My son-in-law Mark and my grandson Jack both love everything to do with Dr Who and so it was no surprise that Jack had a lot of Dr Who toys for Christmas. I had considered this game for a while since I thought it might be a bit grown-up for Jack and the game itself looked as though it needed some skill to play. Children all get frustrated if they can't do something straight away and Jack is quite impatient anyway. So I bought something else and my son-in-law bought this for Jack.
This had a sturdy box which is essential since children can break things easily, and it looks exciting to play on the cover. It's called Imagination The Time Wars game and looks exactly the same as the other 'Save the Universe' game, though it's priced differently. The age range is 8+ so you can see why I wondered if it was too old for Jack at 6 years old. He is very knowledgeable about Dr Who though so on Boxing Day we got this out to play with mum playing as well. We thought we'd give his dad a go when we knew the rules since he's competitive and knows more than us.
The board is another sturdy construction with a layout that looks a bit confusing at first. It doesn't seem to have any ways of moving but when you read the rules it becomes clearer. I'd suggest parents become familiar with rules first if playing with younger children; Jack didn't want to wait to play. In the middle of the board is a hinged cardboard construction that flips over and sits over the various locations on the board, (don't worry all will be made clear).
Next are three stacks of cards, which comprise of the following;
1 stack of mission cards.
1 stack of question cards.
1 stack of enemy cards.
Then there's two dice, six coloured stone counters and a rulebook.
Object of the game.
Each player closes a counter and a mission card, which is kept secret. A mission will be something like this 'go to. ...Destination collecting three weeping angels, two daleks and a Silurian to win the game and save the universe.' I won't give the destinations and spoil the surprise. This game is based on the latest Dr and his adventures with Rory and Amy so the trivia questions, missions and destinations will apply to the series of this doctor only.
The first player throws the dice and moves the counter through the spaces and hopes to land on the destination squares that allow a trivia question to be asked. On answering successfully the player collects the reward that is usually collecting some enemies. But this is a smart game and there are plenty of wild cards that can help or hinder the player. The more players, the more complications can arise, leading to lots of fun. You can end up with twice the amount of certain enemies and not enough of the others to win the game.
Of course, you also have to reach your destination and there are only enough for six players and are scattered over both sides of the board. Some destinations can only be entered by following the maze of the board and landing on the yellow square. Another player can land on certain squares and then the central hinged flap flips over locking in all players on that side of the board. So you can be near to winning and find yourself in the equivalent of a black hole!
Of course there are more rules and a few ways of countering each player's moves, but these are fun to find out for yourself. My review will hopefully give you an idea of the game and the levels of skill required. It might sound complicated but I'd say that this can make the game more fun as you can always make the rules a bit easier for young children. One thing you might need to do is brush up on your Dr Who knowledge as there were lots of questions I couldn't answer since I only watch some of the series.
The Game in Play.
Our first try at this was hilarious since we were still trying to learn the rules as we went along. I got confused with the yellow lines I wasn't allowed to cross and we didn't see that there were multi-choice answers to some questions that would have made it easier for me. I'd say the questions are definitely for older children and younger ones might need some help. This made the game really interesting and although it's not educational I'd say it makes you think about observation.
The draw of the game is without a doubt the flip-board. This makes the game last longer and is quite realistic for children, adding a third dimension to what could otherwise be a basic game like Trivial Pursuit. We allowed Jack to flip the board several times by pointing out the moves that would land his counter on the correct spaces. After the second game he was thinking a few moves ahead and that is good for any child to do. It's an ability that he has learned with patience as well which will help when he plays with other children.
This really is a super game and well worth the price of £14.99 that it is on Amazon at the moment. Since there are a few similar games then make sure you have the correct one. Our first game lasted about 45 minutes with a bit of help. It could take longer depending on the number of players and the age range. I'd say it's interesting for both adults as well as children and is adaptable to make it harder to play once you get used to the questions. I suppose you could always make some of your own ones, but there are lots of question cards already in the game.
Many board games can be disappointing with flimsy construction and a boring plot. This is a great game and you don't have to be a big Dr Who fan to play it, although it helps! I'm sure this will be a family favourite for a long while.
Thanks for reading.