As my little man is a fan of Toy Story he received this Alien freefall game from father Christmas and he loves it, well that was until he actually played it! The game is quite fun to play but it does take a long time to set it up and then you only really get about 5 minutes of game play before you have to set it all up again.
~~PACKAGING AND CONTENTS~~
The box for the game is nice and bright and has a picture of the set up game on the front, the Toy Story 3 logo can be found on the top corner and there is a picture of one of the green three eyed aliens on the side. The back of the box shows three children playing the game. The main colours to the box are red blue and green and it would be easy to spot on a toy shelf.
Inside the bow you get the plastic pocket, lots of sticks, approximately 25 which are green purple and blue plastic. They measure about 17cm long but are quite thin so small hands may have difficulty picking them up off a table. We get a bag of green aliens which look just like the alien from the film. These are quite small and only measure 2.5cm by 2cm, they too are made from plastic and we have around 30 of them. With the contents of the box we also have a dice which is white in colour and differs from a standard one as this one has the colours of the sticks on each side, there are two sides for each of the colour.
We do also get an instruction sheet but this really is not needed as the game is very self explanatory.
~~SETTING UP AND GAME PLAY~~
Before we can start a game for the first time we have to assemble the rocket. This is quite simple to do and the two clear plastic sides with all the holes in have to be clipped together and then sat in the red plastic rocket base and on the very top a red tip just needs to be pushed on. The rocket takes shape when this has been done and it is quite sturdy but not very big. It stands only 27cm high and it 8cm wide and the widest point around the middle.
The start setting up for a game the plastic sticks need to be pushed through the holes so they come out of the other side of the rocket. The colours need to be spread out and they need to be put in a lot of different ways so they are not all forming straight lines, mixing it up makes for better game play overall. Once this has been done then the tip of the rocket needs pulling out so the aliens can be tipped in. this may sound easy but believe me its not, the aliens are quite thin so you will find quite a few just come straight out the bottom and they will have to be put back in, this can get slightly frustrating for children.
When all this has been done then it comes to actually playing the game, the object of playing is to remove all of the sticks and be the one who has the least aliens at the end. The dice is to be rolled by each player and the coordinating stick and dice colour needs to b removed from the rocket. If you remove your stick and aliens drop from the bottom then you have to keep these. Once the sticks have all gone the player who has the least aliens wins. It is then time to start the whole set up process again.
~~OPINION OF THE GAME~~
When it first came to setting the game up all three of my boys were very excited and loved the idea of having the make to rocket. I did not have to tell them what they had to do them with the sticks as they looked at the picture and had worked it out for themselves. They did find it very simple to put the sticks in as the holes are a good size and even my 3 year old found it quite simple to do. When it came to putting the aliens in the first time they did enjoy this as they laughed a lot when they just dropped straight through to the bottom but after a few plays this started to really annoy them as it meant they had to wait longer to play the game.
Both me and hubby explained about the dice and what the object of the game was but the first time we played they thought the object was to get the most aliens to win but when they discover they had lost as they all had loads of them and hubby had none they soon understood it was the other way round. The dice was a good size and simple for them to use, even with very small hands and they could easily see the colours. They did manage to get the sticks easier than I thought they would and had no problem getting them out.
We had a lot of fun playing with this game and for me I had the added educational side as they had to use their maths skills to count the aliens and work out who had the most and least of them. The only downside I found to the playing of the game was the amount of time it too for us to set it up as once completed the game only takes 5 minutes to play, there is no way of making the game play longer which is a shame. We have overcome the set up problem as it s now left to me of hubby to do it for them.
~~AGE RANGE AND SUITABILITY~~
The box says that this game is suitable for ages 5 and over. I don’t really take much notice of these guides and my 3 year old had a great time playing, he was easily able to help with the setting up and he recognised the colours and fully understood what he had to do, he was actually very good and had a great steady hand to remove the sticks. I think very small children will need to be watched with the game though as the aliens are small and may be put into mouths and the sticks can be a little dangerous as they are not very rounded at the ends.
We are told that the game is for 2-4 players but again I don’t agree fully with this. Obviously you need a minimum of two players but we are a family of 5 and we all play this together and it really does not make much difference at all and I think up to 6 people could comfortable play this game together.
I think that the game would be a good choice for all fans of the Toy Story film but if they are not then you may wish to stick to the original Kerplunk one which does not have a theme so will never go out of fashion with them.
~~PRICE AND AVAILABLITY~~
This toy was a gift for my little man but I have recently seen this on offer in Tesco with a price tag of just under £10, I think full price would be around £15. I do think the full price is steep as it only has a limited life, the length of time your child like the toy Story films and think that under £10 is much better value for money. It is available in a wide range of toyshops and also online.
I am going to recommend this game but I can only really give it 4 stars. We have lots of fun playing it and it is a game the whole family can play together but it does have its negative side, it takes a long time to set up and the game play is only short. The Toy ~Story theme is good but it only gives this toy a limited life. I think would say the original Kerplunk game may be a better way to go for a gift unless you can get this for under £10.