Tag Archives: Game

The Talking Om Nom Review

24 Apr

When we arrived home from a recent holiday I found a little cute green thing waiting to greet us.

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Yes, it’s Om Nom the adorable sweet munching green thing from the very successful game and app ‘Cut The Rope’

It was the boys who instantly feel head over heels in love with him. What with his great big eyes and cute Om Nom sweet munching noises, who wouldn’t?

To be honest the little man didn’t get much of a look in and Alice Sara didn’t get near the thing full stop! Why? Because the toddler has sort of claimed him as his own. We are off to Butlins for the weekend on Friday and I’ve already been informed that Om Nom is coming too! Watch out Bognor Regis… Lock up your yummy sticks of rock as Om Nom is coming to town.

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Children who love the game will love the all new adorable talking Om Nom plush by Vivid Toys! Even those who have never even played the game will have a hard job rejecting the Om Nom.. The toddler is proof of this!

All you have to do to get Om Nom talking is gently push the very top of his head. Note… The batteries are non replaceable, though I’ve been informed they have lasting power so here’s hoping.

Om Nom can be brought from all good toy retailers and has a RRP of £9.99

Oh, and if this isn’t exciting enough kids can also get their hands on cute collectable Nommies! Perfect for pocket money spenders at just £1.99.

Check out the Vivid Toys website to find out more.

Disclaimer: The children were sent the Talking Om Nom free of charge for the purpose of this review. Nonetheless all opinions are honest and that of my own.

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Review – Monster High Skultimate Roller Maze (3D -addition) On 3DS

21 Apr

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Monster High 3D Skultimate Roller Maze is currently the game of choice in our house. With a 10 year old daughter who is indeed monster high bonkers, what else would you expect.

Alice-Sara was made up at being given the opportunity to review a game based on the wacky monster high characters. She already has a huge collection of the dolls… Near on 50 to be exact so she of cause liked the idea of seeing them come to life in a 3d game.

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Roller Maze reminds me of super Mario cart and I love Mario cart! However, instead of little mushrooms sat behind the wheel of little cars, we have freaky but somewhat awesome leggy monsters on roller skates racing one another around various different courses.

Skultimate Roller Maze, allows you to Pick your favourite Monster High character to race the crypts of Monster High and other schools. Along the way you must collect power-ups while trying your best to avoid other monstrous obstacles.

Each character has its own unique abilities designed to help them win the race.

FEATURES
Race as Your Favorite Monster High Character Each with Unique Abilities
Compete on Multiple Treacherous Courses with Distinctive Themes from Your Favorite Monster High Episode
Customize Your Character and Team to Scream to Victory
Capture Monstrous Pick Ups to Help Your Team
Unique Gameplay Modes to Keep the Racing Spirited
Discover Freaky Hidden Items as You Race Your Team to Victory
Choose Multiple Difficulty Settings to Match Your Skull Skill

If like Alice-Sara, your child is a monster high fan, they certainly won’t be disappointed with this game. Having the release in 3D makes it all the more exciting.

Alice gives this game a big fat 8 out of 10… More courses and music would be an added bonus but on the whole its really great and we love it.

Monster High Skultimate Roller Maze (3D) is available to purchase from most well respected UK retailers now!

Disclaimer: We were sent the game free of charge for the purpose of this review. Nonetheless all opinions are honest and that of my own and my daughters.

The John Crane Memory Game, So Much More Than Just A Toy

3 Nov

If you read yesterdays post you will know that Paul, daddy of two girls and owner of “When I was a kid”  & ‘John Crane ltd’ are on a mission to uncover which of their toys are the most beneficial to a child, especially those on the autism spectrum or those with special needs. 

The idea is to make sure the toys are the best they can be and in a way that’s beneficial to all children, not just your “typical child” but also those who have developmental delays within a spectrum of areas, difficulties with sensory processing, occupational health, communication, etc.

