Monday, 3 December 2018

Ravensburger The Curious Cupboard is a series of puzzles with different cupboard contents from the kitchen, inventors, gardeners and much more.  No. 6 in the series is The Collectors Cupboard and I couldn’t wait to give it a try.  Being a 1000 piece puzzle it is the perfect challenge and one that I know my mum when she pops round and the kids love to come and help with.
This puzzle features a large shelving unit filled with more than you can ever imagine.  I thought when I started this that I could see a few cats, a few clocks, a few bottles etc, but it’s not until you get into it that you realise that there are so many cats and so many circular shaped things, be it clocks, cogs, buttons, the list goes on.
There are hats, perfume bottles, stamps and so much more.  These pictures really don’t do it justice but I can honestly say this has been one of the most enjoyable puzzles I have ever done!  My mum contributed along with my daughter and we loved working together as three generations finding the pieces.  It is really addictive and so fun to do – you really can’t work out where a piece goes straightaway as there are so many options for it.  The backgrounds to each shelving area vary too, from floral, to Chinese style and more, which obviously help in putting the pieces together but at the same time confuse you as there is so much variety across the puzzle.
Being addictive we soon finished it and again I have to say I’ve absolutely loved doing this puzzle, it was an absolute pleasure and one I can’t wait to do again in the future.  Puzzles in the Ravensburger The Curious Cupboard series are clearly fun to do and I’d love to try others in the range.  The detail is fascinating and gets your mind ticking more than you think trying to work out where the pieces go amongst the picture. 
If you love puzzles or just want to give on a try then I’d highly recommend checking out the Ravensburger The Curious Cupboard series, one I’ve really enjoyed and also one I think would make a lovely gift for anyone that enjoys a good jigsaw!

I want to ‘Break Free’ – Review Ravensburger Game

My Grandson arrived shortly after my post had been delivered.  I started to open my parcels, as I was awaiting some items to review.  On seeing what was inside one parcel, his face lit up.  The hugest grin appeared on his face. “Nanny”, he said, “I have put this on my Christmas Wish List.”  Ooops, strike one Nanny.  However to see his face when he saw the game of Break Free by Ravensburger was priceless.

Contents

 Handcuffs with chains and a hinged lever (4)
 Covers (4)
Lock Picks (4)
12 Tokens – 4 Green 4 Red 4 Yellow
12 inserts – 4 green 4 Red 4 Yellow

The aim of the Game

Once we had read through the instructions and everyone was ready, it then became the aim to be the fastest person to unpick the lock on the handcuff.  Sounds easy  LOL if you have no co-ordination like me then you will take twice as long as other people.
Fortunately, the inserts come in three colours.  Green Yellow and Red

Green is easy, Yellow is intermediate and Red is difficult.   We started on Green
The youngest Grandson was so eager to win.  He was the one who was really excited about Break Free.  At the age of 7, it proved to be a really good game for him.  I was, however, pleased to find out that there is an Emergency Release to the handcuffs so if you cannot solve them, you can get out.  I hasten to add this was not used although I was last to finish.
This game came in three rounds and at the end of the last round the counters were added up and the player with the most points was the winner.  This was my middle Grandson.


Break Free will be coming out again a lot and will definitely be played on Christmas Day.  I would recommend this game as it is a lot of fun.  It also teaches hand/eye coordination.
Another fantastic game from Ravensburger.

Make 'n' Break - a fun family game from Ravensburger

Make 'n' Break is an exciting and challenging family game from Ravensburger. The aim of the game is to build as many structures as you can, using ten colourful, wooden blocks, against the clock. There are eighty double sided blueprint cards in three varying difficulties, each showing a different structure that you have to copy, matching the shape and colour to score points. It tests your spatial awareness, building skills and speed as you race to complete as many structures as you can in the time allowed. 

Make 'n' Break Game from Ravensburger


The game contains ten wooden building blocks, eighty blueprint cards, a timer, one time dice, one action dice and a card tray along with an instruction leaflet with rules for playing the game. There are instructions for playing games for 2 - 5 players, individually or as teams, as well as some alternative ideas to add some extra fun to the game!

The idea of the original game is really simple to grasp: you throw the time dice, set the timer, draw a card and copy the design. Once complete, knock it down, redraw a new card and build again until the time runs out. Points are scored for each build successfully completed. It is simple but a lot of fun and things can get very competitive. To make things more complex you can add in the optional extra action challenges by using the action dice. This adds a whole new level of challenges and things can get very interesting! Modes of play that can be actioned include playing blind, where one player describes what to build to another player who cannot see the card or only being able to use the tips of your index fingers to pick up and position the blocks. So, you can in effect make the game as challenging or as tricky as you wish.

