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Top Trumps is a children's card game that has been around years, I remember playing it when I was a little girl, and now I'm playing it with my son! The game seems to be as popular as ever, and has spawned many new editions of popular new franchises such as Cars, Shrek, Top Gear, and many more. You can find lots of different sets online, but the most recent ones are sold in the shops, and can be picked up for around £5 for a set. For his birthday, Harry received a Cars 2 Top Trumps set, and was curious as he hadn't played it before. So we sat down to play it one evening, and I didn't realise quite how popular it was going to be with him!
Top Trumps Cars 2 is a set of cards that is obviously spawned from the success of the new Cars 2 movie from 2011. Many products hit the shelf following its release but I hadn't seen Top Trumps cards until Harry opened them after his birthday party. The set comes in an attractive looking red plastic holder which keeps the cards safe and secure. The clear perspex front operates like a door and hinges open to allow you to get the cards in and out with ease. I really like the plastic box as well because it stops the cards getting damaged in any way, and I've seen they do come in a variety of colours depending on which set you buy (the Shrek green is particularly eye-catching!).
With the game, you get a total of 30 Top Trumps playing cards, as well as 2 extra cards, one with the Cars 2 picture on, and a 'How to Play' instruction card. The game is fairly simple to play, and a 6 years old, I would say Harry is the right age to be playing this as he understands the concept and idea, and can easily use the numbers on the cards in the way they are supposed to be used too. Each of the 30 cards features a characters from the Cars 2 movie, from the instantly recognisable ones such as Lightning McQueen, Mater and Francesco Bernoulli to the less famous characters like Uncle Topolino and Fillmore. There is a good sized image of the character, with the name of the character in block capitals at the top of the card alongside the flag of the country where the car comes from (Italy, USA, UK etc).
Below the image is a text box with some tiny writing, perhaps too small for younger players to read, about the character, but if I am honest, Harry hasn't really shown much interest in wanting to either read these boxes or have them read to him, he just wants to get on and play! It's a good addition to the card for fans wanting to know more, but the writing is tiny as they've had to squish it into a small card, and therefore might look a bit intimidating to new readers. Finally, next to this is the important bit for the game, what I call the stats. These vary according to which Top Trumps game you have obviously, but for Cars 2, the categories are Friendship, courage, humour, fame and speed.
To play the game, you deal the cards out evenly between the players (I find it works best with just 2 people), and then you hold your cards face down. You both turn over the top card, and one player (I say youngest first!) picks the statistic he thinks will win over the card you've got. He says (for example) Speed: 30. If the other player's speed is higher than 30, he wins and player 1 has to give him his card. If player 2's is lower than 30, player 1 wins and gets the cards. If both card have the same statistic, they go in the middle and are given to the winner. You keep playing like this until one player has all the cards in the game and is therefore the winner. The game is fantastic for younger children to play because it is so helpful in terms of their number skills, and they don't even realise they are learning! It's teaching them value of numbers, higher/lower than, and larger numbers than they may encounter at school, especially for younger children.
Harry absolutely loves playing this game, and since he received it for his birthday, we've played it so many times already and he hasn't got bored! He's since got a few more sets, Top Gear and 3 supercars sets (lucky me!) and they are just as much fun to play. It's a nice game to play on a quiet day in, and as I say, is educational without the kids realising it too so even better! The cards are a really good quality, nice and thick so they won't get too battered too easily, and the images on them are lovely and clear, and bright too so they appeal to younger players. It's a fab game for all the family from ages 6+, and you can get so many Top Trumps sets online, there is something to suit everyone! Highly recommended by both Harry and I.
You can buy the game new on Amazon.co.uk for £3.75 which I think is great value for money considering it's a game that can be used over and over.
You can find out more about Top Trumps on their website: http://www.toptrumps.com/
Thank you for reading.