Chad Valley 3D Snakes & Ladders
My son received this for Christmas a few years back as my family know that he enjoys board games. My son is quite traditional like me, favouring the more retro and traditional games, he does have a selection of newer games but he still returns to the older style games. Chad valley have been making board games for years, and is a well-known name in this field. They make sturdy and robust toy that are more often sold in supermarkets (from my experience anyway!)
The game is a more elaborate take on the traditional snakes and ladders. Instead of mere pictures of snakes and ladders that you needed to use to race to the end before your opponent, they have more of an assault cause type contraption. There is a spinner and several slides and obstacles which either take you forward or refer you back. Each space has a little circle to hold your marble (which is your counter) in place and when you place the marble on the space in which an obstacle begins you watch the marble roll to the correct place.
The game is made of plastic and needs to be assembled, but this is simple enough. The base is approximately 30cmx30cm and is made of transparent plastic which has a something resembling the original snakes and ladders game glued in between. It has four coloured marbles in yellow, green, orange and purple and a simple dice. There is no way to store the dice and marbles safely after opening so I have had to make a small fabric drawstring bag in order to keep them safe. There is also included a simple instruction manual. If you wish to store the game in the cardboard box in which it came the game will need to be disassembled each time before storing but I have bought a plastic container to keep it in for two reasons, one, to prevent us constantly losing the marbles and two to be able to keep the game in one piece as my sons are boisterous and I was concerned it could break with constant assembly and disassembly, not to mention the risk of losing the pieces. Although the marbles would be easily replaced if lost, if you lose a slide the game is pretty much useless.
The game is straight forward, each opponent has a marble and places it at the start and in turn take a roll of the dice. You move the marble the number of spaces that is shown on the dice. The winner is the one who reaches the end first. However there are many obstacles in the way, you may land on a slide that could move you further along or one that takes you back. Some obstacle require you to move the marble along a wobbly bridge by balancing and pressing the button, or spinning the ball in a spinner, but beware if you fall off your back to the beginning. There are many obstacles to get through. The game is one of chance and there is absolutely no skill involved at all apart from maybe perseverance and patients with the obstacles, but it is a great expansion and improvement on the original that makes playing it more fun. My son enjoys this game, but it seems a little flimsy and must be played with a little care.
The game is for 2-4 players and is for 5 years plus, there is the obvious choking risk with the marbles for younger children. I would say any age could enjoy this but the design is aimed at the younger market, with the bright colours and simple obstacles. This is another game that comes out for family games night and Christmas and my son enjoys playing it very much and it gives the family lots of enjoyment.
It was a gift to my son so therefore I don't know the purchase price but I have seen them on amazon for £19.78 with free delivery, but the one on amazon is a more deluxe version and it comes with a storage bag. However they are also available on eBay for varying prices in both used and new condition.
Yet another of the games that was bought for my daughter at Xmas, this is another brand new take on an old family classic; a board game that has entertained and delighted for several generations but here given an all new twist!
No more plain, boring two-dimensional board game, now Snakes And Ladders has been given an upgrade! Now the ladders wiggle and jiggle as you try to climb them (fall off and it's back to the start, my friend) and the snakes are more like slides down which your spherical counter must go should you land on their space! The intention, no doubt, is to make it all a bit more exciting but I have to be honest, there is something to say about messing with something that has always been so charmingly simple and not all of it is good!
Another new addition is a Pirate wheel that comes very early on in the game. Land on a space with a red arrow and you have to go for a spin on the wheel. Where the wheel stops decides whether you go forward or back on the board adding another new and random element to the game. This is just one more feature that kind of feels a bit unnessecary to me!
The board is quite well constructed and the intentions are all honourable but I am a bit old fashioned and can't help feeling that there was nothing wrong with the original game! Maybe that's just me though! Certainly my daughter loves this but not quite as much as Alien Freefall, also known in my house as Alien Kerplunk!
As already mentioned, the counter is now a small ball ~ the better for it to roll down the snakes and traverse the ladders randomly scattered around the playing area. This is another troubling factor though as I think it would be very easy for a small child to swallow meaning that adult supervision is probably advised during gameplay!
All in all, this is an okay new twist on a nostalgic classic board game but my own opinion is that there are some things that don't need an upgrade and Snakes And Ladders is one of those!
Bought as a present, I can't really complain but I wouldn't have bought this myself!
3D snakes and ladders by Chad Valley (yes another game by Chad Valley that we own)
As you are probably aware by my latest reviews I love Chad Valley games for my children. The main reason for purchase is the price, they are very good value for an affordable price. They are always colourful which makes it appealing to children and more often than not the game is simple yet an effective enjoyable game.
With this game they have made a great new version to the classic game of snakes and ladders. I knew instantly that my children would love this game as they like playing normal snakes and ladders and so being able to build this board with the extra parts that need to be added to the board is an added bonus.
So before we start the game we have to set the board up. There are a few plastic 3D obstacles which have to be placed in their proper places on the board. Following the instructions this is quite simple to do and once set up you only have to take the taller one off to put it all back in the box. There are orange slide snakes and green ladders. One of the ladders is made up in three parts which have to be put together. There is a purple wheel and also a purple tower for the highest snake to start from (this is the one thing you have to take off the board to store it away in the box). Once it is all set up off you.
