When I was younger, I used to love playing the game 'Operation' with my brother, mainly because I was so much better than him and I was a bit too competitive for my own good. So this Christmas, I decided it was time to invest in some classic games for Harry as well, so I was thrilled that my brother's girlfriend chose another fantastic present for Harry this year, the Cars 2 version of 'Operation'. It's made by Hasbro, much like the original version but this one is sure to appeal to young children who love the 'Cars' franchise and ensures the classic games is kept very much at the forefront of children's imaginations where it belongs.
The game comes in a large cardboard box, with a big picture of the character Mater on the front, Finn McMissile slightly off the left and the product name is bright red at the top so you can't miss what it's actually called. As well as the illustration of Mater, there are also cartoony pictures of the pieces of him you have to remove so children can use this as a reference when playing which is handy if they want to play alone without adult assistance. The box stated that the game is for 6 years and above, Harry is 5 1/2 and manages this perfectly but younger children would struggle due to the co-ordination and patience needed to play. You do need 4 AAA batteries to play this which aren't supplied so make sure you have some of those in if you're buying this game to play straight away!
When you open up the box, you're greeted with the game. It's a red rectangular tray style, with a cardboard picture of Mater across the top of it, with the holes for the missing parts to pop into dotted along the front of it. Inside the box you will find game money, 2 sets of play cards, the missing pieces and an instruction leaflet. We decided to play without money initially as we didn't want to complicate it too much for Harry, and it works just fine without it too, simply deciding a winner from whoever has extracted the most pieces. You put the batteries into the compartment underneath the game which was easy to do, pop the pieces into their appropriate holes and you're ready to play! It's a quick and easy game to set up which is great when you have small children nagging you to start the minute you've opened up the box!
To play, you need to deal out the "Specialist cards" between the players of the game, and make a pile of "Doctor" cards. The youngest player goes first, picking up a "Doctor" card which lists the part that they have to remove, and the money they would get for doing so. Now, you have use the tweezers provided to remove the piece stated on the card, but be careful not to touch the metal sides of the hole as the buzzer will go off and you're out of that go! If the buzzer sounds, the person who holds the "Specialist" card for that particular piece gets one attempt at removing it, and receives double the prize money if they can. If neither player can do it, the card goes to the bottom of the Doctor pack, ready to be chosen again as the game goes on.
As you can imagine, this is great fun with young children as they can be competitive, yet also massively un co-ordinated, and Harry has a terrible habit of just stabbing the tweezers in the holes and hoping for the best... no finesse here! The plastic pieces are very small and sometimes awkward to remove as you can't grab them very well with the tweezers but I suppose that's all part of the fun! The buzzer, when it goes off, is rather loud and alternates between a loud buzz, and Mater's laughing and shouting "woo hoo!" and it never fails to make Harry giggle! There's also a bright light on the left side which goes off alongside the noise. It's great to play this game in silence as the buzzer then sounds louder and makes you jump more, great fun! After you've finished, you pop the little pieces into the black tray which is situated under the game tray and slides out and keep them safe, it certainly stops you losing bits!
Overall, this game has been a massive hit with Harry and I've played it countless time since Christmas already and Harry shows no signs of getting bored with it yet! I love the fact that they've updated the bones silly named car pieces such as "busted grill", "bad gas" and "Missile Tow"! There's a handy little storage notch on the bottom for the tweezers so they don't move around too much in the box, the tray for the pieces is a great idea and it's simple enough for young children to play. You don't even need to use the money if you don't want, we manage fine without it. It's a great modern twist on a classic game, and one that I sure will interest many young children. It's a good game for practicing their co-ordination, and learning the art of patience while they're at it too! I'm really pleased Harry received this game for Christmas and I'm looking forward to many more games with Harry this year!
Available on Amazon.co.uk for £17.89 (January 2012 price). Requires 4xAAA batteries which are NOT provided.
Thank you for reading!