When my mum asked what she could buy my son for his birthday I took to amazon to gain inspiration. My son and I love playing games together and I do think it is a good way of gaining some quality time with your family and so when I saw junior cranium I suggested to my mum that she purchase that for him. This is my review of the product.
==What is it?==
Cranium junior is a Hasbro game which is suitable for children aged seven years and over. The game comes in a glossy looking, good quality box which is colourful and busy and so it really draws you in to look at it. On the centre of the box there is the cranium logo which is a brain with the word cranium running through it so immediately you are aware that this game will need some thinking at points!
You are told on the box that this game is suitable for two or more players and that it will take around twenty minutes to play a game.
The game is described as "the acting, puzzling, sketching, sculpting, code cracking game for kids" and I think that this is a very accurate way to describe it to be honest.
==Setting the game up and play==
Inside the box there is:
A game board,
A note pad for drawing pictures,
A tub of putty dough,
Some special red glasses for reading the coded answers on the cards,
A set of solo cards,
A set of combo cards
Four sets of coloured counters
Whilst there is quite a lot in the box the set up is really easy as you just need to open up the game board and then place the other items around it for when you need them.
The youngest player begins play by rolling the die. The die determines whether they will attempt a solo card or a combo card. The player should take a card from the front of the box and read the challenge on there and if they are successful they can place a counter on the board. The player who first gets four counters in a row or has the most counters on the board at the end of the game is declared the winner.
I have to say from the onset that we just love this game. It is a fun game to play with plenty of variety and so you aren't likely to be bored when playing it. I would say that the game is more fun when there are three or four people playing as it makes it more difficult to get four in a row on the board but it is still fun when just my son and I play it as well.
What I think both my son and I love the most about this game is the fact that it is so varied. If you roll a solo on the die then you will complete a solo challenge which can be anything from cracking a code by following picture clues, answering a trivia question where you have multiple choices, guessing what an item is from a zoomed in photograph or racing around the house trying to find something larger than your finger but smaller than your foot as an example. When you complete a solo challenge you put your counter on the board and nobody else can then use that space. With a combo challenge though if someone correctly guesses what you are either acting out, drawing or creating with the dough then you slot your counters together and both occupy that space and can both use it to count towards your four in a row.
When we play this game you can guarantee that we will all be in fits of laughter at one point or another whether it be at something that one of us has drawn or acted out or made with the dough. It is this aspect in particular that makes me enjoy this game so much because what is better than laughing with your children and seeing them have fun? The funniest moments are definitely achieved trying to make something out of the dough because it is bloody hard trying to make an easter egg out of a lump of purple dough!
The challenges in this game do vary in difficulty really and some you may think are really tricky for a child to accomplish because I personally had a nightmare trying to draw a library and make it good enough that my sister and son could guess it! There are some much easier ones though such as a police car or lips for example.
Something that my son really likes, and I suspect most children would, is the fact that to see what your challenge is on a combo card or what the answer is on a solo card you need to use the red glasses to discover the word or words. I personally find this aspect a little tiresome but my son loves the secrecy of it and takes pleasure in doing it.
When we play this game I would imagine it takes between fifteen minutes to half an hour depending on how many people are playing and how good they are at getting their counters on the board! I think the amount of time is perfect for this game and we will often go on to play a couple of games of this before moving on to another game when we have one of our games nights.
I am so pleased that I asked my mum to purchase this game for my son's birthday because there is genuinely nothing really negative about the game for me to comment on. My only slight niggle with the game would be that some of the solo questions on the cards can be overly simple but then some of the others really do take some thinking to work them out and so I think it is a good mix really. I can imagine we will play this game for a good few years yet as we both really enjoy it. I would liken this game to Pictionary really I think and that is a classic game in my opinion.
You can purchase this game from amazon for the brilliant price of £12.92 currently and I would say it is well worth that price and more and so totally recommended for children aged six or seven years plus.
Thank you for reading my review!