* Prices may differ from that shown
Fairytale Charms Game
Christmas 2012 has now been and gone (and hopefully you all had a great Christmas and New Year!) and for the last few weeks, myself and my husband have been playing a whole array of new toys with our five year old little girl that santa kindly brought her this year, (as well as trying to find a place for them all!).
One such game which has proven to be a huge hit is 'Fairytale Charms', a game from the well known manufacturer; Tomy.
FIT FOR A PRINCESS
The game comes in a beautiful box which is fit for any little princess, with a prince and princess, and fairytale castle and carriage and many other items which both appear in fairytales as well as within this game. It is certainly an eye catcher, and the box alone enticed our daughter to want to play it immediately after unwrapping it, and once the lid was off, the fantastic colours and princess feel continued.
It is obvious once you take a look at all the contents just why this game is aimed for children five years and over. There is a large array of small parts which can easily be swallowed by the very young, and also lost. We have a black carpet in our living room and it once took us half an hour to fins a small black charm that our daughter had dropped from her bracelet. Note to self - don't play on a black carpet!! The game play itself is very simple and could easily be played by intelligent children under the age of five, though more about the game play below.
As I have already touched upon, there are a lot of different parts to this game, and many are very small. All the parts have a specific role to play in the game, and all are very well made. The main parts to this game are as follows;
Game Board; This is a wonderfully bright and colourful game board which reflects the outer packaging to the game. It is full of brilliant images which suggest a world in which Princesses and other magical beings live, with a beautiful castle scene in the middle and woodland scenes upon each corner. In a circle around the centre you have ten round spaces in which the players move their game piece. Ten does not seem like many and you would be forgiven for thinking that a game with only ten spaces would either be very short or not be very good, though this game is neither of those as you will see further down in this review. Back to the spaces. Each space is brightly coloured and nearly all have a different meaning to them. There are two 'take a charm' spaces in which a player can choose to steal a charm they don't have from another player, and two 'Black Cat' spaces in which the player receives the black cat charm which in fairytales believe are unlucky. In this game, it is certainly unlucky as if you have the black cat on your bracelet, you can not win! All the other spaces are different and each correspond to a different charm, which if you land upon them, you undertake a challenge to see if you win the charm. More about this later on. The game board folds neatly back into the box and is quite sturdy and well made, though could be bent with significant force.
Four Charm Bracelets; Each bracelet is lovely and colourful and has spaces for six charms to fit into them. Each space has a small bead with a hole in which the charms sit snugly in and are easy to put in and take out, both for little and big hands. The beads sit around a piece of thin elastic which can easily be broken if pulled apart roughly, though this is like most childrens bracelets and if your little girl is like ours, they will be more interested in wearing the bracelets and not breaking them. That is the other great thing about this game; the bracelets can actually be worn as well as being part of the game. The only thing we have found is that the charms easily fall off of the bracelet when being worn which will then hinder the game play, so perhaps leaving the charms in the game box is a better idea!
Number Spinner; I never know what is best - a spinner or dice, though this game comes with a card spinner with six brightly coloured numbers and a black spiiner shaped like a wand which spins around reasonably well as long as you hold the spinner edge at the same time. This could become frustrating for a young child as it does not work as well when it is not held right, though perhaps when playing with a parent or other adult, the adult can hold it for them to overcome this problem. The card the spinner is created upon is also quite thin and can easy be bent with force.
Playing Piece; There is only one playing piece which all players use. Each player spins and then moves from where the last player left the playing piece. The playing piece is quite large and has a lovely image of a fairy Godmother upon a purple background. Like the spinner, the card is quite thin and can easily be bent, and we have been playing this a lot for a few weeks and the front picture has begun to come up at the edges, so perhaps not the best piece in the game, though attractive it is! To stand the playing piece up, it simply slots into a pink plastic holder.
Rainbow Spinner and Pot of Gold; This challenge sits next to the rainbow space on the board. It is made of strong plastic with the spinning circle screwed into the pink stand with two tiny screws. This part is already made up when you buy the game so no worries there. Upon the spinning circle is a cloud with a rainbow coming from one side downwards. Upon the front right side of the spinner, a small pot of gold is slotted into a small hole. All of this challenge piece is sturdy and well made, though the spinner does allow cheating as it does not spin very well, and to spin it properly you have to push it hard. The aim of this challenge piece is to spin the rainbow so that it lands into the pot of gold.
