"If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."
BOZ's BIG World Adventure Game is a children's game with a religious theme published in 2008 by David C. Cook. The concept is similar to Candy Land with a couple of additional elements thrown into the mix. These extra bells and whistles prevent the game from becoming a dreary waste of time. I paid $2 for my copy at, logically enough, a Christian thrift store.
I bought the game because it looked like something which might need more exposure on BGG, and that hunch was correct. Since there is almost nothing about BOZ's BIG World Adventure Game in the database I cranked out this quick review. Boz is described as "the green bear next door" and according to the promotional literature included with the game Boz will help kids learn about the Bible. The other books and toys shown in the flyer offer a much deeper religious message so apparently the board game was created to introduce kids to the series of BOZ products.
The game is designed for preschool children so no reading is required to play. Although the game can accommodate up to four players there are eight different character stickers for the plastic pawns. This is a nice touch since the images depict children from a diverse assortment of backgrounds. The rules are crisp and clean so even the youngest kids can grasp the basic concept and start enjoying the game immediately.
The pathway along the colorful board leads the kids on a journey through a variety of adventure locations including a treehouse, a safari, the beach, and a fantasy castle. Movement is based on the color of the card drawn, a simple idea found in many children’s games. The rules for the finish space are flawless and don’t require the youngsters to hover on the pathway as they wait for a certain color combination to appear. The game avoids most of the other common pitfalls that wreck many designs so the players don’t suffer dismal penalties like being sent back to start or losing turns. There is a problem with the green “Go” cards and I’ll discuss that later.
This game is packed with activities for the children and I like that aspect. For example, the blue “Charades” cards require a child to act out what they see. This reminds me of another laugh-out-loud game called Gerald Mcboing Boing Game and the silly challenges are fun. BOZ can be a noisy game so it wouldn’t be a good choice for a Quiet Time activity.
The red “Counting” cards ask a kid to count the noses, chairs, windows, etc. in the room. One of the images is a picture of Boz the green bear. I made a critical comment about this card and the impossibility of finding a green bear. My wife promptly presented me with a stuffed green bear taken from our dog’s toy box. Why is she always right about everything?
The yellow “I Spy” cards gave me chuckle. The players are supposed to find the color or shape they see on the card. I told my wife that the red splatter looked like a blood stain at a crime scene. She told me that I must have been an evil child.
Speaking of good and evil, the orange “Thank You, God” cards ask a child to tell our Heavenly Father something they are thankful for. Where would I start? A job, plenty of money, a tall wife with lots of freckles, a creampuff SUV with low miles, a cute puppy, BGG… I have been showered with blessings I don’t deserve.
Play flows smoothly and the game is enjoyable… until a player draws a green “Go” card. There are six of the cards, one for each of the adventure “zones” on the board. When a kids draws a greenie the player immediately moves forward (or backward!) to the matching square. Big trouble.
Let’s say a kid has performed flawlessly. The child has counted like Stephen Hawking, spied like James Bond, and played Charades like a congressman filling out his income tax forms. If this youngster is almost at the finish line and pulls the green seahorse card from the deck that player would be forced to go all the way back to the undersea adventure zone at the beginning of the pathway. Putting it in non-Biblical language, that sucks!
On the other hand, a kid could draw the green monkey card early in the game and instantly be teleported to the jungle adventure space at the far end of the pathway. Unless that child draws another green card which zaps him or her back to another adventure zone that player can probably cruise effortlessly to an easy win.
The green “Go” cards could spoil an otherwise entertaining game. The solution is simple… play the game without them. BOZ could be a fun activity for a group of young children or a good choice for family game night. Toss the green cards and try it.