“ Brand: Spears Games / Age: 3 years + / Players: 2-4 „
This is another board game that my sister bought my children for Christmas. When she got it she said to me that she had bought a game that was like Hungry hippos, so i was kind of expecting the same noisy easy to play game, and it wasn't quite what i was expecting.
Flip Flap Chicken is made by Spears games (who used to be a renowned British company but are now owned by the Toy giant, Mattel. ) The most famous game made by Spears is Scrabble, which i am sure we have all played.
The boys had been nagging me to play this game, but i have to say i wasn't keen as hungry hippos annoys me a bit because it is so loud when you play, and the game is over so quickly leaving me to dismantle the board, hunt down the balls, and deal with the resultant headache.
The first surprise for me when we got the game out the box was that the chickens on the board which stand up, are actually part of the board. You do not need to do any assembly before play can start.
It came with a bag of 32 coloured balls which are meant to be chicken eggs. This provides a bit of visual interest to the game. These are in a plastic bag. Once you have played once, you will need to put them in some sort of resealable bag to prevent you from having to pick them up every time your kids decide to tip the box out when you are not looking. They are quite small really.
The game is to stop the eggs going into the nest of the chicken. The mechanism for playing the game is you push down repeatedly on the tail of the chicken to make the wings of the chicken (which are like 2 pinball flippers) move backwards and forwards to try and stop the balls going past.
The chickens all have different coloured tails and flippers, so you get to play as pink, orange, blue or green. I like extra bits like this as i find it reinforces learning while playing with my kids.
The game starts by putting the eggs into the pink section in the middle of the board. This has a button in the middle so you press it down to make it a well below the board to load the eggs in, and then you press the button again to pop the well up to the same level of the board and start the game.
Our game box says it was imported by Tesco, and is suitable for 2-4 players age 4 plus. My kids are almost 3, and 4. Although the game is easy enough to play for a younger child, the balls are very small and could easily be swallowed. (I can vouch for that as we let the youngest play hungry hippo when he was nearer two, and turned round to discover his mouth full of the balls. Although i thought i got them all out quickly, the next day i found one in his nappy. Although no harm was done, it could be a choking hazard if your little one likes putting things in their mouth.)
So, after initially thinking it was another hungry hippo game, i found i liked it more as it was easy to play and almost shock horror, enjoyable. It is a lot quieter to play as the flippers don't make half the noise that the hippo heads do as they bang down, and it is suitably hard to flip the eggs away from your nest that it is more a game of fluke than skill so the kids have a good chance of winning. (I am a bad adult and can't pretend to be bad at a game to make the kids feel better about winning. )
Both of my two really enjoy it, and as it is quite quick to set up, play and put away, i don't mind this one.
I am going to give it 4 stars as the only problem i have found with it is that the well is not quite deep enough to hold all the balls so you have to stack them. This means it is hard to start the game fairly. The kids don't mind but it niggles at me.