Most helpful critical review
52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
A good game for the right kid at the right age
on July 5, 2012
This game indicates that it is for ages 3+. I'm not so sure about that "+" part. My younger daughter, who is three (and, to be honest, a rather odd bird), loves the game. Her older sister, who is a very typical worldly-wise five-year-old, didn't see the point.
The game is very simple. There are six wooden snails in six different bright colors, a game board with six different color-coded tracks for the snails to "race" on and two "dice" with six different colored dots rather than numbers or pips. The snails line up at the starting line (the instructions indicate that the leaves are the starting point, but my daughter insisted that the leaves should be the finish line - the reward that the snails are racing for, so we started at the snail end). All six snails line up regardless of how many people are playing. Players take turns rolling the dice and moving the appropriate snail forward each time its color comes up (a snail gets to move ahead two spaces if both dice come up with its color). The players make predictions about which snail will win and which will come in last. The winning player is the one who correctly guesses the winning and losing snail.
There are some pluses and minuses to this game, which is why I say it's a good game for the right child at the right age. It's perfect for my younger daughter because she's not very competitive and she's never been into traditional board games. This game allows her to play not to win or lose, but just to see what happens. If anything, she feels sorry for the "slow" snails and she will "cheat" to help them win. She really doesn't use it as a game, but more of an interactive toy to play with Mommy or perhaps a bridge to board games. It's also good for her because the snails fit nicely in her hands and there are no numbers or reading involved - just color matching. She's a very laid-back kid and this game is perfect for her.
But if your child is more traditional, this game probabaly won't go over very well, even at younger ages. My five-year-old never would have gone for this game, even when she was three. It's too nebulous, not clear cut. For instance, the instructions say that the players should make their predictions "as the game progresses". What exactly does that mean? At what point specifically should predictions be made and set in stone? My younger daughter is fine with the fluidity of changing predictions based on how the snails are progressing, but it drives my older daughter nuts - she thinks that's cheating. You can probably set your own rules that work for your child(ren), but it might be difficult to play with other kids.
As is almost universally true of Ravensburger products, this game is quite durable. There's very little to get broken. The snails are sturdy wood and the game board is also sturdy with only one fold.
I got this product free through the Amazon Vine program and I'm glad to have it, but I don't know that I would spend money on it. This could be a good game for your three or four-year-old if he or she is more reserved, sensitive and/or non-competitive. It's a good way for young children to work on colors and on making predictions and it's a nice introductory game to play with parents or other adults. But I don't think it will be wildly popular with most children and even for children to whom it appeals, I think the age range will be quite narrow.