We really enjoyed this game as it a simple idea that can be adapted to suit whoever is playing. Having to copy blueprints and build different structures is really good for developing fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. It also helps children to follow instructions. The action dice allows you to add special rules to the game, which definitely ups the challenge and the fun. So you can enjoy whatever version you want, adapting the gameplay whilst building against the clock. I loved that the blocks are made of wood and that the game fits well into the box for storage purposes.

Make 'n' Break is recommended for children aged 8 and over. Freddy is 9 and he really loved the challenge of building the models and enjoyed throwing in the action modes to make things a bit trickier. The Describe It! mode was his favourite added action and he worked well with his big sister giving and receiving verbal instructions to build the structure from the card. This is another great skill to develop, adding to the educational element of the game.

The RRP of Make 'n' Break is £24.99 and it is available to order from Amazon. It would make a great Christmas gift for the family.

Find out more at www.ravensburger.org/uk/products/games/family-games/make-n-break.

Ravensburger Penguin Pile Up Game – Review

Mini M loves playing board games
Ravensburger Penguin Pile Up game is great fun
Lots of little penguins and a shaky iceberg – you’ll need careful fingers to bring these cute little fellows to safety. Pick up a penguin and carefully place him on the iceberg … will he stand firm, wobble or tumble down? Be careful though, because any penguins you knock down, you’ll have to pick up and keep. The first player to put all of their penguins onto the iceberg will be the winner.
Penguin Pile Up is a great fun game for young children, but older children and even adults will enjoy it too, as they try to place the perfect little penguins onto the wibbly wobbly iceberg. This item includes 1x “wobbly” plastic iceberg, 24x penguin figures and instructions. This game is suitable for 1-6 players. Suitable for ages 5 years and up.
We had such good fun playing this game.  It is currently one of Mini M’s favourite
He won the first 3 times we played it
The more penguins are on the iceberg the more difficult it is to find a good spot for your next penguin and you also have to make sure you don’t wobble the iceberg.
Get all your penguins on & you’re the winner
If you are looking for a fun family game for Christmas I would definitely recommend Penguin Pile Up.  Price varies however RRP is £19.99

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Testing out Junior Labyrinth board game from Ravensburger

Weekends and school holidays are all about fun and games, today we have had a Fab playdate with the youngests bestie. Being the organiser she is the youngest had the day planned out, this including Halloween activities such as pumpkin carving, so I thought with the ghostly playing pieces of the Junior Labyrinth game from Ravensburger we have been sent for review the game would fit perfectly with her spooky Halloween themed day.




I really enjoy the girls being this age as they already display lots of independence and understanding for rules, they love to try things for themselves and can understand the need for turn taking and playing by the rules, although do not go as far as being graceful losers yet!!
The game was really easy to set up and the girls loved the ghostly playing pieces and easily understood the concept of moving tiles to create pathways to where they wanted to go.



It was great that it required them to plan ahead and think of how they needed to move certain tiles to create a pathway using logic and pattern to move ahead. Once the rules were explained they were able to play independently and I am sure next time they will easily set up and play okay with no help at all.



The game consists of a board with 5 tiles attached to it, there are then 17 maze tiles that are randomly placed on the board to create a Labyrinth of pathways, there will be one maze tile left over, Some tiles have objects on them which are also on secret tokens which are placed face down next to the board.  Players take it in turns play, the first player is to pick a secret token and look for a pathway to the object on their token. The spare maze tile can be used to move the pathways by inserting it into a row from the end, this then pushes out another tile for the next player to use. If a clear pathway to the object cannot be made then play passes to the next player to find a path to the object on the secret token using the spare maze tile to move the pathways, if a player creates a pathway to the object they keep the secret token, the next player then turns the next secret token. Play ends when all tokens are won and the winner is the player with the most tokens.

The quality of the board and tiles is really good and will withstand lots of repetitive play, the ghost play pieces are strong and sturdy so this game is one that will be played over and over again. A great addition to your Halloween games for this half term.

‘PJ Masks: Team Of Heroes’ Board Game Review


If you have children under the age of 8, you’re bound to know who the PJ Masks are. With 4 kids under the age of 8, our household certainly knows what this band of Super-Heroes are all about! We were thrilled to see that there is a brand new board game dedicated to this popular TV show. PJ Masks: Team Of Heroes, is a board game that your little PJ Masks super-fans will spend hours of fun playing.

Who are the PJ Masks?

