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A few months ago my daughter was given a large pile of games from a friend and we have been enjoying working our way through them. One of the games was the arcade classic Whac A Mole. In many arcades you would come across a large game in which you use a large soft hammer to whack various creatures on the head - usually a crocodile we come across! This is a smaller version that you can play in the comfort of your own home.
The box is a very brightly coloured one and features several moles being hit on the head by a hammer. The moles are all wearing different coloured hard hats and have dizzy expressions on their faces. The name os the game is in large lettering at the top of the box in a kind of explosion background which gives the cartoony impression of being hit and seeing stars. It tells us on the box that the game is for children aged four plus and for two to four players.
Inside the box you will find the game board and four plastic mallets. The game we have slightly differs to the one shown in that in this game there are four moles as opposed to five. The game board is in the shape of a kind of cross but with more of a rounded effect than a standard cross. At each point you will find a mole with his little hard hat on. There are four colours, red, orange, green and yellow. The mallets look just like real mallets, they have a wooden effect to them and the head of the mallet is quite large!
To play the game you need to choose the amount of players before you can begin, this is done as soon as you turn the board on and each player is required to hit the mole in front of them to determine the amount of players. When you have stated the number of players, the moles hard hats in play will light up and you will hear a funny noise which will correspond to your mole. The noises vary from a bark to a woo hoo! It is important to remember which is your noise as well as watching for your light to come on. You will hear a further noise which is the bonus noise which doesn't correspond to your mole, it is a general one with which you can try and gain more points.
As the game starts, the moles hats will light up and play the noises and each player has to try and hit their own mole before the light disappears. If they hit it in time they will hear a jingle which means points were scored, if not they hear a "uh-uh" noise (think the X on Family Fortunes!) and this means no points! The winner is the player with the most points when the time runs out.
There are two modes of play:
Solo mode - in this mode you play alone against the clock and all four moles are in play. Hit as many of the moles as you can before the time runs out.
Multi-player mode - as described above where you are in contest with other players to get the most points.
I think this game is great fun, the whole family can get involved and it really is enjoyable all round. After a game or two of playing properly my little girl does get a little hyper and just starts to bang other players moles when their lights aren't on so that they lose points and it turns into a bit of a free for all with us all just hitting all the moles. Its great seeing my daughter have so much fun playing a game even if it isn't being played properly and we really do end up laughing a lot - usually at her! Sometimes my daughter does play the solo mode but she much prefers to play along with somebody. I would recommend this game as it is good fun, everybody can play and of course it can be played alone so it is a hit all round. While we do enjoy the game, when my daughter brings it out to play we usually play for half an hour and then it doesn't come back out for a couple of weeks so its certainly not one of the favourite games we have but it is good all the same.
I like how there is no set up required with this game whatsoever, you simply take it out of the box and it is ready to go so if my little girl wants to play alone she can just get it out with no help at all.
The price of Whac A Mole is around £11.00 on Amazon which isn't too bad for such a fun game.
I don't remember ever playing whac-a-mole in an arcade, or indeed seeing it, but it's an iconic image all the same; the machine with the various pests popping up from holes, which you have to hit as fast as you can.
This version is slightly simpler, as it's much smaller. At approximately 33cm square, it sits nicely on a table-top, and isn't too bulky to store.
In this version, there are five moles, two with red hats, two with green hats and one with a white hat which can glow red or green. There are four modes of play - one player or two player, each with two levels of difficulty. In the one player mode, the player just hits any mole whose hat is lit up. In the two player, you hit the colour which matches your mallet (including the central, white mole, when it is lit your colour. The lights and noises do tend to make the game interesting for longer, I think it would be boring without them.
As you hit the moles, they make cute noises and there are noises of encouragement throughout. The game also alerts you when there are four seconds to go. In the one player game, you are then told how many moles you have hit, in the two player version, just who hit most.
If you forget to switch the game off, it says "Here, Moley, Moley, Moley" after a few moments of inaction to remind you. As a result of this, the batteries last for ages - we were given our set eighteen months ago, and the batteries are still going strong.
The recommended age is four up, but my daughter is two and a half and she's been enjoying the game since we first got it. She's definitely playing more properly now, as she becomes interested in games more generally, but even when it was just light and sound she had fun. The two difficulty levels mean it's more interesting for older children as well, but my son (twelve) doesn't often ask to play or play on his own. It's more for the younger market.
My five year old son was given this Whac a mole board game as a Christmas present. It has remained a firm favourite of his.
What is it ? It is a game based on the arcade classic 'hitting' game, where you wallop all sorts of creatures from crocodiles to spiders over the head with a mallet.
This is a play at home version where you hit little hard hat wearing moles on the head to score points and beat the clock.
It is made by Mattel, so you are getting a good quality game from a trusted name.
How to play - There are five moles on a base unit, the one we have looks slightly different from the picture one as ours is on a round base and not square.
The unit takes three AAA batteries which are fitted in an enclosed section of the base -you will need a screwdriver for this part. Also in the box is four coloured plastic mallets.
There are two ways to play
Solo : This is where all the moles randomly light up and you have to hit as many of the lit moles as you can before the time runs out. At the end the middle mole tells you your score.
Against other players : This is where each player selects a colour and when the mole wearing your chosen coloured hard hat lights up you give it a wallop. At the end the middle mole reveals each players score.
What we thought of it - When my son first opened it he was excited, he loves the arcade versions of this game and was thrilled to have his own one.
Setting up is easy, and once the batteries are in there is no set up at all. This is great for quick games when time is limited. It also means that the children can play without the need of adults help.
We love playing the game, it is fun and easy and the whole house enjoys it.
Beware though, it can get a bit competitive, my husband and I had a bit of a challenge going on for a while and it wasn't pretty.
The kids love playing it and it is always one of the first games my son chooses to play.
I love the solo play feature too, which enables my boy to play on his own if there is no one to play with or if after an hour the rest of us have lost the will to live but he still wants to play.
The game costs about £20, which I think is quite expensive for a child's game. Having said that we play Whac a mole at least twice a week, it is one of our most used games and despite it's constant use, it remains as good as the day we got it. So it is good value in the long run.
The game is for children age 4+