In the previous post I’ve written about reviewers in different countries we’ve sent our “Game of Hunt” to. Reviewers started to receive the game, began to play it and provide their feedback. Most of it you’ll find on our Instagram page.
Here is one very special review which I would like to post here. Special because it is not from a board gamer but from a neuropsychologist, a teacher and a mom of three wonderful kids, Anna Andreeva (here is her Instagram). The original video review is in Russian, so we’ve translated it. I tried to make it short but didn’t succeed since I am not able to remove any ideas which can be useful to you. So, enjoy a long reading (or just skip to the last paragraph):
One of the biggest advantages of the game is that it is very mobile. Most of the children’s board games are very bulky and difficult to find a space for, take a long time to set up and are difficult to take with you somewhere. Here you have a book and a chest attached to it. It is a very compact travel game that allows you to play it anywhere. All components of the game are magnetic, so you will not lose them. Game cards are not large and are convenient for children to hold.
The next big advantage is that there are 4 different games in this book. They differ in mechanics, but, in my opinion, one very important and very valuable advantage is that they are all cooperative games. Players play against the game together, you can discuss, interact and advise each other. That is, this is an absolutely family game. It is incredibly important for children that there is no rivalry, there is no goal to beat everyone and become the first and not become the last.
And one more important point. If you have played with small children, then you probably faced the problem that if the game is made for a small child, then the adult is often not interested in playing it. If you have several children of different ages, then choosing a game that would be played by both adults and children of different ages is very problematic. This is solved here, these are games that are fun to play with players of different ages.
All 4 games have different stories. In the first game, a trash monster attacked the city. The goal of the game is very correct for a family game – we will clear the city of garbage.
The playing field is a map, not just a map, but a coordinate system. At what age can we introduce children to the coordinate system? You can start even with 3 years old kids. This does not mean that the child should be able to read or know numbers. We open the card and see F4. You can say “help me find this F sign”, and then look for the number 4. Put fingers on the desired column and line, connect them and get the required cell. And it doesn’t matter what language the coordinates are written in.
Why do you need to show coordinates to children at 3 years old? This perfectly develops spatial perception, thinking, and expands the child’s ability to understand the environment.
In such a way we arrange trash and obstacles – stones and houses. Obstacles cover part of the field and immediately this makes it possible to simplify or complicate the game. You can increase or decrease the number of obstacles to make your playing area bigger or smaller.
The first game also has fences that cannot be climbed over. But, if we play with players of different ages, then we can simplify the rules for the younger ones and say that there are no fences for them, they have magical wings today.
After we have set up the obstacles, trash and the monster, the players decide where to place their pawns. We usually go to a place where there is a trash cube. Here again, there is room for complication. For example, we can agree that adult players cannot start on a square with a trash cube, but only next to it, or even have to start from one of the corners of the map.
A very important point that I love incredibly about this game. The players have cards, but these cards work from the perspective of the player. If the player sits on the other side of the table, then the same cards will move the figure in the other direction. That is, one player moves to the left from his perspective but to the right from the point of view of the player sitting opposite from them.
This mechanism is the key feature of the game. First, it’s just learning right-left, up-down. Secondly, there is a “swap with another player” action. And then the player must mentally put himself in the place of another in order to understand what card to offer for exchange to another player in order to help him. This mental action is an incredibly useful thing for the development of spatial intelligence and for learning of making actions in mind.
I’ve developed a roughly similar game with arrows and cubes myself to use as a neuropsychologist with kids who have problems with spatial intelligence, right-left and back and forth. I will gladly use “Game of Hunt” in my classes because I know it works well.
The game also has a time marker, after each round you move the time marker one step back. This also provides opportunities for simplification or complication. We give small children more time. And if we have little time, for example, we can play a quick game “how much trash can we remove in 5 moves”.
This is a game in which:
- the spatial intelligence is developing;
- we develop the ability to plan actions (planning and forecasting, which is the work of the frontal lobes of the brain);
- there is an interaction between players: swap cards, help, suggest, advice. This is important for the development of the child’s personality, for the development of communication skills.
- there are many possibilities for complication and simplification.
The game turns out to be very nice. I would gladly recommend it to you if you have children from 3 to 10 years old. This is a great purchase for any family.