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My kids had this board game bought for them at christmas and it was the only one they wanted to play with all day. It is a game based around the fairy tale characters Hansel and Gretel and the wicked witch that tries to capture them.
The game comes with a sturdy plastic cottage with a door which opens and closes as the witch comes out ( it takes 4xAAA batteries). 4 playing pieces ( Hansel and Gretel stuck together in different colours), 16 different sweets ( 4 of each kind- love hearts, blue whirls, biscuits and chocolate) and a dice and a playing board.
The playing board has a image of a clearing in a forest with pictures of all the different sweets spread out in a circle. The cottage gets placed in the centre and all the sweets are placed at random on the cottage. Each playing piece gets to sit on the relevant coloured starting block.
The aim of the game is to get the sweets off the cottage without awakening the witch.
Each player takes their turn and rolls the dice, landing on a square with a sweet picture on it. They then have to try and get that sweet off the cottage. If the sweet comes out and the witch doesn't come out then you get to keep the sweet, but if she does come out then you have to put the sweet back. Throughout the game you get to swap sweets with other players when you land on certain squares to prevent them from winning and the winner is the one who has one of each type of sweet.
This game is fab! It is for ages 4 and up and my kids love playing it. It is brightly coloured and very well made, the pieces are all all solid plastic and don't look cheap or tacky. They are chunky enough to get a good grip when pulling them out.
It is very bright and colourful and is nice to find a game for little ones which isn't complicated or has too many rules. It doesn't take long to play, the box says about 15 minutes and this is close enough to the actual time it has taken us to play.
The witch is great. When she decided to come out the first time my kids were a bit scared as the cottage door swings open and she slowly appears cackling "nibble nibble knaw, who's nibbling at my little house?" but after that they thought she was great. I think they deliberately try and get her to come out even though it means losing the game!
There is a chimney button which the winner presses and it is the sound of the witch screeching as she falls into the pan of water-it's not as bad as it sounds!
There are 2 difficulty settings which determine how often the witch appears and it is completely random- well if theres a way of figuring out when she appears we haven't found it!
I have since bought this game for a birthday gift for my daughters friend and she loves it too.
Board games are fast becoming a hit in our house and the quest for games that are both fun and simple enough for a toddler seems never-ending. So many of the games on the market seem to rely heavily on complicated rules and procedures which mean that they are unsuitable for younger players who just want to roll a dice and move a counter.
Nibble Nibble caught my attention in ToysRUs as it was heavily discounted in the sale. The game is themed around the tale of Hansel and Gretel and, at first, this caused me to dismiss the game as I have very strong feelings that the tale is one which is NOT suitable for young children. However, on reading the back of the box my opinion altered slightly and I saw no real reason why the game would be unsuitable (there would be no need to explain the parents abandoning the children).
The game is very simple, the basic idea being that you have to collect sweets from the house of the witch and the first to collect four different ones is the winner. The sweets that need to be collected are stuck on the outside of a house and if you are unlucky then when you go to remove them you might disturb the witch in her house and you'll be made to put your booty back.
The house requires 4 AA batteries which are not included and you'll need a screwdriver (and some patience) in order to fit them.
Players move around the board in traditional style, rolling a dice and moving a corresponding number of spaces. If the space you are due to land on is occupied then you move one more space. This is the only play instruction that we have ignored as I find it more important that my son count the spaces correctly. The space you land on will dictate whether you remove a sweet (either specific or free choice) or get to take a sweet from someone else. It is very simple and my son at 2 ½ has no difficulty with the concept.
There are two levels of play which can be selected with a switch on the house. The difference between the levels relates to the sensitivity of the game - with the harder game more pieces will activate the witch.
When the witch emerges from the house she does so slowly and with a gentle cackle. Having tested this before playing with my son I concluded that it shouldn't be scary. Reality though was different. My son declared that he "wasn't sure" and then that he was scared of the witch. He concluded that the game must be switched off and played without sound or movement! The game still works this way but becomes a game of pure chance - who can land on the required squares first! However, it still seems to be enjoyable this way.
The pieces that activate the witch appear to change each game and this provides an element of surprise. If there's something that stops the game being suitable for young children it is the fact that some of the pieces can be quite hard to pull off although, with practice, it seems to become easier.
The construction of the toy is good and, despite the force required to remove the pieces, they seem well constructed and feel like they will last. Battery life seems to be good too (which is particularly welcome due to the awkwardness of the battery cover!)
If there's a complaint about the game it is that it is overly packaged in box which is probably about 1/3 too large. That's about it though.
If you need a simple game that's fun to play then this is worth a go. Bear in mind that younger children might be slightly scared by the witch although I would imagine most would find it funny. As with all games it depends on the child (my sister used to play "Operation" switched off because she was scared of the buzz!).
Marketed as suitable for children from 4 years up with a game (2 to 4 players) taking around 15 minutes this is a quick game that could provide much fun and laughter.
Remember the story on Hansel and Gretel...? The little people who find the house made of sweets and chocolate and decide to eat some of it... only to find that the owner of the house was a wart faced witch and... well you know the rest, (but if you don't then I don't want to spoilt he story for you...)
