Product Type: Orchard board games
Newest Review: ... adult supervision to help prompt at times who's turn it is and do they match or not. Overall ********* This is another great game form O... more
A simple and quirky game for preschoolers
Orchard Toys Doodlebugs
Member Name: jillycat
Orchard Toys Doodlebugs
Advantages: Well made easy to play encourages colour recognition and matching skills
Disadvantages: None for my son
What is it?
The game consists of 41 circular cards each of these are printed with various monsters. There are 10 different types of monsters ranging from ones that look like the old fashioned space hoppers to others that are similar to a snake. The thing that they all have in common is that they are cute and quirky and not scary at all. The monsters are four different colours red yellow green and blue. Each monster comes in each of the four colours. There is a final card that my son refers to as the bouncing ball as it is a circular swirl of the four colours. This card acts a bit like a joker or wild card. The cards are well made and even after a nearly a full years of play show no signs of damage. They are wipe clean too which is useful if bits of snack have fallen on them during play.
How to play
Each player is given five cards these are dealt out face up so everyone can see what the other players have. The remaining cards are placed face down in a pile in the centre with the top card face up. Turns are then taken to match either the colour or shape of the monster that is on the top of the pile. If you can't match either the colour or shape then you pick up a card from the pile in the centre and then place this face up in front of you. This continues till someone has won by getting rid of all their cards. If you have the wild card/ joker then you can play this at any time but mainly when you can't go as it is to change the colour or monster shape of the game.
The game is very simple to play but is lots of fun too and it is a game that our son asks to play regularly. We have found that it has helped him to learn some of his first colours over the past year. His matching abilities have also developed by him learning the difference between each of the monsters and the differences in the four colours. It has also proved useful to help expand his vocabulary as we describe the different monsters such as curly ears, pointy teeth, swirl shape and other good descriptive words. Whilst all of these learning and education points have been very subtle the game itself never loses any of its sense of fun. As you can see what the other players it has also started to help him learn some tactical playing to make mummy or daddy pick up cards. Now in our household my husband is very competitive and whilst he doesn't mind my son winning he hates it if I do better than him so this always means if its my turn after his he will generally make sure I can't go and have to pick up cards which does make my son laugh. The joker /wild card is a favourite for my son to pick up as he loves being able to choose the colour of play if he is getting stuck and we have to remind him at times not to play it if he can go already. The game during play is often fairly quick depending on how well they are shuffled and often it is a case that we play several games one after another. One of the things my son loves about the game is the cute monsters and he does have his favourite ones which he likes to get if he can, his favourite is the spiky hair monster and he will then often want his hair spiky like the monster too. The game is designed to be played with 2-4 people and this allows for not a lot of waiting in between turns which we find is great if several of his young friends are playing it as they seem to find at times waiting hard. As there are not many rules only that you take turns and match correctly it is very simple to learn how to play. Most of the time if some one new is playing the game with us it only takes one turn each for them to understand how to play which reduces frustration as I find as games that are too complex seem to lose young children's attention very quickly.
The other thing you can do with these cards is play a variation of the pair's game where you can match similar monsters as you turn them over. But obviously they will only match in the shape and not in the colour way and this does need some prompting for younger children.
The age range for this is 3 years plus and I would agree this is a good age range we haven't tried to play it with children much younger than 3 though. As the game can be a bit competitive it does need a bit of adult supervision to help prompt at times who's turn it is and do they match or not.
This is another great game form Orchard toys and a winner in our household as we try to quickly match the monsters to see who can get rid of all of them first. It is good for some communication and matching skills development. The cards themselves are well made and robust and handle well. At around £7 for the game from Amazon I do think it is a great value simple but fun game.
Summary: Another winner from Orchard toys that is fun and educational to play
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