I also wrote how I was sent a large catalogue displaying the current John Crane ltd toy range, which was just huge, yet extremely pleasurable to look through. There were some great toys, making it quite difficult to select just six off the them to which I would provide some feed back on. Well, as you may have guessed already, they liked what I had to say and that’s why today I’m going to share some of that feed back I gave on one of their products with you guys. 

  My first selection was ‘Memory’ part of the John Crane ltd GoGo range

 Below is the product description from the online toy shop ‘When I was a kid’

 Who didn’t love “Picking Pairs” as a child? I know I did, my dad and I would play for hours with a pack of cards – all 52 of them laid out on the floor. Heaven knows how we memorised them and picked the pairs!


One of our suppliers, John Crane toys has seen the fun of this traditional game and also the educational benefits too and come up with an up to date and colourful wooden version – called The Memory Game!

Little green and orange ‘mushroom’ shaped pieces fit into the tray and are easily lifted by little fingers whilst a number of cards fit below – offering loads of memory challenges on differing themes – such as insects, transport, food etc…

Memory games help with all sorts of skills in younger children, even early reading skills are enhanced!

 First Impressions 

I was instantly drawn to this impressive well made wooden game as soon as I saw it in the catalogue. I love educational toys especially those that benefit all children, while providing them with a fun activity in the process. 

As mentioned above, Memory is a game that has been played for many years and is normally done so with a few decks of playing cards. 

Well, this has the exact same concept as a game of pairs but instead its been transformed into a beautiful wooden game with insert-able brightly coloured cards that have images on either side providing lots of visual stimulation. Each card has a theme there’s animals, fruits, clothing, transport and more. 

The wooden board has two slots, one where cards are stored and the other for when in playing mode (where you slot your desired card) The pictures are then hidden with the help of the wooden lids.

 Playing time per game

Playing time per game, depends on your child and the amount of players (I would recommend no more than two or your game may be over to quickly). 

If your used to the rule, “For every pair you find, you get another turn” I would recommend you don’t use this mode of play! Remember, playing with a deck of cards results in a larger number of pairs needing to be found, which is why “When I was a kid” have introduced the toy in its toddler section. 

 Why I chose this game as one of my autism friendly six! 

 Many Children with autism or aspergers syndrome have exceptional long-term memory, especially when it comes to the child’s particular “Special interest” which is often true for the child with Aspergers. This could be anything from names, dates, specific periods of time, facts about space, or like little man, “Bus numbers and destinations”  However working memory (which is more commonly known as our short-term memory) can often be a weakness, which is why many children on the autism spectrum struggle to follow simple sets of instructions, especially if it involves doing things in sequence. Yes, its easy to become annoyed with a child when they seem to lack the basic skills required to follow basic sets of instructions, more so if the child is yet to gain a diagnosis. For me, it was the difficulty I had when trying to understand why my child was able to remember vast amounts of information that related to, “Buses” but couldn’t carry out the smallest of tasks, like sending him to brush his teeth or put on his shoes, having only just reached the top of the stairs he would have forgotten what it was he was meant to be doing?

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What is Working memory?

Working memory is a process that most of us engage in without even releasing it. An example would be your boss giving you a set of instructions on a project that needed completing. We listen, process and store the information we’ve been given! We may jot down notes later but still need to recall the information in our heads and do so in the appropriate order.

If you’re a parent of a child on the autism spectrum, there is a pretty good chance that your child’s teacher has reported that your child has poor attention or refuses to listen to any instructions being given. This is an all too common assumption, when in actually fact the child is listening extremely hard but the amount of information being given in such a short time frame leads to the child’s confusion, they become muddled within their own heads simply because they didn’t have time to process the information. 

The above can then lead to a host of other difficulties for the child, like challenging behaviour and low self-esteem. The child could even be branded as naughty, another all to common scenario. 

It’s for reasons like those above, that children with autism work well with visuals. Its well documented how children on the autism spectrum are better at carrying out day-to-day task with the help of visual prompts. Maybe… think about it as a set of instructions you follow when putting  together a flat pack! This is how the child uses visuals. 

