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Posted June 22, 2012
I have to say- what a great concept. When I saw the picture on Endless Games website I thought it looked like it would be a blast.
The instructions were clear and easy to follow.
I love the simplicity of this game. The website says the game is for ages 3 and up, though the box says it is for ages 4 and up. Technically my one daughter is 3.5 yrs old and she loves it. There is no reading required to play the game. The child does need to be able to count the dots on a single die or have a parent help. Both my girls are able to count one to one, so it is perfect. If your child isn't counting one to one yet, this is a perfect opportunity to practice.
The object of the game is to get all the animals back in their correct cages. You do this by first landing on a brown animal space and picking up the card in the cage. This is the animal that you are finding the correct cage for. The girls love hunting on the board to see where they have to go to return the animal. Once you figure out where the animal belongs, you need to figure out the quickest way to that animal's cage. I felt this was a great educational opportunity.
I loved the educational opportunities in this game:
Figuring out which is the fastest route to a certain space.
One on one counting.
Learning the different animals.
Matching the animal cards to the animal spaces. (I love that once you put the colorful animal card on the blue and white animal space it completes the picture. Reminds me of a puzzle.)
We also used it as an opportunity to work on our manners. Remembering to pass the die to the next player, or asking politely for the die if the previous player forgot.
They did however start getting tired of it after a while. I say this because I am under the assumption that you have to roll the exact number to reach the space to return the animal to its cage. This is what the instructions say, "An animal can be returned to the correct cage only when the player lands on the brown animal space outside the cage." To me that meant an exact count. Let's say you need a 2 and roll a six. This can work because we would pace back and forth in front of the gate until you reach the number. But if you need a 2 and you keep rolling an odd number you are never going to get in. This is what we are calling "being stubborn." Which was sort of fun, but it made the game last a long time. So, we modified it a bit. The second time we played I made the rule that you didn't need the exact number to return the animal to its cage. The game went much faster.
All in all, a great game, lots of fun and action with bonus educational activities.