Included in my most recent game shipment from Taiwan was a set of four nicely illustrated tins with games for the younger set (3yo or 4yo+). While this isn’t really my thing any more, I figured that we could maybe get in touch with our inner toddler and take a look at them.
The tins are labeled “Play Again”, but BGG has the games Publisher as: Kang Hsuan Educational Publishing Corp. The four games are clearly in a set, with each one stressing a different educational objective, and labeled as such on the tin:
OK, Chume, Boom!: Response Game
Monsters’ Party: Tactile Game
What to Wear: Color Game
Going Around the City: Strategy Game
OK, Chume, Boom!
OK, Chume, Boom! is a real-time dexterity game with both cooperation and competition modes. Each round player(s) must perform specific gestures following the icons on the revealed tokens. If someone fails, they won’t score points and Abu (the Alligator) will get angry little by little. Try hard to follow Abu’s orders and become the best photo actor!
The cooperative mode requires a metronome app – not provided in the game, but everyone has a phone… You start at the top row; all players count to 4 and clap to get the rhythm, and then on the next beat, everyone must make the action/pose shown on the single token in the top row. If everyone does it, reveal the second row – now everyone must make two correct poses on two consecutive beats… and so on, until the final row where there are either 6 or 8 poses that need to be done in a row. Sure, it seems a little silly, but it’s actually a bit frantic when the adults decide to eschew the recommended 100 bpm rate and up it to 175…
There is also a cooperative version where players use a spinner to determine a particular challenge – following whatever rules as shown on the icon the spinner points to. If you are successful, you move forward the number of spaces as indicated by the color of the spinner space. The first to the end of the track wins.
This is the tactile game. In Monsters’ Party, players will invite all kinds of cool and cute monsters to the party! Players will use their fingers to identify the secret code of each monster so that they may send out the correct invitations. Try your best to send out the most invitation letters to win! Monsters’ Party is a pattern-recognition and speed game and it can be played in cooperation or competition mode. Each monster cassette has 4 corners hiding 4 monsters with protruding dots forming different shapes. Use your fingers to find them out!
In the cooperative mode, players place 3 invitation tiles in the center of the board – so there are 12 monsters to invite. On a turn, each player picks up one of the monster boxes. On the inside of each corner, there are raised dots – similar to a Braille printing – with the corresponding monsters shown on the backside of the monster box. If a player thinks he has identified one of the invited monsters, he yells the name of the monster out and then flips over the box to check. If he is correct, you cover up the depicted monster on the invitation strip. Then take a new monster box and keep going. The goal is to invite all the shown monsters before making 5 mistakes.
In the cooperative mode, each player has their own invitation list, and the race is on to see who can invite their opponent’s monsters first. This is a real time race. On a signal, all players pick up a monster box and try to find a monster on any opponent’s invited list. If they think they have done so, they proclaim it and check if they are right. That player covers up the monster on the invite card, and the round ends. If they are wrong, they sit out the rest of the round, and all other players keep going. The last player to have open invites is the winner of the round, and the player to first win two rounds is the overall winner!
What to Wear
You must change the colors of your outfits as fast as possible to match the assigned missions and score points. Some costumes have special colors and patterns. Can you beat the other players to be crowned the Dressing King/Queen? In What to Wear? players use their colored plastic cards to match the colors and patterns shown on each mission card. Some missions require a bit knowledge of color mixing and reasoning. Get some practice and you may become the master of colors!
In this game, which is competitive only, each player gets a cute animal character card that has a slot on one side. Each player also gets a set of 8 plastic film cards. On a turn, a mission card is flipped up, and then players race to put the sheets in the side of their cards to dress their animal to match. The easy cards require 2 sheets, medium needs 3 sheets and the most complex require 4 sheets.
The first person to match the mission card keeps it as a victory point. Play until you have gone thru the whole deck or a player reaches a pre-determined number of cards.
Going Around the City
You are traveling around the city by using transportation cards to visiting a variety of attractions. The earlier you can get to an attraction, the more victory points you can get. But be carful not going too far in case you don’t have the correct transportation card to get you back on the route Going Around the City is a play-card-and-move game that challenges young gamers to carefully plan their movement based on their hand cards and the route they want to travel.
Each player has a hand of three cards. These cards can show either 1, 2, or 3 bus stops; 1, 2, or 3 train stops or a ticket for the ship. On a turn, players play a card which then allows them to move the shown number of stops on their card ON the pictured mode of transport. If you are in the harbor, you can use a ship ticket to get out to the fireworks vantage point. If you land on another piece, you place your piece on top, and your piece is carried along by the one underneath when it moves.
As you go around the city, your goal is to see all six of the tourist sites. As you stop at a tourist spot, place your scoring hex in that space – again with the earliest visitors going to the bottom of the stack.
In the easy game, the game simply ends at the end of a round when a player reaches all six destinations, and that player wins. In the advanced version, the game still ends after a round where at least one player has reached all six spots, but then VPs are awarded (4/3/2/1) based on when you arrived at a tourist spot (1st/2nd/3rd/4th) – with double points being awarded for the Fireworks stop. The player with the most points wins.
As I said before, kid’s games are not really my thing anymore as I have teenagers at home, but I can see where there would be worthwhile games to introduce to a budding gamer. And, to be honest, Going Around the City was at least somewhat interesting even for an adult. If you’re looking for well produced games – which also come in nice sturdy tins – I would check these out. All of the tins only had Chinese rules in the box, but full color EN rules are available online, and I was able to find them without any problem.
Until your next appointment
The Gaming Doctor