The John Crane ‘Memory’ game is the perfect tool to aid this area of weakness. Children with autism will have great fun memorising where each picture is on the board, they will learn the skills of patience and turn taking as well as the concept of competition, all while improving they’re working memory. 

Little man loves this game, but has now studied all the cards over a few weeks and now beats me far to easy (see this is where his talents come into play as once he wants to store information over a longer period of time he will set about doing it and does so very well) what’s great though, he still wants to play everyday. At 11 years old his working memory is still poor but improving all the time. Speech and language therapy as well as certain games we play and task I engage him in, such as asking him to remember things on a shopping list, are just a number of things I believe has brought about these improvements.

As much as Little loves this game, I would recommend to the younger child with and without autism, maybe a larger board with more pairs to match would be better suited to the older child.

  Recommendations

Personally I’d recommend  Memory for children between the ages of 2-7 (note the recommend age is 36 months) However I would also recommend this to a child that bit older, who is seen to have greater developmental delays whether this is a child with autism or another form of disability

 Parental perspective, given by a mother of a child with Asperger’s Syndrome 

 This is both a toy and a great resource for a child with special needs. It would be a great if ‘John Crane’ were to bring out additional packs of cards. These could then be sold in addition to the game, meaning parents could buy additional packs of cards as and when they like. This would therefore provide the child with more off a challenge, and they would never become bored, while also giving them that aspect of forming a collection (which they love to do). 

I consider ‘Memory’ to be a valuable resource & toy that could be used in the home, at school or nursery, even during a speech and language session! 

 Overall Quality  

 As always, ‘John Crane ltd’ have brought us a beautifully crafted wooden toy that is hand finished to perfection. This is a toy that I’m sure Paul is pleased to have featured on his site. 

Memory is likely to withstand the test of time and could be passed down generations with a little love and care. 

 Where to buy

 So, there you have it! A perfect toy for a child with or without autism, that displays a friendly price tag of a reasonable £32.99

 Whether it’s your child’s working memory you seek to improve, or just the chance to have fun playing with a fun but educational toy, then I can’t see where you could go wrong when buying Memory!  

 Visit, ‘When I was a kid’ the online friendly independent toy shop, who provide its customers with fantastic customer service and an excellent delivery service (get it the next working day or within 2 working days via the fast track service) 

Just click HERE to get yours

Why not like ‘When I was a kid’ on facebook or check out the ‘John Crane’ blog    

 

It’s all fun and games with Ka’lide

12 Oct

Another day, another Santa’s little helpers and blog-match mission.

The guys at blog-match have matched us to the guys at imagination games, who sent us the game Ka’lide.

AIM OF THE GAME:

Score points by flicking, bumping and sliding your magnetic pucks onto you’re scoring side of the game mat!

WHAT YOU GET!

One large mat

Magnetic pucks

Note: You will additionally require a pen and paper (not included) to record the scores.

SET UP AND ORDER OF PLAY:

Set up in a room that has lots of space being careful to remove any breakable items away from the playing area.

Establish who’s first by engaging in a “Flick Off”

Closet to 200 point circle wins the “flick off” and therefore goes first.

MAIN GAME:

Each player sits at either end of the playing mat facing one another. Both ends of the mat are colour coded red or yellow. Each player has a total of six pucks each and take it in turns to carefully flick pucks across the mat aiming for the points circles (highest being 200)

IMPORTANT RULES:

If a player overshoots it becomes a dead puck and must be left where they have fallen to the end of the round.

A player can knock or magnetically push another puck into the scoring zone.

For these reasons scores should only be recorded at the end of each round.

Three rounds make up one game of Ka’lide.

WHO PLAYED?

Here comes a heart attack moment, Little man and his sister, my daughter Alice, actually played this game together. They just about managed it without actually killing one another.

