It’s time share some more game recommendations with you – just in time for the upcoming Easter holidays! Cheatwell Games, who brought you the fabulous <<Baffled>> which we reviewed a while ago, sent us a couple more travel sized games to test an they have both been an instant hit with the boys.
First up, we have Spin Point, which is a seek and find game. The box comes with a set of 50 picture cards, a score pad and pencil, and a unique timer where you have to spin a ball in a little box as fast as you can, and time runs out once the ball stops spinning.
The cards all have four pictures on one side, and a set of six prompts on the other side. To play, you spread all the cards out on the table, picture side up.
One player then turns over a card and reads out the first prompt, e.g.”has ears”. At the same time, the next player (the ‘Searcher’ for that round) spins the timer as fast as they can and then has until the timer stops spinning to find as many pictures as they can which fit that prompt.
The number of correct pictures found is their score for that round. The game then passes on to the next player, and whoever has then highest score after six rounds (or how ever many you want to play) wins.
The game is billed for ages 8+ but the game play is so simple that even my 4 year old can join in. We just adjust it a little as you are meant to read out the prompts in the order they come, but if there is a prompt that is too difficult for him, e.g. ‘associated with a movie title’ or ‘it’s biodegradable’, then we just skip it and give him another prompt. He did really well on prompts such as ‘has fur’ or ‘yellow things’. In fact, he scored more points than me trying to find ‘things that come in pairs’! You can also play in teams, which is another way to include younger players.
The game is recommended for 3+ players but we’ve played it with just two of us and it’s been fine – though it definitely is more fun with three or more.
The second game is called Silly Safari, and comes in a small tin perfect for popping in to even the smallest luggage when travelling. In the tin there are 56 double-sided, round playing cards, which include two reference cards.
The object of the game in Silly Safari, is to spot which animal is missing from each card. The cards are double-sided to allow two levels of difficulty in playing. One side of the cards shows six animals out of a possible seven, and the other shows 11 out of a possible 12. For younger players, or when you are still getting to grips with the rules, you can use the side with six animals. The two reference cards show all 7 or 12 animals being played with.
To set up the game, place the two reference cards with the relevant sides up at the side of the table for everyone to see, then shuffle the remaining cards and place them in two equal piles in the middle of the table with the side you have chosen to play with facing down. When everyone is ready to go, turn the piles over and go! Whoever spots the missing animal on each card first gets to grab that card. If you make a mistake, you have to forfeit the card plus another and return them both to the bottom of the pile. The game continues until one pile runs out of cards. Whoever has the most cards wins.
The rules are very simple, and there are no taking turns. Everyone races against each other to grab cards, so you have to have a quick eye. The game is recommended for ages 6+ though my 4 yr old gave it a good shot too. However, he found this game more difficult than Spin Point (even though Spin Point is aimed at 8+), even though we played the easier side. Since there were no taking turns he didn’t stand much chance against his much faster big brother, so we ended up playing together as a team against my 8 yr old. Silly Safari is a fun game, but definitely works best if players are evenly matched in skill and speed.
Our overall verdict is that they are both fun games, and from a parent’s point of view they are also great for nurturing observational skills. My 4 yr old liked Spin Point best, because he didn’t have to race against anyone so stood a chance of scoring some points, and the challenges of that game also suit his attention to details. My 8 yr old liked Silly Safari best, because he likes the fast pace, and he has been making all his friends who have come for play dates since we received it play Silly Safari with him!
In terms of taking these games with you when you are travelling, Silly Safari already comes in a handy little tin. Spin Point comes in a slightly larger box, but actually if you pop the spinner and cards in a wee zip-lock bag it only takes up half as much space. We’ve done that with quite a few other cards games that came in larger boxes. Both Silly Safari and Spin Point are available to buy from Amazon (affiliate links) or various other toy retailers.
Disclaimer: We received copies of <<Silly Safari>> and <<Spin Point>> from Cheatwell Games free of charge, in return for an honest review. However, all photographs, words and opinions are our own. Please note, if you buy a game via the Amazon affiliate links, I receive a small percentage of the sale – at no extra cost to you! – which helps to keep this blog running. Thank you.