Ravensburger Break Free Game – Review

Break Free from Ravensburger is a fast paced interactive game best suited to ages 6+.  It involves chaining yourself up in a handcuff which is attached via a chain to other players and then being the first to unpick the lock and Break Free.

The Break Free game pieces consists of 4 special padlocks with chains, 12 unique locking puzzles that you insert in the to base of the handcuff – 4 of each level, 4 lockpicks and 12 tokens.  To play the game all players (can be played by 1 to 4 at a time) put one of the puzzle pieces (green for easy, yellow for a bit harder and red for tricky) into their padlock then attach the padlock to their wrist. You clip all the ends of the chains together and are then ready to begin.

The idea is in each round, the first player to unpick their lock, takes the highest numbered token, the next player takes the next highest token and so forth.  So the first round you all start with green which is the easiest and work upwards.

What I really liked about this game is that all four of us could join in, mummy, daddy, 10yr old and 8yr old.  We were really were all at equals trying to unpick the locks and although sometimes you though you got the knack, in the next round you would struggle again.

It certainly got competitive with everyone eager to unlock their padlocks and be the first!

Another aspect that I liked about this Ravensburger Break Free game is that within each level, all the lock puzzles have different sequences within them, so if someone works out a quick way to turn their pick to make their way through the lock, then if you play the game again and mix the pieces up, they are likely to have a different route to follow to unpick the lock which keeps everyone on their toes.

Even though the 8yr old got a little frustrated on the harder levels at times, you can see he is thrilled here when he beat his older sister.  The kids also loved it when daddy got stuck sometimes just going round in circles and not actually unlocking his handcuff so they had to help unpick his lock at the end – of course mummy succeeded in coming in the top two places in most rounds!

Break Free by Ravensburger is a fun family game that all ages can join in or the kids can just play alone.  My boy even enjoyed having a go on his own although I think he was trying to hone his unpicking technique for future rounds.  We like this with it’s fast paced competitiveness and the excitement it brings – a good one to add to Santa’s list I think!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

Ravensburger Buggaloop Board Game with Hexbug

Ravensburger Buggaloop board game is a fast paced game featuring a Hexbug nano that is on a mission to push your bugs off their path across the board.  Aimed at ages 6+ and with 2-4 players I knew this would be something they would enjoy after the success we had with the sister game Bugs in the Kitchen.

The contents of the box are the 3D board which stays inside the box for sturdiness, 2 plastic loops which require minimal assembly to stand them up at the start of each game, 12 bug tokens, a dice and of course the Hexbug.  My little boy couldn’t wait to get the Hexbug out and get him moving whilst my daughter carefully set the game up ready to play.

The idea of the game is to get your bugs across the board from one corner to the other.  With each roll of the die which has numbers 1 to 4 around it (1 and 2 appear on two faces) you can move a bug that number of spaces, if they land on a raised space then they are safe from the Hexbug.  During play the Hexbug is continually moving and goes from one loop to the other but as soon as he gets on to the centre of the board play stops, during which time you have to hope one of your bugs don’t get knocked off of their space because if they do, they go back to the start!

As you can imagine the game can get quite exciting with moments of moving bugs, then moments of the Hexbug coming along and everyone gasping and cheering as the Hexbug either knocks their bugs off or misses them.  The game ends when one player has got all of the bugs to the other side of the board and is declared the winner!

My children loved playing this, particularly my little boy who is 7yrs old.  I think it’s the Hexbug that really brings this game alive and keeps the action going. Although you can have a little strategy in which path you take across the board it really is the Hexbugs decision as to which bugs it knocks off so this really is a game of luck but with an edge of unknown and excitement.  Why not check it out for some family fun?

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product along with payment in order to write an honest review. 

LinkIt – the fun family fast paced Card Game

LinkIt is one in a series of card games aimed at ages 6+ and for between 2 and 8 players.  The fast paced games consists of a series of cards covered in pictures and you have to find a link between two of the pictures.  The unique game has been designed to help children sharpen visual perception and language skills in a fun and competitive atmosphere.

The cards in LinkIt are circular making them a bit different but user friendly and I really like the storage tin that they come in.  This is brilliant and makes it great for storage and an ideal travel game.  With two children aged 9 and 7 I couldn’t wait to have a play and see how they found it.

There are two sets of cards, orange and blue backed which need separating, the orange go in the centre of the table and the blue are dealt out between the players.  All the cards have colour images on and the idea is to find a matching image between your top card and the top card in the central deck.  As easy as it sounds, it can be tricky to find one as the images vary in size across the cards and it takes a bit of quick thinking to find a pair.

