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on April 10, 2016
Fun game! Quick and pretty easy. Our 5 year old loves it!
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on July 23, 2017
It is your family against the island pigs! Work as a team to get to the island before the pigs eat all the food. On the way to the island you may draw a search card that has everyone looking for items that match that image. The 6-year-old had fun and even the adults found it interesting to play with them. The game is well made and had sturdy cardboard. The game markers are large and well balanced so they are easy to move and don't keep falling over. It is especially nice if you have a long table to put it on so that you don't have to sit on the floor. We enjoyed this game so much, I want to buy one for each of my grown children and their families.
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0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
Excellent game for toddlers and preschoolers! This collaborative game (everyone works as a team) is so easy to learn and play. For two to four players, the game board is three piece, six foot long puzzle. After you set up the board, everyone has a marker. There are about ten magnifying glasses, a cardboard boat, six cardboard pieces of food, cards, a spinner, and a timer. The goal? Everyone has to make it to the boat and the boat has to make it to Picnic Island before the pigs eat all the food. The youngest person goes first.

Each player spins the spinner. The arrow lands on either a Move, a Bug, or a Pig. If you spin to a Move, you move your marker that many spaces and the next player goes. If you spin to a Pig, the Pigs "eat" one picnic food item and you take one food items away and spin again. If you spin to a bug, you pull a card. When you pull the card, you have to look throughout the game board for those items (almost Where's Waldo style). For example, if you pull a card with pictures of "balloons", you set the timer and look all around the game board for balloons. You use the magnifying glasses to mark that you've found one. When the timer is up you count how many "balloons" you found and all players move that many spaces. So if you found three balloons, everyone moves three spaces. Once everyone lands on the boat, everyone takes turns to spin to move the boat to Picnic Island. So long as the pigs haven't eaten all the food, everyone wins!

This game is a great concept for kids who have issues with winning and losing. Especially at 3 and 4 years of age when other skills like patience, taking turns, and working together are my main focus for my son rather than learning to be a gracious loser (I hope to teach him this later). Focusing and patience are the skills that this game builds as my son loves being a helper and the idea that he is helping for everyone to win actually helps him to focus and be a little more patient. The game also helps with counting and memory. I am pleasantly surprised by this game and I highly recommend it!
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on January 1, 2012
Busy Town has quickly established itself as a family favorite and our three- and five-year old absolutely LOVE it. They're not quite old enough to play it without supervision, but after a few weeks with this game, I wouldn't be surprised if they're playing by themselves in the next 6 months or so. Right now, we play it as a family - the goal is a "team victory" and it's far less competitive than many other games. Even our 20-month old cooperates and helps out, often holding the timer or "removing a piece of food from the picnic blanket" when the game calls for it.

We've purchased or received three other boardgames for our family in the last couple of months and none have been as enjoyable and educational as this one. There are two that I would recommend against: (1) Chutes and Ladders Disney Princess was beloved for a few days by our daughter, but has been largely forgotten; and (2) Candyland - The World of Sweets Board Game is not as durable and while the kids enjoy it, mom and dad do not. The other game that we WOULD RECOMMEND is Sequence for Kids. The kids love the Sequence game and there's enough strategy involved that mom and dad stay engaged. It's probably a little bit too advanced for our kids and the overall educational value is probably not as high as Busy Town, but it's also a five-star recommendation from us and we're enjoying it immensely.

Educational value on Busy Town is high as the game is good at getting our kids to count the number of spaces they need to move, doing basic math for determining how many they need to get, searching for certain objects, and building vocabulary as we talk about the different objects on the board. The board is huge - stretching out 6 feet - and everything is very durable. We lay it out on the floor and all move around as we're searching for the objects. Highly recommended for 3-8 year olds and for family play!!
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on January 2, 2017
My kids love Richard Scarry's Busytown and this was bought for them for Christmas. The game point of the game is to get to the picnic area before the pigs eat all the food. There is not competition between players but against the "pigs" so this is a definite plus when playing with siblings. The youngest player goes first which is always a big hit for the youngest in the group. Each player gets a turn to spin and get either a number of spaces to advance, a choice of food to take from Picnic Island or to solve a GoldBug mystery. The GoldBug mystery consists of looking all over the 6-foot board for the object pictured on the GoldBug card. For every object you find you place a magnifying glass on it. The amount of objects you find is the amount of spaces everyone moves towards the ferry to go to Picnic Island.

My kids love this game, however, it is above both the five year old and the two year olds (almost three) level of finding skills. I say this because the egg timer that comes with it runs an estimate of one minute. There is a lot of board to look at with only one minute of looking. Even with me helping the kids we were not able to find many objects within the time frame. While this will help make the game stay fresh for longer, the elder child got frustrated and the two year old lost interest. While the game says for 3 and up I personally think that the game is probably a better fit for at least five year olds and those that have a good attention span.

