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We have had the Dangerous Book for Boys in our household for a very long time now; I suppose it is only natural having three boys in the house including my husband who is essentially a big kid. For those of you who don't know it, this is probably essential reading for any male - it gives a volume of tips and advice on how to survive being a man from recommendations on how to deal with girls, how to keep yourself occupied on a rainy day, how to survive a nuclear attack and many life skills that have long been forgotten by the current generation like how to make different types of knots, built dens and forest skills. The Dangerous Book for Boys board game brings all of these skills into play in the form of a very fun board game.
~*~ The Game ~*~
Inside the box you get the playing board, one man challenge cards, tracking sticks, group challenge cards, resource cards, flag cards, stars, raft pieces, planets, folders, string, paper, wooden counters, a die and a sand timer. All of the contents are good quality however it is possible that the cardboard components may fray over time. You are also told that you may need extra paper, a coin, extra string, a pencil for each player and in true boy style - anything else that you might have in your pockets! On first look this seems like an overwhelming amount of equipment and it is only once you start playing that you understand what each component is for. The whole process of setting up and playing is explained in layman's terms in a well illustrated and comprehensive instruction manual. It is important to have this manual close at hand throughout the game as it needs to be referred to constantly.
The aim of the game is to make your way around the board which is a treasure island - you are stranded on the island and the only way off is to collect raft pieces (which fit together like a puzzle) and to build your raft, once complete you can row to safety and the first to do so is the winner. You can only collect raft pieces if you win various tasks on the journey around the island, and it is these tasks that make the game so much fun.
When you roll the die, you move the required spaces and you land on one of the following options:
Empty space: Do nothing and the next player takes their turn
Resource space: Take a card which can later be used to help you in challenges, you hide the card in your folder and take it out if it becomes relevant, for example on one of the cards is a rope; this will help you to tie up your raft in the event of a storm thus maintaining all of the pieces.
One man challenge: The player to your left reads out a challenge from the card for you to complete. On a lot of the cards there are questions, but there are also compass drawing cards to test your orienteering skills and tracking cards to check your survival skills.
Group challenge: These are the most fun spaces in my opinion. The player to the left reads out a challenge from a card and these are wide and varied. There are various word tasks to complete, paper boat/ aeroplate/ hat making competitions, who can stand up the quickest without touching the floor, knot making, playing a game of noughts and crosses... the challenges go on and on and it can get very competitive (I hold the record for the furthest flying paper aeroplane which I am very proud of, especially since I'm a girl!).
If you get to the end of the game and no one has all of their raft pieces, you simply go round again until someone can make their escape.
~*~ My Thoughts ~*~
This is a perfect rainy day game and we have had hours of fun with it. The game is different every time and we find that it is somewhat a disappointment when somebody wins and the game is over! Setting up is fairly easy, and once you have all of your bits in place you are ready to go, we find it easier to sit at the table to play but you also have to be prepared to move around on some of the challenges so you do need a bit of space.
The questions on the one man challenges are quite hard in my opinion and I find myself flicking through them when playing with my sons to give them even a fighting chance of knowing (or guessing) the answers, some of them are multiple choice which makes it easier. If you have read the Dangerous Book for Boys, a lot of the answers should be stored in the depths of you mind which is a huge advantage. I find some of the challenges completely un do able, mainly the flag challenges - you have to send out a message using the flag cards, there is a reference chart in the book but I simply cannot get my head around it and neither can my children.
The group challenges are superb and you almost want to land on these every time for extra enjoyment. Some of them are timed with the sand timer which makes them even more competitive and makes for a fairer game - if Hubs had his way he would spend an hour making the perfect plane but the timer means that we are all on a level playing field.
Some of the challenges definitely put younger players at a disadvantage because they simply do not know how to do them which is a bit sad. I am blaming the Xbox, Playstation, Wii and various other electronic devices for the reason that children do not know how to make paper boats and such like, don't get me wrong, these are all great inventions without doubt, but sometimes it is a lot more fun to go back to the old fashioned way of occupying spare time and this game is a great way of encouraging this. After working through the packs of cards a few times, new skills are definitely learnt which makes it easier the next time and encourages play to get more and more adventurous.
This game can last for a long time depending on which cards are chosen. The shortest time we have played it for is about half an hour, but there have been occasions where it has taken up a whole afternoon, but the great thing is that none of us ever get bored of playing. The box states that the game is suitable from eight plus, which is about right if you tweak it slightly to give them younger players a chance, but if you are not prepared to do this, I would say that this game is more suited for early teens and the upper age is unlimited. This is game is all about good, clean, old fashioned fun and I love it and the very best thing about it - No batteries required!
I picked our game up from the Entertainer when it was reduced to £15 which I am pleased with having seen that the current RRP on Amazon is £44.99! After having a quick look on the internet I have found that the prices vary considerably from £8 onwards so it is definitely worth shopping around for and if you can get it for under £20 I would not hesitate to recommend it.
Also posted on Ciao under my username chilcott1