The sort of pairs you need to find are things like a baby and bottle, football and goal, camel and desert, rabbit and carrot, mouse and cheese etc.  The first couple of rounds took a little getting used to the pairs but we soon all got the hang of it and everyone was eager to find a match with their card. We found it fast paced, competitive but fun and a game the children wanted to play again and again.  Although they find it fun it really does help sharpen their perception and learn to spot things quickly and I found my 7yr was as able as the adults in this game with his eagerness to win.  Over the last few weeks we have played this multiple times and being quite a quick game, you can fit in a round anytime.

The LinkIt game is great fun, in particular my 7yr old thought it was the brilliant and is now one of his favourite games.  I love it because it’s quick, light hearted fun for all the family and being compact and in a tin makes it a top travel game – we’ll definitely be taking this on our 4 hour train trip next week!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review. 

Play Fun Speedy Doc Game

Play Fun Speedy Doc is a family friendly game aimed at ages 8+ with quick paced rounds of questions where you all have to think of answers until someone duplicates or can’t think of one.  The Doc himself runs the games and controls who starts, how much time you have and how many ‘zeros’ the loser of each round should take.

The game required no setting up other than batteries being inserted and the ‘zero’ cards being pushed out of the perforated card.  I love that there is a handy storage space in the back of Speedy Doc to keep them safe and use as required during play.  There is a simple on/off switch on the back of the doc and then he is ready to go.  You don’t really need to read the instructions other than how to get him to repeat something or pause the game as he guides you through and takes control of the game.

To control Speedy Doc you press lightly on his head, so to start a game someone presses his head and then he starts the first round.  He will tell you which player should start by saying something like ‘the player with the longest hair’ and tell you whether to continue left or right.  He’ll then ask a question such as ‘name a sport you can play at school’ or ‘name countries beginning with B’ and then you go round giving your answer.  After you speak you need to press the doc’s head and then it’s the next player but beware, if you take too long to give your answer, he will time you out and that will be the end of the round.  He’ll then tell you how many ‘zeroes’ to take before proceeding with the next round.  After several rounds he’ll declare the end of the game and the person with the least zeroes is the winner!

To keep things interesting Speedy Doc with make random changes in the game such as switching the order of the players or telling the player who just got a ‘zero’ to give it to another player.  We found the game fast paced and fun, with lots of silly answers coming out as we tried to think of ideas for the answers.  You can tell the doc if someone duplicates or says a wrong answer and he’ll end that round.  Being suitable for ages 8+ is probably right as younger ones aren’t able to think of enough answers to keep up, although my almost 7yr old joined in and we let him off for some of his answers to involve him in the game.  My 9yr old enjoyed it though (well maybe not when she got a zero) but it does bring out the competitive side in people but also gets you using your brain and thinking of things to answer the question. We enjoyed it and think it’ll be a great game to bring out on Saturday nights and at Christmas when we can have lots of family fun!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

Scotland Yard Board Game for National Unplugging Day

This year’s National Unplugging Day is being held on Sunday 25th June 2017 and they are asking parents around the UK and beyond to pledge to #GoGadgetFree and spend the day from morning till night without any technology.  I think this will really help bring families together for some fun without glancing at their phones or tablets every five minutes!  To celebrate going gadget free we have been trying out the Scotland Yard game from Ravensburger and I have to say we spent most of last Sunday playing this, laughing, having fun and enjoying each other’s company.

Notorious criminal Mr X is on the run in Central London. Can Scotland Yard’s finest detectives track him down, or will he escape forever?

One player takes on the role of Mr X, whilst other players take on the role of detectives and work as a team to try to find him. Mr X only reveals his location every 5 moves, but the detectives can get clues as to his location by looking at his travel log, which reveals his chosen method of transport. The detectives also move around the board using taxi, bus and underground tickets, and must try to surround Mr X, and then move to his hidden location to catch him and win. But the detectives don’t always win and Mr X can escape to any of the 199 locations shown on the detailed map of Central London!

The game consists of a large quality playing board depicting the streets of London.  Between the 200 stops are taxi routes, bus routes and train lines.  Mister X has unlimited use of any of these but each of the detectives has a limited amount of tickets so has to use their method of transport between destinations wisely as they try to locate Mister X

Mister X has a board on which he records his movements but all the other players can only see is his mode of transport before he pops up on the board at certain points.  Everyone wanted to be Mister X so we took turns on each game.  You get a special cap to wear to try and hide your eyes from the board so other players can’t guess by your eyes where you are looking.

