Games, games and more games!
We picked up this game at a car boot sale, missing just one piece (that was easily replaced). My son wasn't keen initially, but as soon as we got it home he was desperate to try it, and for several months it was our most played game with children after Uno.
This review is part of my series of reviews of how games have been received in our household - for the full list see: My children's game reviews - children aged between 2 and 12
It's Lego, so it gets full marks for fun components! All the children love playing with Lego, and my 4 year old in particular loves making up models, and this game comes with instructions for 20 different models out of the same collection of pieces! Robots, planes, cars - it's got it all. The only problem I have is stopping them playing with the models when the game has ended - because we need the pieces for the next game, not mixed up with the rest of our LEGO collection!
Simplicity of rules
The rules are so simple that even my 2 year old can understand them with just a little help. Roll the dice, and take the type of piece shown on the square - with helpful pictures as well as words, for children who can't quite read yet. Then it's just taking the appropriate pieces for your board, and when you've got them all, making up the model. The only hard part is the stealing pieces from other players - both the concept of it, and working out who has what you want - sometimes my 4 year old needed a bit of help with this.
There is almost no strategy in this game, as mostly it's roll and move. The only decisions to make are which pieces to take - such as the decision whether to take two normal pieces or one special piece when you land on a helicopter - and trying to take pieces that won't be stolen early on (although even with younger children not thinking of this, they don't struggle that much, as it's a fairly minor part of the game). My daughter complains that she never seems to win, and my son wins a disproportionate number of times, but it is really just a luck dependent game.
Did the child enjoy it?
The children loved it. My 4 year old son requested this more than any game for a couple of months, and it was only because Uno was shorter that it wasn't our most played game in those months. Even my 2 year old (then just under 2) could join in, and on fairly equal terms - he saw it as a Lotto variant with Lego pieces, and then a model to play with at the end of the game! It's fairly rare to find a game that scales well for children from 2 to 6 in age, and this game managed to appeal to all three of them.
And how is it from the adult's point of view
It's a kids game with very little in it but luck, but as these games go it's one of the best ones I've found. It's fairly quick, reasonably fun collecting pieces and then making a model out of them, and there's nothing objectionable about it. The only stressful part of it is trying to get all the pieces back in the box at the end of the game, and not on the floor (because they weren't needed for a model that game), or elsewhere in the house, because a child has run off to play with their model! I'm definitely glad we acquired it, and would buy it as a gift for a 4 year old boy any time!