The construction of the game was very sturdy and all pieces are well made. The colors are bright and the board is indeed very "busy". A con of the construction is that there are a lot of little pieces that can easily be lost, however, that is the only con regarding the design of this game. I gave four stars instead of five because of the time frame in which objects had to be found and because of my perception of the actual age group the game is directed at ( 5 versus 3).
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VINE VOICEon March 29, 2017
I bought this as a Valentine's Day present for my 4 1/2 year old daughter and she loves this! She loves the Richard Scarry book "Cars and Trucks and Things That Go" (and specifically Goldbug) and this game has many of the same signature characters in it. In the box, you get the board which is in 3 pieces that you lock together like a puzzle, a timer, 4 large character movers, a spinner, 10 mini plastic orange magnifying glasses, a cardboard boat and cardboard food, and Goldbug mystery cards. I like that this game is a cooperative game in that there isn't one winner - you work as a team to find the objects on the board using the timer, which is great for the preschool set.

To play you spin the spinner and if you spin a number, you move that number of spaces. If you spin Goldbug, you take a Goldbug mystery card and search for that object as a team all around the huge 6 foot long board (this is not a table game because of the size) and try to find as many of that object as you can together, putting a magnifying glass on the ones you find before the timer runs out. Everyone moves the number of spaces per object found. For instance, if you find 4 wrenches, everyone moves 4 spaces forward and then remove the magnifying glasses. If you spin "Pigs Eat" you take away one of the cardboard foods on the picnic blanket at the end of the board. At the end of the board path, there is a cardboard boat and all players have to get on before the boat can move to try to make it to the Picnic Island before the pigs eat all the food.

We really love this game and it's great quality time and builds cooperation skills, thinking skills, and searching skills. The board itself is made pretty sturdily but you do have to fold the board to put it back in the box, so over time it does have the potential to get torn or split. I wish that they'd make the board thicker and just make it more than 3 puzzle pieces so you wouldn't have to fold it. I love that all the familiar characters are present and searching for the objects for Goldbug mysteries is actually quite challenging, even for adults, because the board is so busy with so many images on it. My daughter doesn't find it frustrating or overwhelming because she usually ends up finding more than me! Because there are so many objects to find, you really can't memorize where they are which keeps it challenging. I originally thought it would be better if the objects on the mystery cards would be printed in color instead of black and white, but I think they did that because the object isn't always the same colors on the board. Overall, this is made really well and lots of fun for our family to play!
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on May 21, 2016
This game has great potential, but it's a bit too complicated for the guys (4 & 3) at the moment. It is fun that it is sooo big, but that is also a downfall as they don't even know where to begin to look for the items on the cards. Also, because it is so big, the board folds into itself and it fits together like puzzle pieces once you open it up. Well, one of the folded over pieces of game board (not puzzle side) already broke apart. I realize this is bound to happen with games, but it was literally on our first use. Overall, I think this is one where the kids do need to be at least 4 to play.
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on May 26, 2014
Cooperative games are a fairly new invention in modern board games. They really started with adult family games like Pandemic and then have now started appearing more and more in the younger children's market. It is a welcome trend. Competitive games are great for teaching social skills like remaining happy when losing, but cooperative games have an even more positive effect I believe. Teamwork is a more important skill to practice and you can still practice losing happily if your team doesn't beat the game.

This game works kind of like a where's Waldo adaptation. Richard Scarry books have often featured a find Goldbug activity in them and this game turns that observational practice into a timed team event.

First of all the board game is HUGE! The space is filled with loads of Richard Scarry type drawings illustrating an entire town. Players are trying to move all their character pieces to a picnic. To do this they end up having to find as many examples of randomly selected items as they can before a timer runs out. The more objects everyone finds the further the characters can move. Players place small plastic magnifying glasses on top of examples of whatever item they are looking for. If the all the characters don't get there fast enough the ants will cart away the picnic food and the board game wins.

My children (5 and 8) have had this game for about a year and a half and enjoy it, although there are other more strategic games they enjoy more and pull out more often now. I also enjoy playing this game with them. It holds all of our attention when we play.

Practicing observational skills is important for preschool children especially, but older elementary school aged students will also enjoy playing it with their preschool siblings. After preschool and kindergarten it really loses its possible educational benefits. Three to five year olds are the real target audience for this game. I would recommend this for preschool or kindergarten classroom use. The components should hold up fine for that use and it will be a hit game with them.
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on January 6, 2017
My husband and I both grew up with Richard Scarry books, so it's fun to be able to pass on the characters to our kids. We have fun playing this with our 3 year old daughter, though she needs a little redirection and tends to just want to drive her car down the street! The search and find aspect when you spin a goldbug card is fun - like "Where's Waldo" with a time limit. I also like that it's cooperative. I think that's a good way to get younger kids into board games.
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on November 21, 2017
I have three kids, now 8, 6.5 and 6.5 and they still get this game out once a week to play. It is fun for everyone. We have had it for at least three years and the little ones could play at 3yo. Another game all my kids love is Sleeping Queens. Get it - you won't be sorry. We have had Sleeping Queens for over a year and they still play it weekly.
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