point after each bear you assembled, and if in a chain of bears (when you build more than one bear one after the other) you have the most tokens, you get one additional points.

Recommendation


Gummy Bear is a wonderful light game for families with younger children. What is more, if you play with real gummy bear tokens, you get to eat the tokens! Use real gummy bears for the tokens and you double the fun. I played the game with my 11 and 13 year old boys, and although they are not that little anymore,and they enjoyed the game. I introduced the game in the daycare I work at, to 6 year olds and we had tons of fun assembling bears in different colours. With younger children you can have only voluntary trade making the gameplay smoother for them.


Assembled Bears

Players can enjoy the solitarie version when they have short time and no company to play with. It works very well in the sense that in most turns you can put down cards and very few times a player has to discard a card because he/she has more than six cards in her/his hand. In this version the player has three decks to chose from and this gives a good variety of the cards.
In a two player game once you get to know the cards better you can have a better idea of what you want to trade with your opponent because you know what cards are out. Players can have an involuntary trade throughout the game to get the card they need to assemble their bear.
The game with four and five players are faster and more tense as you cannot be sure what cards the other players have. The game is also more interactive as the players trade with each other back and forth.

The artwork on the cards, with their friendly bears on, evoke the warm and fuzzy feelings that we associate with teddy bears. This theme can especially attract younger children who still have or till recently had their cuddly teddy bears. The artwork is lovely and comforting.
I like the trading element in the game: it adds variety and challenge to the gameplay. It also makes the game more interactive, and takes a simple game to a higher level.
This is a quick game to play; it takes about 15 minutes, so you can have more than one game one after the other.


Playing the game in a daycare

[Disclaimer: I received the game as a review copy.]
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Flying Dutchman
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Thanks for the well written review Judit -- this looks like a fun and entertaining game! It's nice that there are games out there that don't require the collection of poverty points laugh!
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Judit Szepessy
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Just to let you know, I did much better with the poverty cubes in our last game. arrrh
And yes, Gummy Bear Factory is a breeze compared to the threat of poverty points.
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Ralph T
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Judit, thank you for your kind review. I noticed in the photo you have two unbuilt bears with two pieces (a red and orange headless bear). Did you use easier rules when playing with the six year olds so they could assemble a partially built bear?

I think with younger kids there are two rules in the scoring which could be made optional: (1) no tie breakers for majority control, and for even younger kids (2) no majority control mechanic. Then it's a bit like Go Fish with set collection.

Were the kids able to understand these two aspects?
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Judit Szepessy
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Thanks for your observation, Ralph. Yes, with the younger kids we did the training but they could put down one or two parts of a bear. They would have lost patience and attention if they had been allowed to put down only a completed bear. They were good at assembling the bears and liked the game.
 
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