Games, games and more games!
This review is based on quite a number of plays with my 4 year old son, sometimes with his 6 year old sister, and generally with other adults to make up the numbers (I think this game works best with 4-6).
It was watching us play with other adults that drew the children to ask to try this game. Then, after playing it for the first time, they asked if I could leave them the buckets out to play with, and sat there making pyramids and knocking them down for fun. And even if they don't join in, as my daughter often doesn't, she still wants to sit on Daddy's lap and watch, and knock his pyramid over for him!
Simplicity of rules
The basic rules are very simple. I don't know why it's impossible for new players to remember to draw a card after playing on in this game, but my children have the same trouble there as many adults, but apart from that the rules are perfectly manageable for them. The pyramids he builds are random rather than based on his initial card draw (but then many adults do that anyway!) - and at lesat they are well-balanced (one of each colour at the bottom for instance). With later plays he has started to look at his hand and move a few buckets up and down rows.
This game has quite a high degree of randomness, but in practice the winner will always be one of the most experienced players, as there is actually more skill in it that at first glance. However, my son is very rarely first out (that honour usually goes to his left-hand neighbour, as he's a very agressive player!), and he's quite happy to place third in a five or six player game with other adults.
Did the child enjoy it?
It's not been an absolute favourite like some games, but it's come out regularly in the month or so since I've introduced it to them. It's been very good for his maths too, and he's learning to add simple numbers together with only minimal assistance now. In a recent game he astounded everyone at the table by instantly picking up a 3 and two 2s to make 7 (and announcing the right number!) to beat my husband's 6 - I don't think anyone, including me, realised that his maths were up to that!!
And how is it from the adult's point of view?
I rate this game a 10 - for years it was one of our most played fillers, and the one I would choose first (until my husband refused to play it as he was sick of it!). It's great that now I can play it with my son - the only downside is that isn't really that great with 3 or less, so we tend to wait for other players, usually other adults, to be over and willing to play with him before he gets a game. Obviously playing with a child this young the strategy is a bit more random than an adult's would be - he has a particular fondness for playing the "pink" (or red) cards, and the person to his left had better put all his red buckets near the top of his pyramid or they won't last long, however many red cards they have in hand!! You also can't hold cards yet so spreads them out on the table in front of him, so you do have to try to not look at them/remember them when you're making decisions about what to play.
Hey! You don't know where that cursor has been!
I haven't played it with children, but I agree this is a fun little filler. Of course, it's all about aggressive play, and much of the strategy comes from how you stack your buckets at the beginning. Still, it plays quickly and I've always had a good time.