Top critical review
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Great Idea But Poorly Executed :(
on February 22, 2016
Great idea, but VERY poorly executed. Such a great idea could've (& should've) been A LOT better executed. Every question in this deck falls into one of these categories: either:
A) The information needed to solve is not there so you'd have to already know something/pull from outside sources (advance knowledge that wasn't provided in the story) - not just having to know what a philatelic society is as someone in another review mentioned, but for example, one was about grandpa having marked a line on a cactus to represent his age yet something didn't match up - anyhow, you'd have to know that a cactus grows from the top - that was the answer) (someone in one of the other reviews I read before I purchased these was complaining about that very issue and someone else had responded that it's good to learn new things, to which I thought "hmm, yeah..." - which their response kind of of swayed to me over to *trying* these... Now, after my experience with these cards, I totally realize that, as regards this point, if I really wanted myself or my child to learn new things I would just teach them about different topics, or invest in trivia/fact cards!! - not "mystery-solving cards" which imply the information is already there & probably hinders everyone's self-esteem when they don't get it, lol - It's unjust!, lol.)
B) So many "answer possibilities" exist for a question, so how on earth are you supposed to know it was the one THEY thought it should be (for example: why was a dog making trouble by digging up flowerbeds & going in a space it made under the steps; and the answer was that the dog was pregnant & trying to make a home for her babies - but there was no clues therein to anything to this effect, it *did* talk about the dog having its shots, but that's irrelevant, & then no other clues even suggesting the pregnancy except that the dog was tired - obviously there can be multiple reasons why a dog is tired & multiple reasons why a dog digs, and yet we're somehow supposed to know the answer was this one particular reason of pregnancy?? really?!)
C) A LOT of grabbing "outside the box" or "grasping at straws" -- like a longshot of what *might* have happened really IS the actual answer, even though there were no clues as to that answer
D) Sometimes what they said was the answer I didn't think really *should've* been the answer & I was unsatisfied with the answer (example: a Hispanic boy was learning English & he supposedly wrote a note in English confessing to stealing, & the question was, was it really him who stole or not, & the answer was that it wasn't because "there was not one mistake in the note & no one could learn a language that fast & perfectly". (?! -- which is first of all, subjective (someone *might* learn a language that quickly; or, since the author of these cards really wants us to be thinking outside the box, hey, what's to say that that boy did not have a proofreader/helper/someone who wrote the note for them?!; and also, the story hadn't talked about his intellect/capabilities/language progress/whatnot, etc). So there are some cards like this... and that's what I mean by "unsatisfying".
Overall, the cards are very vague & difficult for the average adult to guess - let alone someone as young as 10! As I was going through these, I really felt that sense of like an adult was penning these stories AROUND a very specific pre-conceived answer, like only THEY knew what they were talking about and automatically felt you should know their mind, too.... (Sometimes I've talked to people who are trying to teach me something/make me say this "one" answer that is really poignant to *them* & stands out in *their* minds, therefore they feel I should just know it just the same & just can't believe I am not getting what they're thinking, LOL... and that's totally the same way I felt with these cards, if that makes sense).
Also, the mysteries in terms of subject matter were, frankly, pretty boring. I was hoping for a lot more adventure and excitement with these! That could've totally been executed better as well!! :(. My homeschooled 10-year old (of average intelligence, not MENSA or anything, LOL) was losing interest pretty quickly. They... are... just not... "fun" stories... even for an adult, let alone a kid... what can I say? :P
It's a shame, because I really wanted to get something FUN and EXCITING to solve..... These *really* could've been done a LOT better. :(