I was lucky enough to be sent 3 board games by and Mattel. I use the word board loosely, as there was no board, but you know what I mean.
I’m going to start by talking about Red Rover (£21.99 at Toys r us)
I was honestly expecting this game to be a bit boring and the kids to not be interested. I was wrong! apparently it has been advertised on children’s tv and my youngest (aged 4) actually nicked it. I had put it in my room, and was going to wait for a quiet time and check it out myself first, then have the boys play with it. No chance! He wanted it a lot.
The point of the game is “red rover” is the puppy dog, it talks using batteries (a bit loud) and you get the bone it calls out. For example one bone will have a red background, green, brown etc, and then there are shapes on those aswell or letters. red rover will ask the kids to “bring a yellow bone over” all the bones are upside down on the floor and you have to remember or just look at them all as my little one does.
There are two modes, Puppy caller for younger children and the Big Dog Challenge which is harder for older children.
My 10 year old is not overly taken by this game, says its babyish for him, but my 4 year old is in love. He has even hugged red rover at bed time and hidden it under his duvet.
What I like is the bones go inside the dogs backpack, which is like a small draw in his back. Brilliant, bits will stay with the game in the toy box!!
I recommend this game for smaller children around 4 to 8ish, my 10 year old doesn’t really do noisy games, sorry.
It is meant to be a multiplayer game, but youngest plays alone. He likes to see how fast he can get all the bones, and is pleased with himself as he’s getting faster.
Great little game, could play at kitchen table, or on bedroom floor. I suspect it will be a garden toy in the summer.
Molehill Mania (£16.99 T.r.u)
Whack a mole! For 2 players, age 4 plus. This game has 2 hammers with a small hole in one side, and a molehill. What you do is put all the plastic moles in the middle of the molehill, then you whack the buttons on the side with the hammers, then pick up as many moles as you can using the hammer.
There are no real rules if you were to ask my boys, but there were instructions and a few ways to play. You can either play by getting as many as you can and win by having the most, or you can play by colours. only catching your own moles.
The boys like this, and it doesn’t need batteries which is a plus as a christmas pressie as toys needing batteries often get given without the batteries which can cause sulking little people.
I would also recommend this to young families.
Pictionary (£19.97 t.r.u)
The classic game. Can you believe I’ve never played this game before?
You can play a grown up version, or a more childish version. Which means its suitable for family play on wet days, or for the adults to play, think boxing day evening and a few glasses of pop.
definitely better if playing with children to pair up with adults: like Mum and son versus dad and daughter. This way there could be some conferring about what/how to draw it. I feel that most younger children could help their parents play as a team game, but its aimed at age 8 upwards, and 4 to 8 players. This made it a little awkward for us, as we have 3 people old enough to play, no matter – I’m rubbish at drawing, but that’s what makes it funny.
For any parents reading this review I would recommend popping over to the Mattel games page http://www.netmums.com/home/netmums-competitions-offers/ as it has a competition to win the 3 games we tested, plus 3 more. Brilliant bundle of fun, and also it has links on that page of where to buy these games from. The selling sites have nice photos of the games.
Of these 3 the favourite is definitely Red Rover for the boys playing and pictionary for grown ups. And finally THANK YOU NetMums for giving us these items to review.
Disclosure, we received these 3 games free for the purpose of reviewing. No payment was received, and our opinions are honest.