“ Brand: ELC „
Board games were all the rage when I was growing up. I had quite a few games, and a few firm favourites, one of which was Hungry Hippos. We only keep a few select board games now, and it has been a while since we owned or played any games that were aimed at the younger audience.
Since my son turned three years of age a whole spectrum of different toys and games can now be enjoyed. It seems that many toys are labelled with the not suitable for under three's logo. However, now we can enjoy a plethora of games. I tend to buy toys throughout the year, so we can enjoy them one at a time, instead of bombarding him with an abundance of toys all for one day of the year. I feel he appreciates them more this way. I often have a browse around the Early Learning Centre when I'm out in town, I was on the lookout for various games for my son, and wondered what would be suitable for us. After having a good look around at all that was on offer, I happened upon their Hungry Frogs game, I had a quick look to see that it was suitable for his age, and I just knew that we had to have it. I was quite excited at the prospect of enjoying a childhood favourite with my son.
>> Leaping with Excitement
The game is the same as its predecessor in every which way, other than the fact that it features hungry frogs, rather than hungry hippos. The other difference is that it is slightly smaller looking, and the levers are larger to make it easier for little hands to play. The game comes in a traditional box where the game slides out. Included within is a Hungry Frog game base, a bag of plastic assorted coloured balls, and an instruction leaflet. The game is prebuilt and ready for immediate play.
Opening the box I immediately thought how cute the set looked. It is bright and colourful, the pond base features four rather hungry frogs, each of which are a different colour including red, orange, blue, and green, all of which are sat around the blue pond base.
>> Frolicking With the Frogs
This is a basic game that requires few skills, so young children can participate. However, it is a game that requires adult supervision due to the fact that it contains small plastic balls which pose a choking hazard, though I'm sure most adults will be willing to participate and join in the fun. In fact, most would be hard pressed not to want to play.
The premise of the game is to hurriedly grab and munch as many balls as you can, using your selected hungry frog, it's as simple as that. The game can be enjoyed by four players, each chooses a coloured frog, the balls are poured into the centre of the pond, and each player places their hand on their frog lily pad lever, before the countdown commences 3-2-1 GO! Each player frantically bashes on their frog lily pad lever making their frog leap to munch as many balls as possible, as quickly as possible. The balls pass through the frog's mouth, and fall into the tray below. Once all the balls have been munched, each player excitedly counts their collected balls to determine the winner.
Of course one game is never enough, as it is quite addictive, and each game only lasts a couple of minutes. It is always sure to elicit lots of giggles and silliness from all players, as even adults will revert back to their youth and revel in the fun as they rekindle fond memories from their childhood. This game is suitable for youngsters aged from three years up to grownups with no age limitation. It is a game that is appreciated by all, young and old, for the sheer fun factor and silliness that it ensues. The youngest players will not only have great fun, they will also be strengthening their hand-eye coordination, along with reinforcing and practicing counting skills, and colour recognition.
>> Time to Croak
The game is every bit as enjoyable as the original. It is constructed to a high standard, with it being very good quality. However, as this version uses frogs, the jointed legs can sometimes pop off their rivets, this has only happened a handful of times, so it isn't a big issue, and they are easily repaired, even if a bit fiddly. Though, this isn't much fun mid game, as little ones will not want to wait whilst it is being repaired. I do think the original hippo version is better suited for the intended use, as I cannot recall there ever being any problem with that particular version as there are no fiddly bits. The game gets quite a bit of rough treatment, as to be expected, the levers get smashed up and down rapidly in haste and excitement, and it has taken plenty of brutal gameplay over the last few months. It stands up to rough play, and no parts have actually broken, with only a frog's leg coming unhinged. Despite the small niggle, I still highly recommended this game for youngsters, as it offers great fun.
>> Croaking with Joy
I was excited to unleash the game and enjoy a childhood favourite with my son. He was curious as I took the pond base from the box, and I knew that he would be excited by the balls. As I tipped the coloured balls into the pond my sons face lit up with excitement, and he reached in to shuffle his hands through them frantically, he was elated. He was already excited, and we hadn't even started. After much excitement and the balls rolling everywhere we eventually got started. It did take a bit of persuasion to get my son to leave the balls in the pond, as he just wanted to grab at them and shuffle them about.
I showed my son how to operate the frog to make them munch the balls. I then proceeded to show him to use his frog in order to grab the balls. He smashed the lever up and down giggling with excitement, and he was soon munching through the balls. Once he had a little practice, I quickly put all the balls into the centre of the pond, informing him to wait. Ensuring that he didn't get a head start, we all manically bashed on our frog levers whilst squealing with excitement. The excitement took over my son, as he was still eager to dip his hand into the pond to play with the balls. However, after a few games he soon realised how to play, and for the most part he played by the rules.
Several months on, and this game is still enjoyed and played on a regular basis. It is the perfect game for a bit of light relief and entertainment, and as each game is relatively short, even with further games it can easily be played at any time, and the setting up and putting away takes little time also. This is a bonus for parents who may have little time, and it is a great way to have fun with little ones. The game is hardwearing, and the slight niggle of the legs popping off has only happened a handful of times, so it isn't really something to make a fuss over. The game still looks as new, and is in immaculate condition.
The game is enjoyed immensely by all, and we never tire of playing. It has provided plenty of fun and is a nice introduction to the world of games. The simplicity of it is appealing, as toddlers as young as three can join in with the fun, and it is a game that has lasting appeal as you can never be too old for this game. As gameplay is short and immense fun, it will have toddlers hooked and hankering for more.
The game slots back into the box with ease for storage. I store the balls in a separate bag out of sight and reach, as I wouldn't allow my son to play with them unattended. Close supervision is always required, as he still brings toys to his mouth, so I am always vigilant. The balls can easily be lost, as they are small and they often go rolling off, I always scout around after playing to ensure that they are all collected. It is always a good idea to count the balls prior to gameplay to ensure that they are all collected at the end.
Retail Price: £12.00
Age range: From 3 years (small balls present a choking hazard)
For up to four players
Available exclusively from Early Learning Centre