Friday, January 5, 2018

Now this was a really good children's Game

I’ve already mentioned that our son asked for Doggie Doo for Christmas. It could be the poster child for a toy that pretends to be a game and a game that has basically no choices. However, we picked up a used copy of Curious George Discovery Beach. And _that’s_ a game for preschoolers that is an actual game.

Oh, the game still qualifies as a toy. Take a piece of hard plastic and mold five pits into it, connected by shallow canals. Half fill it with itty bitty blue beads and tchotchkes like little colored fish and shells. Seal it with a sheet of clear plastic and then put some beach-themed cardboard over that with holes for each pit. Then, add some remove-able covers, also beach themed, on the holes.

Discovery Beach is a combination memory and look-and-find game. You have a deck of pie-piece cards listing items (from as vague as anything yellow to specific as a yellow shell) and a spinner. On your turn, you draw a card and put it beside the board. Then, you flick the spinner. Most spaces give you a choice of two spaces to open but there’s also one space to pick any space and one to shake the board and take another turn. You can claim any cards that you can spot an object that qualifies (and you can take more than one) First player to get six cards, forming a circle, wins.

There’s a lot I like about the game as a children’s game. Kids get to practice memory skills and observation skills. You always have a choice. And by having a growing line of cards to possibly claim, the game keeps moving along.

Now, obviously Curious George Discovery Beach isn’t going to challenge Scythe as a game. Or Catan or For Sale or Can’t Stop. However, it is an honest-to-goodness game that offers the players actual choices and the better players do have a legitimate edge.

While I wouldn’t play Curious George Discovery Beach with adults or teenagers or even older kids, it is one of the best games I’ve tried a for small children. I’m surprised I haven’t seen it for other licensed products because it’s a neat toy with a fun game attached.

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