Anyway... Jumbo have taken the story idea and made it into a board game... (clever things aren't they..?) and when my youngest daughter saw it in the shop she asked me to get it her...and with me being a strict father I picked it straight from the shelf, ( I need to toughen up a bit I think..?)
When we got it home the four of us set it up, (luckily I had some batteries in the house as there were none supplied with the game...that is so annoying isn't it?), and, after a short read of the rules, (which, as always, are now lost somewhere in her room), we began to play the game... with some hilarious results as the witch began to show her face... her croaking voice sending my kids into fits of laughter, (especially as there is a button on top of the chimney which, when pressed, sends the witch into a shrieking frenzy...much to the fascination of my youngest)
** THE GAME ITSELF...
* The image on the box really explain the game...consisting of a witch poking her head out of a cottage window, watching two children as they search the floor for sweets...
** WHAT'S IN THE BOX...?
* A board.. (obviously)
* A well constructed moulded cottage, containing the witch,(Needs 4 AAA batteries not supplied)
* Four playing pieces... (Hansel and Gretel stuck together for each piece)
* 16 pieces which you need to collect...( 4 pink hearts/ 4 brown wafers/ 4 chocolate chunks and 4 blue 'ice gem' like sweets)
* A dice
* WHAT IS IT..?
As I said, it is a small board game for 2-4 players, ages 4+. With each player trying to collect as many of the pieces, (sweets and treats), which are attached to the roof and wall of the cottage, without disturbing the witch inside..
* HOW TO PLAY...
After you have fitted the four AAA batteries (not supplied) into the bottom of the cottage, (small cross head screwdriver required), simply switch the game to either the easy game, (single) or the harder game, (double)... the switch can be found at the opposite end to the doors of the cottage... then place the cottage onto the middle of the board.
Now you are ready to begin...
Each player chooses a playing piece and then starts from their respective colour... Then you choose who goes first, (argument may start at this point), then with the roll of the dice the player moves the stated number.
When you land on the pictured squares you then take the piece from the cottage that the image tells you to...(ie. if you land on a pink heart you have to take a pink heart from the cottage, or a chocolate chunk then take a chocolate chunk from the cottage...etc...etc...)
As you take the piece from the cottage one of two things can happen...
* 1) The witch stays undisturbed, hidden behind the door.... This means you get to keep the piece you have taken.
* 2) The witch stirs, pushing the top of the door open, slowly poking her head out, softly speaking as she emerges.... If this happens then you must replace the piece where you took it from and it is the next persons turn to throw the dice...
That is it really...simple as that...
* THE WINNER...
To win the game you must collect one of each sweet/treat without disturbing the witch... sounds easy but it's not.... (the box states that the playing time is approximately 15 minutes to play the game).
** IN CONCLUSION...
If you do get one of those precious moments to spend with your kids then this is the sort of game you should be playing.
It is so easy to play and is simply harmless fun for everyone, with laughter thrown in for free... which is something every family needs.
Although the game doesn't take a long time to actually play, (I think the longest game we played was just under ten minutes), it is a very enjoyable and is the type that you can play many times without it becoming boring...(although it can get a little irritating if the witch keeps appearing on your turn, so if you do have a short fuse then it may set you off).
On our first sitting, after setting out the game and explaining the rules to the kids, (and the wife), we played a good four games, each one with some hilarity, especially when my youngest discovered what happened when the button on top of the chimney did... shrieking and running from the room on the first encounter... giggling thereafter.
All four of us laughing at the witch appears from behind the slowly opening creaking door, softly speaking her almost eerie words, (words which I will not put in the review as I feel it would spoil the funny surprise if and when you play the game).
I have to admit, I tried to figure out if different pressure whilst taking the pieces had any effect on the witch emerging from the doorway, but it didn't ... much to my annoyance as I replaced piece after piece, whilst the others giggled, (Although there are certain ways to avoid the witch coming out but I won't spoil it in this review... you'll have to discover it for yourself).
As for the construction of the game... well, in on word... 'excellent'... the figures, sweets and treats are solid piece and not your flimsy, easily broken bits of rubbish, and the actual cottage is well thought out, giving a feel of long lasting, even the doors where the witch emerges look strong enough to stand up to small fingers pulling and prodding, trying to get at the funny looking witch...(although there is a whirring sound as the hag slowly pushes the door open, which I presume is the tiny little motor which moves her), but this does seem to add to the eeriness of the entire idea).
Compared to some flimsy games on the market at the moment this one seems to have been built to last, (not like that MB game of 'Guess Who', which is so shoddily made that I'm amazed the company haven't been sued... I mean, the flimsy plastic bits seem to snap when your just getting it out of the box... and the cards with faces on keep falling from their holders when ever the wind blows).
In all, Nibble Nibble is definitely designed with heavy handed kids in mind...and believe me my kids can destroy 'Tonka-Trucks' with a single blow... so to find a well made and a great fun to play game is a god send...
If you haven't already played this game and want to have a go then you can get the game from Toyrus for £14.99 or www.amazon.co.uk for £14.65
As Hansel and Gretel you must make your way around the outside of the witch's house. You need to collect all of the different sweets, but beware that the witch doesn't catch you!