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Subject: [Dooof Review]: Choco rss

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Angus G
Canada
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Choco is a memory game and the reincarnation of an older game called Critter in the Candy. From what I can tell the only thing that's different between Choco and its predecessor is the name. We bought it for our 3 year old and have played it mostly with 2 players, and sometimes with 3.




Game Overview
The goal of Choco is to collect as many chocolates as possible. The game starts with a set of chocolate shells placed face down on the table. On their turn, players pop the popomatic style die to see what kind of chocolate they are looking for this turn: a cherry or a peanut. The player then picks one of the chocolates and turns it over to reveal what it contains. If his chocolate matches the die, he keeps the chocolate is his collection; if not he returns it face down. One of the chocolates contains a bug. If the player reveals the bug, he returns it along with another chocolate from his collection, and then all the chocolates on the table are mixed up. The game ends when only one chocolate remains (the one with the bug in it).





Components
The components in Choco are pretty good. The cardboard that fits into the chocolate shells seems pretty thin, but once assembled it doesn't really matter. The chocolate shells feel sturdy and appear child safe. The pop-o-matic seems to take a bit of strength for very little ones to get to work, but once kids get the hang of it, usually poses no problems.




Infinity Problem
I have discovered that far too many children's games suffer from what I call "the Infinity Problem", that is that the game can theoretically go on forever. I really don't know what to make of Choco in this area.

Theoretically, the end game of Choco scares me. When you are down to two chocolates on the table there is a 50-50 chance you will pick the bug. Doing so means you put back one of your chocolates and mix them all up. This means there are now three chocolates on the table, and you have no idea where the bug went. The next player now has a 1 in 3 chance of pulling the bug (still too high for my taste). When thinking about it, this game seems to have high potential for going on forever. I get nervous every time we're down to the last three chocolates. That said, it never seems to happen. We tend to pick the bug once or twice towards the end of the game, but never more than that. Still, part of me always knows we could keep picking the bug, and I get a little stressed each time we're getting close to the end.




Frustration
We haven't found the game frustrating. Occasionally you'll pick the bug and have to put one of your chocolates back, but this doesn't happen too often, and since it happens to everyone on occasion, it's fairly easy to swallow.




Game Learning Skills
Memory
Choco is all about remembering where the chocolates you've seen are, and develops a child's memory like a traditional memory game does.

The Usual Stuff for 3-Year-Olds
Most games for 3-year-olds help to develop the following skills, and Choco is no different:
- Taking turns: You'll see, it's not so simple a concept to understand at first for a 3-year-old.
- Winning/losing gracefully


The Difference Between Choco and Other Memory Games
There are lots of memory games for young children that play very much the same way: there is an array of cards on the table placed face down, and players take turns picking two cards in the hopes of finding a match.

Choco is different in that the die tells you what you are looking for. I like this. It's a nice change from your typical card-based memory game, and for some reason feels a little less boring. The bug also adds a new challenge, since not only is there a penalty for the person who finds it, but as soon as it's revealed all the chocolates get mixed up, so everything you have remembered up to this point is useless. Since there are only 2 types of chocolates, this isn't quite as devastating as it might sound.


Conclusion
Choco works pretty well. It plays very much the same as a typical memory game, but with a few tricks to change things up. The thing that stresses me is that the closer you are to the end of the game, the higher the possibility that you will pick the bug and cause the game to go on even longer. That said, this never seems to happen as much as I fear it will, and has not been a game killer up to now. All in all Choco is a solid game which starts to provide children with choices (as opposed to games like Candy Land).
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Matt Pinchuk
Canada
Dollard-des-Ormeaux
Quebec
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Maybe it's because I know you, or maybe it's becasue I have a little one on the way and I'm anxious to get her playing, either way, your reviews for children's games are awesome.
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Stephen Roney
United States
Ladera Ranch
California
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Just yesterday, I made a list of games that I own that have no reviews, and this was one of them. We have the earlier version, which I bought when my daughter was little. Soon, I will be playing it with HER daughter (who is now not quite two).
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Angus G
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mpin wrote:
Maybe it's because I know you, or maybe it's becasue I have a little one on the way and I'm anxious to get her playing, either way, your reviews for children's games are awesome.


Thanks, Matt! More to come. I actually started doing these because I couldn't find many good reviews of the children's games and have been buying stuff a little bit blindly.

You'll have to wait a bit to get started with your little one (we started around 2 years old with dominoes), but once it starts... it's awesome!
 
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Estepona
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Great review!

I have bought this game for my sons birthday, he'll turn 3

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