Cinderella Dice; This piece sits on the gown and shoe space. I have named them Cinderella dice, though the game does not take on any Disney princesses as such. The reason I so named them is that there are two dice. Upon one are pictures of ballgowns. I do not see the point of having this dice as it shows the same on all edges, though it works to make the game more fun for the little ones which is a great thing. Upon the other are three glass slippers and three clogs. Each dice is made of plastic and as well made as most dice pieces are. The aim of this challenge piece is to roll a ballgown and glass slipper. If you roll a clog, you do not get the piece you are after.
Wishbone; This piece sits near the wishbone space. This white wishbone comes in two parts, both made of plastic. They slot together comfortably and are pulled apart by two players in the game. The aim is to be the one to pull the piece with the longer end inside.
Telescope; This piece sits by the star space on the board. The telescope comes in three parts. There is one eyepiece which slots in to one or the other ends. Each end, when looked through, has an image. One has a cloud, and the other a star. You do not necessarily need to attach the eyepiece to see the images, though it is all part of the fun. The telescope is well made and slots together easily. The aim is to pick the right one that holds the star image.
Coin Flipper; This sits next to the prince space on the game board. This piece is a small barrel with a flipper and upon this flipper, a small token sits. The token has two different images on either side; a prince and a frog. The player flips the token and if it lands prince side up, they win the charm connected with this. This piece is also very well made and stays together well.
Tree Stump holder; This item sits near the clover space. The tree stump is sturdy and very attractive with a lovely decorated top. In the top is two slits where you put two green plastic clovers inside, stalk side up. The aim of this piece is to pick the clover with the four leaves.
Black Cat Charm; This is a stand alone charm, and as mentioned above, the unlucky charm; the one you want to avoid especially near the end of the game. Like most of the charms, this is very small and can easily be lost or even eaten! Other than this small problem, it is well made and well shaped.
24 Lucky Charms; There are four of each of the six different charms. Each charm is tiny and very easily lost as we have found out repeatedly! The charms include once from each challenge space on the board; Star, Glass slipper, pot of gold, prince coin, clover and wishbone. All are well made, if not too small, though fit well on to the bracelets.
As you can see, there are a lot of playing pieces to consider in this game, though all are there for a purpose and each make the game fun for both children and adults!
A FAIRY GOOD GAME
So with all the contents sorted around the board by their relevant spaces, the spinner in the centre along with all the charms, and the bracelets given out to all the players, it is time to start the game. As there is four bracelets, this game can be played with up to four players. It is not really a game that can be played with only one person, though my daughter occasionally uses her new craze of Moshi Monsters as other players and still has a lot of fun playing alone!
Although there is a lot to the setting up of the game with all the different pieces, the game is actually much simpler. The aim is to be the first player to complete the charm bracelet with all of the six different charms. The youngest player starts and spins the spinner and follows the instructions on whichever space they land on (as commented on above). The next player then takes their turn, moving the playing piece forward from where the previous player left it.
The game takes between 15 minutes to 30 minutes with the three of us playing, so a little longer or shorter perhaps with four or two players playing respectively.
PINK AND PLAY FUN
Anything to do with princess' our daughter adores. She has always been in to princesses, though recently it has really taken off. She also loves bracelets and necklaces and has a whole host of them in her room, so the added bonus of the charm bracelets in this game really makes her happy.
As I have mentioned above, we have played this so many times since Christmas that I am surprised it has not worn a hole in the floor or table where we play! Our daughter was given many games for Christmas though she insists on playing this game every day, and if I am being honest, I really do not mind. I personally find this game entertaining and feel like it is a real girly family game. Even my husband does not mind it though he is old enough to get over the princess is for girls theme!!! Amazon is selling this game for £13.49 at the moment, which is around average for games such as this. I do not think that it is an overly new game so you may not find it in all toy shops, though do look around for this especially if you have a little princess who loves playing games. If I could, I would give it more than five stars as both myself and my daughter love it. The only downfall is the size of the pieces, though this can easily be overlooked due to the extreme fun you gain from playing this game.