VERDICT:

**** We award 4 stars to the imagination game Ka’lide

LAST THOUGHTS:

Ka’lide is very entertaining and is worth adding to your Christmas list.

The game is good at helping aid the development of motor co-ordination as-well as fine motor skills, concentration and hand-eye co-ordination.

The children engaged in a little bickering, but hay what’s new?

As mentioned before Little man tends to be overly controlling a symptom of his Asperger’s syndrome. When his sister scored he found it quite hard to take, with the lack of control over the game and the fact his a sore losers did prove difficult some of the time (though I guess his sisters slight smirk doesn’t help either)!

Over all a fabulous game.

Give it a go and have some fun.

Note: If more than two players are desired this can be done via a knock out game or a team game, full instructions for this are given in the instruction booklet provided with your game.: 

Imagination games: Ka’lide at Amazon

Age 8+ £19.99 RRP 

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Alice Kicks some butt!

6 Oct

Blog-Match the brilliant peeps that match bloggers with brands have paired us with the fantastic Tactic games.

 Tactic sent us two board games to review, Faqir and Dotto (which will follow in another post)

 So, what’s it normally like playing board games with two very competitive children, one who is rule band and throws an almighty strop when he loses?

A nightmare that’s what it is!

 Five minutes in and all hell broke loose. 

 Now, I should state If it was just me and the little man then his fine, he just can’t play alongside his sister unless his in control and things are going his way! Not easy to put this into practice when playing a board game.

 Later that evening Little man went out with his father and I took Alice and the youngest around my mothers house and decided to bring the game and ask my younger sister and her boyfriend to play the game with Alice. There was no point me even trying with my toddler about.

 Lucky my sisters boyfriend said he would give it a go and with much excitement Alice sat down to face her opponent.

 Inside the box

 On opening Faqir we found a board with lots of hole, 28 brightly coloured plastic cones, 24 faqir cards, 4 Faqir dressing rooms and a handy pouch to store cards and cones. 

 What each player requires

 Each player has a certain number of cards depending on how many are playing.

Each player has a dressing table in which they place one of their cards behind.

Lastly

Each player is given a set of cones, there are 4 different colours to choose from.

 Aim of the game!

 Players must place their first card behind they’re dressing table, leaving it only partially visible to their opponent.  Each card has a number of holes (like what you get if you hole punch paper) the holes make up a pattern. The players will take it in turns with the youngest going first (Yep it’s in the rules) each must make the same pattern on their card on the board. This is done by placing the supplied cones (aka nails, into the holes on the board) Once the pattern is complete and the players card can be placed on top of the nails avoiding injury and a nasty anti-tetanus jab 🙂 they move on to another card. Once all your cards have gone you have a winner.  

Piece of cake right!

No, not exactly it isn’t! You see, as mentioned above each players card is partially exposed to its opponent(s) resulting in part of the pattern being revealed. This may only be one or two holes but still it gives players a clue to their opponents movements allowing them to try and block you. 

 The contest

On the left we have Aaron, sister’s boyfriend aged 18 years

On the right we have Alice-Sara ten years his senior at just 8yrs

How is this even fair?

 Does Aaron have the ability to easily beat his younger opponent with his ability to think outside the box?

 No way, this is my daughter we are talking about!

Competitive should be her middle name.

 Jammy dodger pulled it off.

Whoop Whoop

That’s my girl

Alice scores it top marks ***** 5 star

Where Aaron gave it a lower ***  3 star… um I wonder why?

I later played this with little man and I think its brilliant for an older child with Aspergers as It improves non verbal reasoning skills and helps the child look beyond what he thinks he see. 

Well, Little man done well and I just bet him right at the end but it was close, very, very close!

Faqir by Tactic Games

Age 7+

2-4 players per game

Around 30 minute game time per round.

 Amazon currently stock this and I’ve checked and the good news is they have six in stock for £18.99 

Amazon

Visit the Tactic website for more information

http://www.tactic.net/

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