Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Don't Panic! Get Zoo Panic!

Christmas is almost here!

Can you believe it?

November was here and gone in a flash.  It is now mid-December.  It is time to finish baking, shopping, wrapping, and decorating.  It is time to relax a bit and enjoy the holidays!

One way that my family enjoys spending time together during the holidays is by playing games.  My girls tend to go in streaks with the games they choose.  One of their absolute favorites is Uno.  They started playing it when they were about three years old.  I thought it was a great opportunity for them to practice their number and color recognition skills.  When we first played, we never skipped, or drew cards.  We just matched by color.  Now that the girls are 6 and 7, we play by the real rules.  It has done a great job of teaching them to be a good sport and not get caught up on winning.   I personally think cards are great for that because anyone can win.  While there is some strategy involved, it isn't always the biggest, strongest, fastest, smartest, etc person that wins. 

Knowing how much my kids love games, I jumped at the chance to receive Zoo Panic from Endless Games to play with my girls.  I received the game in mid-November.  It didn't take long before the girls started asking to play. 

A bit about the game:
From Amazon:
The cages in the zoo have been left open, and all the animals are now mixed up. Find the animals and help them back to their own cages. The player who helps the most animals wins. No reading required. Recommended for ages 4 and up for two or more players. Educational skill builder matching game. Player who helps the most animals get back to their cages wins. Fun for kids of all ages. 

What I Loved:
  • The game was easy to set up.  It only took about five minutes from the time I opened the box until we were involved in the game.  The girls popped out the pieces while I read the directions.  
  • If you can count, you can play!  From my young niece to myself, anyone can play this game and have fun.  It is a game that involves a little bit of strategy, but mostly luck.  You can be competitive, but one person isn't going to dominate the entire game.  It seems that no matter how you play the game, the difference between the winner and losers will be about one trophy. 
  • It takes a good length of time.  Some kids' games go too quickly.  After only five minutes you're done and cleaning up, or having to restart.  Other games can last for days.  Personally, I don't have the patience to continue to play a game for several days in a row.  I need resolution more quickly than that.  For us, this game took about 1/2 hour from start to finish.
What I didn't love:

The rules weren't that specific . . . or maybe I didn't read them well enough.  Either way, it resulted in a bit of a disagreement, based on interpretation, between me and Doc.  Even now,  I'm not sure if you have to roll exactly the right number to get into the cage or if you just have to roll a number that is high enough.  We played exact rolls just to make it a bit more challenging, but if you were playing with younger kids you might not want to do that. 

Would I recommend it?

Absolutely!  It is an enjoyable game that we have played several times since receiving it.  If you are looking for a fun filler item for your young kids for Christmas, I personally think that you will like Zoo Panic.  It is easy enough for anyone to play, but interesting enough that even adults can enjoy it.   While I don't know that I'd pay $24 for it (I tend to be pretty cheap!), I think it is a great purchase if you are able to find it on sale. 

*Disclaimer:  Endless Games send me a copy of Zoo Panic to facilitate this review.  No other compensation was received.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.


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