Catboy (Connor), Owlette (Amaya) and Gekko (Greg) are the stars of this animated TV series. During the day, they are 3 normal kids but by night they become masked superheroes who fight to save the town against the evil Romeo and his robots, Luna Girl, Night Ninja and a team of Ninjalinos – the minions of the Night Ninja.

PJ Masks: Team Of Heroes

PJ Masks: Team Of Heroes is a cooperative board game where players play together to beat the villain Romeo and his evil robots before they take over the PJ Masks base. This game is ideal for small children, teaching them how cooperative games work, planning ahead and working together to find a strategy to win. The aim of the game is to stop any robots from making their way to the PJ Masks base and shutting down Romeo’s laboratory. If any robot makes it as far as the base, then the players lose the game. Players can win by shutting down Romeo’s laboratory (taking the counter from 7 down to 0), or by removing all the robots from the game.
Players take it in turns to draw a card and undertake the action listed at the top of the card (Move Romeo or place a robot onto the board). Following this, they must choose another action (moving one of the named PJ Masks a number of spaces, or taking reducing the counter on Romeo’s lab by 1).

Playtime!

The game is super easy to play. My 3, 5 and 6 year olds understood the game right away and had no trouble grasping the rules.
The game takes just 1 minute to assemble. The first time you set-up the game you will have to stand the robots and laboratory onto their bases, but these simply slot into place. You can remove them from their bases at the end of the game, but they fit back into the box with ease when still attached to the bases to make set up for the next time you play quicker.

The rules are super simple to grasp, and are easily explained on a single double-sided rule sheet… it’s more pictures than text too! After just 1 round and explaining to our girls how to play, we didn’t need to explain the rules again. Play went ahead smoothly (although Ivy, our 3-year-old, assumed that she was only playing as Catboy and had to be reminded that she could move any character) and lasted for just over 20 minutes. As soon as we finished the game, my 6 year old wanted to play again!

The board game as a product
  • Ages 4+ (But our 3 year old played easily with no problem understanding the rules)
  • 1-4 players. I actually played this game on my own and was great fun!
  • 20 minutes of gameplay.
This game features 4 wonderful miniatures- Catboy, Owlette, Gekko and Romeo. The quality of the miniatures is excellent – they’re really detailed and well painted – this is coming from someone who paints and sells miniatures for table-top gaming.

The whole game feels well made and sturdy. The game board is thick and has fantastic artwork which matches the look and feel of the show, as do the cards, robots and laboratory. I am honestly blown away with the quality of this children’s game. We play a lot of adult table-top games and it is clear that this game has been designed and created by people who seriously know their ‘stuff’
The game reminded both my husband and I of Pandemic (you can read our review by following the link). This not only because of the cooperative nature of the game, where you win or lose as a team, but also because the robots spread across the board in a very similar way to the diseases in Pandemic, gradually taking over the whole playing area if not kept in check by the heroes. Things can quickly get out of hand, but unlike Pandemic, the mechanic for removing a robot is fairly straightforward. Players only have to move onto a space occupied by one to remove it, and typically a hero moves between 1 and 3 spaces every turn.

Where to buy

If you’d like to know more about PJ Masks: Team of Heroes, then visit the Ravensburger website where there are plenty more fun and exciting games to explore.

Thomas and Friends Shaped Christmas Puzzle

My youngest daughter, aged 5, loves jigsaw puzzles. She was incredibly excited to receive the Ravensburger Thomas and Friends shaped Christmas puzzle to review at home. This 32-piece giant shaped floor puzzle is perfect for small hands, and a great little family activity for a cosy weekend at home. It comes with a Thomas and Friends Christmas themed door hanger as well, and I had a hard job trying to persuade my daughter that she would have to wait until December before she could display this on her bedroom door. My little darling!
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I think the Ravensburger Thomas and Friends shaped Christmas jigsaw puzzle offers great value for money, generally retailing at £9.99. It makes a fabulous stocking filler, perhaps a nice little family gift for Christmas Eve, or is perfect for a festive birthday. My husband certainly enjoyed himself, helping our daughter to complete the puzzle, not that she needed any help. They spent a nice little half-hour together, and then enjoyed their finished creation for a while afterwards.
The Ravensburger Thomas and Friends shaped Christmas floor puzzle provides the usual high quality that we would expect from a heritage brand. The puzzle pieces are bright and colourful, with a smooth, glossy finish. There are no rough edges, the pieces fit together very snugly, and we found it easy to assemble on our slightly uneven carpet on the floor. It has a nice, unusual shape, and my daughter was very happy. In fact, she had to remake the jigsaw puzzle again before we persuaded her to pack it away and save it for Christmas, or as close as she can wait. Ho ho ho!