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4.6 out of 5 stars
Ravensburger Snail's Pace Race - Children's Game
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
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.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2013
There isn't much to this game. For an adult or child much older than 3 or 4 it gets boring very, very fast. That being said, I still highly recommend this game for very young children. My daughter knew her colors at around 15 months old. I pulled this game out when she was around 18 months thinking it would be easy for her to pick up because she knew her colors and because she was a Go Away Monster pro. WRONG. There are so many basic game skills to pick up here:

How to roll a die.
Understanding that what you roll on the die dictates how you move a piece.
How to move pieces one (or two) space(s) at a time (one-to-one correspondence).
How to keep the right snail on the right path.
The game asks you to guess which snail will win after all snails are underway - doing this gets the child to understand about a bit about randomness. Just because the pink snail is ahead now or just because the blue snail is your favorite doesn't mean those snails will win when it is left up to a dice throw.

My daughter learned so much about roll-and-move mechanics from this game between 18-24 months. Then she thoroughly enjoyed just playing the game from 2-3 years. She's 3.5 years old now and this doesn't get played much anymore; we have lots of games that are more fun and challenging for a child that has mastered the above basics (try 'Max' for starters). She did bring it out last night and we played. Afterward she commented that there wasn't much to do in the snail game, so I think she's outgrown it. She does still enjoy using the nice wooden snails in her pretend play - they all have names and talk to each other.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2012
Verified Purchase
I bought this game for my children and now I'm buying it for my grandchildren. Love it! They learn to take turns. They learn colors. They learn to count spaces as they move the snails. AND it's not a child that wins or loses, it's the snails. Like every Ravensburger game the box is extra sturdy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2011
Verified Purchase
Snail's Pace Race is a great first board game for three year olds on up. Maybe even a little younger, if they are interested in sitting still for a few minutes. The game is very simple, and only requires simple color matching, you don't actually need to know colors. You always move one space, so there is no counting required. It is a cooperative game, so no winners or losers. The goal is to get all the snails from one end of the board to the other. Children enjoy rooting for their favorite color snail. The 3,4, and 5 year old children in my preschool class love this game!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
For parents looking for non-electronic games, Ravensgurger "Snail's Pace Race" is a very good choice as an introduction to board games. It is simple to play; does not take long to complete; and requires no reading or counting beyond two.

Like all Ravenburger games, "Snail's Pace Race" is sturdy and colorful. The snails are wood and painted using bright colors. They are nicely finished and have no burring or rough edges. They are large enough so that younger toddlers will not have difficulty grasping them.

"Snail's Pace Race" is a good way to introduce younger children to taking turns.

While some children may not be competitive, this game will bring out the competitor in children who have that type of personality. My grandson wanted to "win" even though he was not always able to do so. "Snail's Pace Race" also provided a good method of showing him that luck sometimes plays a part in who wins.

Parents and grandparents looking for a good introductory board game may want to consider "Snail's Pace Race". While it will not likely be a game that is played beyond the pre-school years, it's lessons will be those that are important to learn at an early age.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 24, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Our five kids, ages 4-9 years old LOVE this game. It's bright colors and pace of the game is perfect for them, and best of all EVERYBODY wins in the game. My four year old loves the dice in the game and is always so excited for her turn to come so she can roll them. I think it educationally right on par and is a great tool for teaching turn taking skills.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is a solid choice if you are looking for an activity that will teach turn taking, colors and basic counting. The only game is in guessing which snails will be first and last, something the players have no control over. It's an enjoyable activity mostly for kids between 2 and 4. The snails are a nice fit for toddler/pre-schooler hands. The box mentions "cooperative play", which is not true at all. While the rules suggest that it's the snails that either "win" or "lose" rather than the players, there is no cooperative element to the game. In fact, a winner is declared if someone guesses the winner and loser correctly.

Once your kids are ready, here is a suggestion for how to make it more of a game and allow them to build further skills: At the beginning of the race, have each player choose one snail they hope will win and one they hope will be in last place. On their turn, they roll both dice, but must choose only one of the snails to move. In this way, they can try to advance the snail they want to win and try to not move the one they want in last place. As snails finish, if they roll two colors that have already crossed the finish line, they can choose which snail to move. You can also play that if you roll doubles you can choose which snail to move.

If you prefer to not add that level of competition, you can actually turn it into a cooperative game. Play as I indicated, but have everyone playing agree on the first and last snail (or even the order for all of them). They can then work together in deciding which snail to move when they roll in order to accomplish their objective.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon July 19, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This game is an excellent game for an older toddler to practice colors and simple counting. My daughter loves it. I would not guess that this game would be much fun for older children, since it is very simple. The advantage, though, is that many of the board games that kids play for many years (like Candyland or Chutes and Ladders) are a bit too complex for a 3-year-old. This game is perfect for that age range and is great for parents like myself or, I would imagine, daycare/preschool teachers who are looking for extra activities. It's very durable (although a child should still be monitored while playing with it). There are also a lot of ways to extend the learning - the snail race can be used to reinforce the concepts of more and less. A slightly older child can practice counting how many more spaces one snail is ahead of another for instance. Really any game involving counting can be extended to involve more complex math, so this can be a great learning tool for your child.
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on December 20, 2014
Verified Purchase
Probably the only thing I hate worse than playing board games with small children is reading aloud Care Bear books. But I love Snail's Pace: the snails are very tactile and fun to hold, there's just the amount of tension and opportunity for strategy, everybody moves ahead in a linear fashion so nobody gets confused and, best of all, the game can't drag on endlessly with no conclusion. Oddly, I've found it holds older children's' attention as they "help" younger children (probably because they can relax, since it's a low-stakes game with little tension over winning and losing). Many children seem to identify with the snails, sympathizing with the "slower" ones and wanting to help them along -- even if they belong to an opponent! This is a fine game for evenings before bedtime -- nobody gets wound up, as everyone takes the snails' example and takes things r-e-a-l-l-y e-a-s-y….
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on January 18, 2015
Verified Purchase
This is the first cooperative game I've ever played. It works really well with the little kids. It's very sturdy and only relies on color recognition. You guess which snail will win and each take turns rolling the dice to see who gets to the end first. I mostly end up being the "snail mover" and "commentator"; the preschooler rolls the dice and calls out colors. This is a great parent-child game. I don't know about you, but I have trouble playing with my little kids unless there is an activity. This one fits the bill.
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