Top critical review
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A Dissenting View
on January 5, 2012
After reading all the glowing reviews on here, I almost wonder if we are playing the same game as everyone else. I love to play boardgames and I love to play with my kids, but the fact is, there really isn't much of an actual "game" to play here.
On your turn, you spin the spinner, pick up an acorn of the matching color using the "squirrel tweezers", and then place the acorn in the matching colored hole in your cardboard stump. You turn then ends and the next player spins. If you already have blue acorn and the spinner lands on blue, you pass. The other potential results on the spinner are: lose all your acorns, steal an acorn from someone else, lose your turn, pick 1 acorn of any color, and pick 2 acorns of any color. When someone gets all 5 colors of acorns in their stump, they win.
I'll give 3-stars because the components are nice/cute and my 3&1/2 year old seems to enjoy using the squirrel tweezers. Then again, she would probably enjoy me scattering the 20 acorns around the room and her picking them up with the tweezers and putting them back in the box just as much. Sad to say, this would be a 2-star game without the tweezers to play with, even though they don't have any function other than to slow-down the process of picking up an acorn. There just isn't much of an actual game here. The only decision of any note that gets made in the entire game is who to steal an acorn from on the infrequent occasion that the spinner allows that action. Other than that, you might as well save your money and just play another round of Candyland instead.
If you want a much better matching/learning game for young kids, we started playing ZINGO at about age 3, and Zingo is actually fun for adults as well (unlike this). For even younger kids, puzzles are awesome and a great first set is one of the Melissa & Dougs "in a box" 4 pack of 12-piece wood jigsaw puzzles (we have the deluxe construction in a box and started at about age 2. There are other themes as well). At 3&1/2, my daughter has been playing with the CASTLE LOGIX blocks solo-game, and its exciting to see the gears in her brain turn as she tries to figure out how to put the 7 blocks together to match the picture. Next up will probably be KIDS OF CARCASSONNE at 4-ish. In other words, there are lots of great games for kids, but unfortunately, this is not one of them.