The game was faster paced than I expected and actually a lot of fun.  We all loved the game and played it over and over.  Both children and adults found the game appealing although you do need to be the recommended 8yrs plus to really get to grips with strategies when moving in order not to get caught out.  We did play a simpler version for our youngest little boy and he loved joining in on the action.

I’d really recommend this game for families as it offers something for everyone along with a bit of healthy competition between the detectives and Mister X.  The detectives can discuss tactics between each other which gets the family talking and the time soon went buy and none of us had touched any technology throughout the play.  Scotland Yard is a great game to play for National Unplugging Day with the aim to #GoGadgetFree.  Give it a try, it’s lots of fun and great to get back to good old fashioned board game family times!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

Bellz Magnetic Pickup Game

Bellz is a fun magnetic pick up game from Spin Master that all the family can join in with and is also great to take away with you as it comes with it’s own handy travel pouch that stores all the pieces and doubles up as the game board.  Aimed at ages 6+, my 8 and 6yr olds were keen to give it a try!

The game comprises of the following parts:

  • A zip up travel pouch/game board
  • A double ended magnet

Lots of colourful bells in various sizes and 4 colours

bellzThe idea of the came is to collect all of the bells in one colour.  The colour you collect is determined by the first colour you pick up that no one else is already collecting.  The magnetic wand is used to pick up the bells and has a bigger stronger magnet at one end and a less powerful one on the smaller end. It’s up to you which end you choose but we found the big end really strong so tended to play with the smaller side.

You can pick up as many bells as you want in each turn, as long as they are all of the same colour otherwise play passes to the next person.  With the strength of the magnet you can make a chain of bells which adds to the excitement.

bellz-2My children loved this game, the jingle of the bells kept them excited and the thrill of what they could collect on the magnet.  It is tricky, not as easy as it looks at all, but we did have our own rules to simplify it a little.  For such a simple game, it has been played many times over the last few weeks and it’s always lovely to see both concentration and smiles on their faces. I also love the travel pouch, a round neoprene zip up case that holds all of the bells and magnetic wand so the game is completely self contained. bellz-3 A fun family game that everyone can enjoy and is great to take on holidays, weekends away for a bit of healthy competition and fun!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

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Addict A Ball Game for All Ages

When Addict A Ball arrived at our door I knew it’d have us all fascinated, frustrated and intrigued for hours, and it hasn’t disappointed.  With the name Addict, it certainly lives up to this and all the family have tried for hours to complete and although we can get further all the time, the end still defies us.

addict-a-ballThe game is enclosed within a giant plastic ball and consists of a maze which goes every way imaginable.  There is a small silver ball which you have to get from one end to the other.  The maze is marked with numbers along the way which you have to follow and it guides you through.  There are three starting points, so if you keep getting stuck at a certain point, you don’t have to go right back to the beginning, you can step in at the second or third starting points.

addict-a-ball-2To get through involves a lot of twisting and turning to balance the ball along it’s path and just a slight wobble can make the ball fall off of it’s track.  The game is aimed at all ages and both my 8yr old daughter as well as us adults have all spent much time playing with this.  It’s one of those things where you are determined to get further than the last person and the challenge keeps you motivated to keep trying and trying again until you succeed.addict-a-ball-3

The plastic around the ball has a slight flexibility to it, to prevent it from cracking if it has dropped so it is very durable.  This game has widespread appeal and is something you keep coming back to in order to out do your previous attempt.  I imagine this would make a wonderful Christmas present for any family who like a challenge and being suitable for all ages means this is a very versatile gift!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

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My First Bananagrams – Review

My First Bananagrams is a variation of the original Bananagrams game, designed to make the game simple for younger players from age 4 upwards.  With a variety of games and activities that the tiles can be used for, children can learn whilst having fun and playing educational games.

bananagrams-2The tiles come in a simple zip up banana shaped bag.  This is really useful and keeps all the pieces together for storage.  It also opens nice and widely so that it’s easy for little fingers to help tidy away at the end of play.bananagrams-3The Bananagrams set comprises of 80 high quality single tiles and 13 combination tiles.  There are brightly coloured and differently coloured to help younger children recognise their letters.  Therefore letters such as p’s, b’s and d’s will always be different colours.  The letters are all small letters which are what preschool children learn to recognise first and the tiles also have a small line at the bottom to identify which way up the tile should go. Vowels are also easily seen by being coloured yellow.

