Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Buzz on Animal Mastermind Towers

For the lawyer's personal pleasure: I was given this game by Pressman Toy for FREE to review and you can bet your sweet bippy, I will be keeping this game at the end of my review period.

And the winner......... was Hunter's Prize!!

At BlogHer this year, I meandered through the Expo Center twice, hesitantly. My heart just was not into it this year, but I did want to at least see it. However,  I came across the Pressman Toy Corporation and was more than happy to talk to them - games are a pretty serious business in my family and I have confessed to having devoted a linen closet to my collection of them. (I also recognized Pressman as the makers of the Let's Go Fishing game, for which I have actually paid my very own real dollars.  A game from which we have gotten HOURS of entertainment because Team Chaos plays with the fish separately as well - the little fish make great bait for their angler fish and sharks, apparently. And yes, I just reviewed something for free, something that I paid for because as I have already admitted, I don't really get this reviewing thing.  Obviously.)

Whoa.  Tangent much?

So!  Pressman!  They had a couple of games that we could actually play in the booth - Mastermind (ages 8 and up) and Animal Mastermind Towers (ages 6 and up).

I was sent the Animal Mastermind Towers for review.

Official Description:

Like classic MASTERMIND, the new Animal Towers version is a game of logic, problem solving and fun that challenges players to figure out their opponent's code in as few turns as possible.  To play, children stack their animal tiles in a special tower.  Players take alternate turns trying to guess the order of the animals in the other player’s tower by asking questions such as, “Is your giraffe below your pig?”  This new vertical children’s edition of MASTERMIND teaches important skills in three levels of gameplay, entertaining children as their matching and logical thinking skills progress. 
Animal MASTERMIND Towers is the first in a series of MASTERMIND games in the new vertical format.  Upcoming editions will feature licensed children’s entertainment properties such as Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants™, Disney Fairies™, Disney®, and kids’ favorite Looney Tunes™ characters.

My kids are a wee obsessed with animals in general and I thought that my nearly 5 year old son would dig the animal tiles, at the very least.  And I was correct.

When the game arrived, we immediately set it up.  It was actually hard to control his excitement because as I suspected, he wanted to just fool around with the cards and tiles.  I let him have "his moment" of playing with the cards and tiles (and yes, there is a unique satisfaction with sliding the tiles in the tower - think of that cozy feeling when you drop checker in Connect Four.  Yeah, that feeling.)What I really liked about this game is that you can ease your kid into it - we played with 4 tiles at first, then added the 5th tile when he got the hang of it. He's probably ready for the 6th tile next time.  I also appreciated that as an adult, I needed to pay attention to the game (I have live-Tweeted Candyland games.  Not my proudest parenting moments.)  Is this a compelling game chock full of serious strategy?  No.  And it was not meant to be.  However, it is a pleasant way to spend some time with your kid.

Christmas potential?  Pretty high - this is the sort of present that parents love and that makes the giver look thoughtful - a game! and it is educational! Furthermore, it is something the kid can open up right away and immediately begin fiddling with the tiles while the adults continue to suck down their eggnog. I do think this could be given to a 4 year old, but that would probably be the lowest age - my daughter is 3 and she is certainly not ready for this game yet.   I would say the maximum age is 8 or so, given the adult version is age 8 and up.

I have a copy of the game to give away! Here is the deal:

Comment on this post and tell me your favorite children's board game.  (If you answer Candyland, your entry will be disqualified.  Kidding.  Maybe.)  And please, please include an email - otherwise, I have no way to contact you if you do not already have a Blogger profile!  Your email will not used for any other purpose than contacting you if you win.  I solemnly swear on the eternal soul of my recently departed tarantula, Sofia (may peace be with her. Sniff.)

Short version to winning?
Comment and tell me your favorite children's board game.  Leave an email if you want me to contact you if you have won.  That is it!  Contest will be closed at Friday, September 24th at 12:00pm CDT.


Average Jane said...

I still have all my favorite board games from when I was a kid and I think Monopoly was my overall favorite (Scrabble and Life both get honorable mention.)

Christine said...


Anything but Candyland.

Ummmm....right now I'd say Zingo. Or the Puppy Bingo one. We like to make the dogs dance when someone wins. Paul and I have a large stash of Gamewright games and we're getting ready to start introducing Max to those. Slamwich!

Leah said...

I don't know if it counts as a board game, but my favorite game for kids is "Pass the Pigs" It's more like a dice game I suppose, but it has specialized pieces...

Randi said...

We tend to switch up our favorites every few months. The current favorite is Monopoly, but Babygirl still adores playing Pretty Pretty Princess - so much fun to see the hubby with a tiara and earrings on :)

Dee said...

As a kid I think my favorite was Connect Four or Don't Break the Ice. As an adult, Scrabble is about the only game I have the patience to play, although I'd gladly take Candy Land over Zach's favorite Cars Tractor Tipping game.

CPA Mom said...

My LEAST Fav is Candy Land. Our favorite to play together....tough call....Forest Bingo or Spelling Bingo....Spongebob Operation is fun too.

Chesney said...

The latest favorite of my 6 year old has been Go-fish and with our cards having animals on them, even the 2 year old can name what is on his cards (and the sound it makes) so we would love another animal game around here.

The Hunter's Prize said...

I can't wait until Jacob can play games! I loved Monopoly when I was little, but I also like Chinese Checkers. Not a board game, but we played a lot of Uno. It's a great thing to do with your family!