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This game was one of the many toys that was on my daughters Christmas list this year so Santa left it for us to play on Christmas Day.
My 5 year old was very excited as she tore off the wrapping paper, amazed that Santa had bought pretty much all she had asked for.
The game in question is Smashed Potatoes (as pictured above). It is made by the well known toy manufacturer Hasbro who are of course famous for Mr Potato Head who this game is based around.
When you first open the large brightly coloured box you are presented with a load of plastic bits all attached to a frame so you need to remove them, a spinner and a large game board, instruction sheet and 4 small tubs of Play-Doh (oh I love that play-dohy smell!!)
Before you start play, you need to assemble the 'crazy kitchen' and set it up the board. Although the recommended age for this game is 5 years + the box does say that it requires adult assembly. It was easy enough to put together even for me after a good few drinks Christmas Day. Before you can play you also need to make your potato so choose your favourite colour Play-Doh and use the Mr Potato Head mould to make it. The mould is simple to use, just push your Play-Doh into the mould (half in each side) and push the sides together. The moulds are nice and chunky, easy to use but somewhat misleading. There is a Mr and Mrs Potato head mould however you can only mould a little bald potato in each one. Although the actual mould has the features on the outside the actual part you make them from is identical in each and with no features. My 5 year old was far from impressed by this as she obviously wanted to be 'the girl one'
The board itself is brightly coloured, has quirky potatoes on it and appeals to young players. Game play is pretty simple. Spin the spinner - it has 6 possible landings - numbers 1-4 and also a potato to move one 'plate' ahead and a smash potato space. You start in the bag of spuds, move your Play-Doh potato around the board that number of spaces (each space is a plate!). The first one to escape through the window to safety is the winner. As you go along, you will land on the crazy kitchen at certain points, but beware. Should someone spin the spinner and land on the 'smash' section any potatoes in the kitchen get smashed. Even if you aren't in the kitchen, the spinner can choose if no one is in there who will get it. Your potato can be smashed in 4 ways:
1. In the scissor slicer - turn the wheel to make the scissors chop you in half!
2. In the French Fryer -you are made into French fries! Put your potato in and push down and watch as you become chips.
3.The Crinkle Crisper - turn the crank the make your potato into a flat ridged crisp
4. The Chip Chopper - Cleaver style knife useful for chopping you into pieces!
The mash machine is made from chunky plastic pieces which are easy to use although the scissors are a bit of a waste of time as don't really cut anything. It's nice and robust and should be easy for small hands to use.
Bearing in mind that your potatoes are made of Play-Doh, after a visit to the mash machine, they will be well and truely mashed and smashed. You then have to remould your potato and start again from the beginning.
While this is fun the first few times, it soon becomes tiresome and the game can get quite long and drawn out. Eventually someone wins and you pack it away as you've already been playing 20 minutes and cannot bear another game! It packs away easily with no need to disassemble the mash machine.
Overall a fun game but a little repetative. I find it best to adapt the rules to suit yourselves. My 5 year old does enjoy playing it though although she's just as happy making the potatoes and mashing them without actually playing the game.
This game is available from toy retailers and is currently available on ToysRus for £14.49 although it usually retails between £20 and £25. In my opinion it certainly isn't worth that. I'd say £15 is more than enough to pay for this.