bananagrams-4Both my children aged 5 and 8 were eager to have a play and we started with some simple letter recognition ideas that we found on the instruction sheet such as finding the letters in your name, finding each letter of the alphabet and making small little rhyming words such as cat and mat.  We then had a go at the main game, although gave Mister B some assistance being the youngest.  He was really good at finding words, he just needed a little help to link them together.

bananagrams-5The game is a race to use up all your letters and you can have unlimited swaps from the centre.  It is fast paced and fun and get’s everyone excited and competitive during play.  Of course you can slow things down for younger players and even help them to maintain their motivation to play with letters.

A fun game that all the family can join in with or little ones can explore the letters and make words on their own.  The game is available from Amazon and other toy retailers.

See a bit more about Bananagrams in our video below:

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

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Family Fun Playing Croquet in the Garden

A great game for friends and family of all ages is croquet, the perfect fun for all ages and great for garden gatherings, bbq’s etc.  The Sandford croquet set from Big Game Hunters is a high quality wooden set that I knew all the family would enjoy.

CroquetThe set comprises of:

  • 2 adult size mallets
  • 2 smaller junior mallets
  • 2 full size balls
  • 2 junior balls
  • 6 metal hoops
  • 1 wooden winning post
  • Carry bag to carry and store the set.
  • Rules

The bag to store the set in is really useful, keeps all the parts together and makes it easy to carry around, although I have to warn you that it is very heavy.  This is because all the parts are solid wood, so really are the best quality.

Croquet 2I like the way the set is designed for a family with a combination of adult and child mallets and the same with the ball sizes which are again solid wood.  Everything is beautifully made so you really are paying for what you get with this set retailing at £99.99.

It was then time to try it out which the children were itching to do so we invited the grandparents over for an afternoon of tea, cake and croquet.  What I love about this game is that it reaches all ages, young or old, it brings families together.  My parents in their late sixties joined in along with my children aged 8 and 5.

Croquet 4The children thoroughly enjoyed playing croquet even if we did play to our own rules, but we kept it simple and fun and it was a big hit with everyone.  This is definitely a family game and really brings about a bit of competitiveness that everyone can enjoy.

Croquet 3The quality of the set comes through when you are playing and it feels good to play with, it’s all very sturdy, looks nice and everything is a good size.

We’ve really enjoyed playing this game as a family through three generations and know it’ll be something that will come out on any dry days for a bit of fun and entertainment.
All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.
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Disney Frozen Race to the Palace Board Game

Disney Frozen Race to the Palace board game from Ravensburger is aimed at 5yrs plus and can be played by 2-4 players.  Initially it appears a fairly simple game of climbing places to reach the palace, but it has an interesting combination of three dice and the fact that you don’t just move your own player makes it more complex.

Frozen race to the palace xInside the box are three pieces that join together to create the playing board, along with a large card that stands up to be the Arendelle palace and five figure cut outs with stands, four tokens and three dice.

The game is easily assembled and then play can commence.  The characters used in this game are Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf.  There is also Hans although no one own’s him and the aim of the game is to race him to the castle.  If he gets there first then he wins, but if another character get’s there first then they win.

Frozen race to the palace 2

The game starts by each playing selecting a token, they take a look but don’t reveal which character they are playing.  You then take turn to roll the dice.  You will roll either two colours and a number or one number and two colours.  The colour tells you how many spaces to move and the colour determines which character or characters you move.  If you roll a white you can pick any character of your choice, which is where tactics come into play and you obviously want to choose the character that’s on your token.

Frozen race to the palace 3

There is also a space on the board with friendly trolls that allows you to jump ahead two spaces and a giant snow creature which sends you back one space.   When a character reaches the castle, it is declared the winner and players can then reveal which character’s token they had.

My children both loved this game, particularly 5yr old Mister B who quickly grasped the game rules, which I think was great and he got really excited during gameplay.  I think he was the perfect age for this although he does have a good understanding of things generally.

Frozen race to the palace 4

This is a really fun game that we’ve all enjoyed and has been well thought out.  I thought each game would only last about 5 minutes but we found it lasted a good 15 minutes and all the family joined in.

Disney Frozen Race to the Palace Board Game is a must for any Frozen fan who will love playing with all the familiar characters from the film, it’s also a game we have been playing most days which is great and shows it has long lasting appeal.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

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