We tested this game out for Izzi wizzi kids playfest and I have made a video review of it here:
but I will write a bit about it as well!
It is a simple game for children age 3 to 6 years and it is very well made as I have come to expect from Orchard toys - a brand I do rate quite highly.
It is a simple lotto game and it consists of 4 boards and then 4 sets of 9 animal cards, for each habitat. The game is based on different environments and the children learn about which animals belong in each habibat, so I felt it is much more educational than just the basic animal games you come across and it does have some quite advanced and specific animals in there too.
The way you play is just like any typical bingo or lotto game, or you can play it as a memory game, or a simple sorting game, and my 3 year old has made up his own rules for it too so it is quite an adaptable game which you can get a lot of play out of.
Animals is not one of my boy's main interests but it did still grip their attention and they have enjoyed it, I quite enjoyed playing it myself and I would recommend anything from Orchard toys as their products are always of a good quality.
Wild world Lotto was a game we got for my son last year for his birthday when he was 3 and it has remained a firm favourite since and he is now four and enjoys playing the game.
From well know children's educational toy manufacturer Orchard Toys it comes as they all do in a brightly coloured box that is designed to appeal to young children and certainly drew my sons attention.
The game consist of four boards that represent four areas of the world that you would get animals in. These are desert, sea, jungle and polar environments. The boards themselves have nine brightly coloured animals on in separate square sections similar to adult bingo boards. There are 36 different animal cards that have a white background with the animal against it. I think the white background is specifically designed so that the children have to think which environment it is from rather than merely matching the background colours. As with all the boards in the Orchard Toys range these are well made and robust and show little signs of damage or wear in a full year's worth of use. They can also be wiped clean with ease and as with all Orchard Toys the quality of the game shines through.
The game is designed to be played from 2 to 4 players with each player having a board. If I am just playing this with my son then we both have a board each and this reduces frustration I find about not matching an animal to one of your boards and allows there to be several winners each time a board is filled. Once you have selected your board the animal cards are place in a pile face down and you take it in turns to select a card from the pile and show it to everyone the player with that animal has to name the animal and then gets the card to place on their board. The winner is the person to fill their board up first.
When we first started playing this game some of the animals were new to my son such as a scorpion or an armadillo and the game has been very useful for extending his animal vocabulary. He still can't quite pronounce armadillo at 4 but you certainly know what he is trying to say. Another useful thing about this game is the very subtle way in which it teaches children about where the various animals live and he now knows without any doubt where all 36 animals live and can tell you a little bit what each animal might do or eat and it has been very useful in developing further his interest in animals and has at times meant the odd internet search for me as I have found out too about artic foxes and walrus's. Helpfully the instructions tell you what all the animals are in case you are a bit uncertain about what they are supposed to represent. The two that can cause confusion we found was the husky my son was sure it was a wolf and so it has remained throughout our play. Equally rather than it being an albatross he still refers to the bird in the polar region as a seagull!
As with all board games there are the usual educational benefits of learning to take turns share and winning and losing all of which are things that any pre-schooler including my son needs help and reminding off.
The brightly coloured animals definitely appeal to his imagination he doesn't actually have a favourite board to play with and it is often down to what we have been talking about prior to the game as to which board he will choose to play.
The game doesn't take that long to play around 5 minutes if there are just two of us playing but a bit longer if there are several children playing, so often we end up playing several games in a row as it such fun. It is a game we have played with friend's children who are a bit older around 6 and they have also enjoyed the game to and I have to say it does have broad appeal as often it is played with grandparents too and most people seem to enjoy the game.
The game is also small enough to make it handy to take on holidays with us or trips to grandparents houses which is another useful feature and with it been a classic game there are no complicated rules to explain to new players meaning you can get down to playing straight away.
This is another great game form Orchard Toys that is fun and educational to play. It has further expanded my son's interest and knowledge about animals which was a huge interest of his anyway but this has increased it further. At around £8-9 from Amazon depending on offers I think it is a great value game that I think we will get a lot more play from over the next few years.