So, I have a 4 year old son. His name is Cameron, and he loves to play games. Many games he is unable to play. But, I do try to incorporate him when and where helpful. He does love playing games like Memory and #Spot It!. But what he really loves is "real" games. He loves playing #Forbidden Island with me. He loves "playing" #Carcassonne with my wife and I.
So, recently, I was thinking that I wanted to start getting him a few games that he could call his own. To that end, on our recent furlough to the States, we bought him #Animal Upon Animal. We kept it from him for a while as a surprise. But in the last week or two we gave it to him, and I decided to go ahead and review it.
The components really are great. They consist of 29 big chunky wooden animals. These consist of, 4 each: snakes, frilled lizards, monkeys, toucans, sheep, hedgehogs, and penguins and 1 alligator. There is also a big wooden custom dice. If I have one knock against the components it would be that the wooden figures are screen-printed on only one side.
The rulebook is in multiple different languages. The rules themselves are basically a single spread of the book. They are clear and easy to understand, which isn't to surprising considering the simplicity of the game.
Cameron is 4, Rachel and I are adults. How is this game when the three of us play together? Really, I was impressed with how well it went. Maybe I should tell y'all a bit how the game is played. You start with the alligator in the center of the table and a bunch of animals in front of you. On your turn you roll the die. Then, depending on the roll you are allowed to place 1 or 2 animals on the alligator, 1 animal on end or other of the alligator, give one of your animals to another player, or have the other players choose which animal to place on the stack of animals in the center. The choices this game presents are not all that deep and compelling in and of themselves. But the fun of the dexterity element, the variety of the animals, and the shortness of the game combine to make it quite a good experience. The animals are chunky and knobby enough that Cameron can fully participate without help. And the stacking is fun enough that Rachel and I aren't bored, in fact we are actually have fun with it.
Cameron just rolled a 2, he may now place 2 animals on the pyramid.
So, would I have this game for myself? Probably not. Dexterity isn't really my thing. But, as a game for parents to play with their children, or for their children to play among themselves this is a real gem. I highly recomend it for those situations. It can even be a great way to entertain children while you are playing games. Yesterday while I was playing a learning game of #Underwater Cities Cameron was soloing this, and he felt like he was playing games "with daddy." It was a great way to spend time together.