The object of the game is just like the original snakes and ladders but brought more to life. You have four coloured balls so up to four people can play and you start with the highest roll of the dice winner. We then take it in turns to try and get ourselves round the board and to the end avoiding the snakes and trying to land on the ladders. If you land on a snake then your ball rolls down to the end and you go backwards on the board, if you land on a ladder then you tilt it up so your ball rolls further along the board. The board is made of plastic with little moulds all around the chart for your ball to sit on. It shows you arrows on each one so you know which way to move. If you land on the wheel then you put your ball on it and twist it round and come off where it lands. If you land by the tower snake then you have to flick it up to the tower top, this is very hard to do and we very rarely do it first time if at all before giving up! The winner is the one that gets to the finish line YAY.
This is another simple colourful board game by Chad valley. It is very simple to play and as with the age differences in our family it is something we can all play and we all have a chance of winning as it is all down to the luck of the dice. My kids love counting how many they don't want to get to get past the snake or how many they need to get on the ladder. The objects are easy to get around really (apart from the tower snake) and if you fall off then you are supposed to start again (but we don't play it like that mostly) It is such a classic game made more fun for this generation. The board is very durable and the parts added are still on there now and we have had it a while.
My only gripe is that it doesn't fit in the box all complete because of the tower. It seems to be a regular thing with these games lately and that the last snake trial of getting the ball to the top is almost impossible. But saying that this game is a great rendition of the classic
Some games come and go or are forgotten about but this classic will be around for years to come.
Chad Valley have been designing different toys since 1860 and you can still find a good range at Woolworths today. Everything from soft toys to games are included in the range and this is one of the games that my daughter decided to buy her 5 year old brother for Christmas this year.
Snakes and Ladders can be dated back to India in the 16th Century and then it became popular in the Victorian era in the UK. There have been many different versions of the game throughout the years and I used to love playing it when I was small as the concept is easy for a pre-schooler to understand. Of course it is still just as much fun to play nowadays and it can get pretty competitive in our house.
***What's In The Box***
When you open the box you will find only a few things in here. First of all there are four differently coloured balls and these are your pieces for playing. The colours are slightly different to traditional ones in that you still get green and yellow but instead of blue and red, they use orange and purple instead. Along with these balls, is a reasonably sized white die with black spots on it.
The playing board is a little bit different to the normally flat version and has lots of 3D obstacles fitted on to it. These are what you use for the snakes and ladders and range from a wiggly snake that you have to manoeuvre the ball piece around to a see saw style ladder and a roundabout that can either help or hinder you.
There is one piece that isn't moulded on and that is made up of a tube and a slide that fit together and then sit on the board to make the biggest snake. This piece is difficult to separate again and to be honest we keep it made up because we are frightened of snapping it. The only problem with this is that although it can be easily taken off the board, it doesn't fit back in the box and has to sit on top of it instead. This is a fault I have with a couple of other games in the Chad Valley range too.
There is also an instruction leaflet inside the box to tell you how to play the game.
Playing is pretty easy and is generally just the same as the traditional game. To start the game, each player rolls the die to see who will get the highest score. After that turns are taken to see who can get to the end first.
On the way you are bound to encounter one of the obstacles and each one has a special feature to help or hinder. The see saw ladder is relatively simple as you just have to roll your ball from one end to the other to gain spaces. There is also another ladder that you tilt one way then the other to get ahead. The last ladder on the board has a little flicking switch at one end where you try to flick the ball over a small hump to the other side.
The snakes are a little bit more difficult. I already mentioned the twisty one that you have to wiggle from side to side, and it is relatively easy along with another one with a flicking motion like the ladder. The longest snake can be reached by sliding a mechanism up to the top of it and tipping it so the ball rolls down the slide. The last snake is a bit more tricky though because you land in a little hole which has a springboard type attachment and you have to try to jump your ball on the snake from here. This hardly ever works and you inevitably fall off so this is one to definitely avoid.
The reason to avoid falling off the obstacles is simple because when you fall off, you have to return to the start. This means that a game can last anything from a couple of minutes to 20 minutes. When it comes to reaching the finish, the correct amount must be thrown and if you roll more, you have to stay where you are until your next go.
This is a great version of an old favourite and adds a little bit more excitement for young children not to mention the adults too. I love board games because they remind me of sitting round playing with my family when I was young and I remember it was a time that included a lot of fun and laughter.
With so many games being computer based now, I think it's very important for parents to try to spend some time each week interacting with their children and this type of game is excellent for bringing the family together. It is simple enough for pre-schoolers to play with supervision and encourages counting, turn taking and learning that playing this type of game can be fun even if you don't always win. This version also encourages little fingers to do little tasks along the way, helping hand/eye co-ordination.
So many games are all fancy with lights and sounds but this simple but colourful design will really keep young children amused for hours. My son loves playing it and there has only been a few days since he got it, that he hasn't asked one of us to play it with him. Of course if everyone is busy, he gets one of his toys to play with him so he can have some fun on his own with it too.
I have to say that I'm very impressed with the structure of the game and it seems pretty sturdy. The funny little pictures round the board of the balls with arms and legs are amusing to look at and the obstacles make it that little bit different. The only drawback I have is that the large snake cannot be taken apart more easily and of course it is a little bit annoying that it doesn't fit in the box so care has to be taken there.
Apart from that though, it's an excellent game for all the family to play.
***The Price & Availability***
This Chad Valley version was bought from Woolworths for only £4.99, which I think is excellent value. There are similar versions of this 3D game available at the likes of Tesco and it sells for a similar price there too.