Hungry As A Bear
- Designer: Eljan Reeden
- Publisher: Haba
- Players: 1-3
- Ages: 2+
- Times Played: 2, with my two year old niece, with review copy provided by HABA
Hungry as a Bear is one of the new releases in the “My Very First Games” line from HABA.. The purpose of these games is to give the youngest gamers a chance to start playing games. These games are educational in nature, giving them a chance to develop motor skills, concentration, language skills, etc.
Hungry as a Bear allows the child to feed the little bear (which is cleverly made out of the box). There are 6 different types of food: white rice, yellow potatoes, orange carrots, red strawberries, green spinach and blue blueberries. There are a number of different ways to play the game.
In the free play version you simply feed the bear different foods – by balancing the food token on a spoon and then delivering the food into the bear’s mouth. You could help your child learn what the foods are – “Can we feed the blueberries to the bear?” “What is the bear’s favorite food?”
In “Rumble, Rumble: Little Bear is very Hungry” – this is a cooperative game. Each turn, the players roll a die – and then a matching token of food is then fed to the bear. If the food falls off the spoon, it is put in separate pile on the table. Any pieces of food that are successfully fed to the bear are kept in the box. Once all of the food pieces are served to the bear, you compare stacks – if more food got into the bear then missed, the players win!
In “Chomp, Chomp: Little Bear is Starving” – this is a memory game. You simply put the food pieces on the table and shuffle them and arrange them in a facedown grid. On a turn, players flip up any two food pieces. If they are identical, you collect the pieces. If you are wrong, you flip them back over. When they are all collected, whoever has the most chits wins.
In “Have a Guess: What is my Favorite Dish” – this is a vocabulary building game. All the food is placed in the center of the table. Each round, one player is the starting player, and they think of a food. Other players take turn asking yes/no questions, and then they try to guess what the food is that the start player is thinking of. The first player who guesses the food correctly gets to take a food token from the table. Then the next player becomes the start player and the game is repeated. At the end of the game, once all the food tokens are gained, the player with the most is the winner.
My thoughts on the game –
Well, this is obviously not the sort of game that you have to worry about strategy or game balancing. It’s a simple game that provides you with many components to play with your child at many different levels of development. At the most basic level, you can use the spoon to help develop motor skills – you can teach your child how to balance the food tokens on the spoon and then transporting them to the bear’s mouth. The other versions teach children how to roll the die and read the results. The final version is good for developing the first inklings of critical thinking.
We really only tried the first level of the game given the age of my niece, but it was clearly enjoyed by all. There look to be many more good times to be had with the components in the box.