Because my son Kieran's birthday falls within a few weeks before Christmas (as does my younger son - timed that a bit wrong didn't I?), his dad and I always give him the option of a more for Christmas and smaller presents for birthdays which he is always in favour of.
I wanted him to have a few presents at least to open on his birthday, and as he is a massive fan of all things lego and loves pirates I thought Pirate Plank by Lego seemed the ideal gift for him.
*~*What is it?*~*
The aim of Pirate Plank is to be the last pirate standing, and avoiding being made to walk the plank where you will end up being fed to the sharks, ultimately ending your turn in the game.
Pirate plank is a modern take on the traditional board game, and is suitable for ages 7 upwards and can be played by 2 to 4 players with each game lasting on average 10 to 20 minutes according to the instructions. It is made up entirely featuring lego pieces and firstly you are required to build up the board from scratch, and even the special dice included is a large lego piece.
Included are four small lego pirates and one captain - which are much smaller than the average lego man, and seemingly have no arms or legs which Kieran wasn't too impressed with to start with I must say!
As mentioned there is also a lego 'dice' (read on), enough lego to form the pirate ship, 4 'planks', sharks, a captain and a large blue base which simulates the sea.
*~*Price, packaging & availability*~*
I purchased this for £12.99 from my Littlewoods catalogue only because I had a hefty sum of commission saved up so in actual fact this came for 'free', though I have seen it around the £8.99 mark at Toy Master and of a similar price at other retail outlets that sell toys and games so it's worth looking around for (including online).
The game comes presented in a rectangular shaped cardboard box, which is predominantly white with cartoon lego images of the game on the front. On the underside of the box there is a list of what's included and a brief synopsis of the game which is given in four different languages, whilst on the side is a picture of what the game will look like once it is built up.
Inside the actual box is a series of lego bricks and pieces which when built up make the basis of the game, also included is a reasonable sized instruction booklet though the majority of it is printed in other languages so there turns out to only be around 2 pages in English.
*~*Our verdict on the game*~*
Kieran received this game from us several weeks ago and it's steadfastly become a firm favourite with both himself and younger brother Zak. I personally find the idea of the game easy enough but the instructions make it seem really overwhelming, and as for the numberless 'dice' this has sections where different lego pieces are clicked on and off and change intermittently determining how the game is played but because of it's size I find it a bit cumbersome to throw so imagine it is more difficult for children.
I do apologise to anyone reading this review if the 'how to play' sounds a little confusing..but basically it is!
I think the whole appeal of the lego game is the fact that it has to be built up from scratch, so is ideal for avid lego fans, and I found Kieran seemed far more interested in the actual building than playing the game.
I have attempted a few games of this with my boys and it is enjoyable enough but to me not as exciting as the packaging would lure you into thinking, plus though the box it is packaged in is of a reasonable size the actual 'board' when built up is really quite small so is quite deceiving. That said though both of my boys seem to enjoy this and being Lego brand it is of a very good quality so no breakages yet though some of the pieces are very small so can be easy to misplace.
All in all it is a fun game for children to make their own rules up to and they will probably have more fun just building the boat and sea background up like my two do. I think £12.99 is far too expensive for what is in actual fact a few pieces of lego but given the fact that lego is far from cheap these days paying around the average RRP of £9 seems about right I suppose.
This is an okay game but certainly not one I would look forward to play as it's not simplistic enough and requires far too much thinking! It seems to be a hit with my children which is the main thing and Kieran has already asked for other lego games and at the end of the day if my children are happy with it then that's all that counts.
Since the lego games were released I have bought quite a few for my son because I think they are generally good quality and often reasonably priced. The game that I shall review today is called Pirate Plank.
The game comes in a long white cardboard box. The box features the lego logo in a few places as well as showing a picture of the game set up and being played by a couple of cartoon lego pirates. There is some information on the box which tells us that the game is suitable for two to four players aged seven years and above. We are also advised that the game should take between ten and twenty minutes to play.
The box contains bags with all the lego pieces required to build the game as well as instructions on how to play the game and also how to build it. What I have found excellent about lego games is that they are generally easy to build and set up. This game is no different and my son and I found it very easy to follow the coloured diagrams to build the game on Christmas morning.
Once we had built the game and the lego dice we were free to play the game. As I mentioned earlier the game is for two to four players and each player should take either the yellow, white, red or beige pirate and place them at the start of the plank on the pirate ship that we have previously built. Players should then take it in turns to roll the dice and move the coloured pirates accordingly on the plank. The winner is the player whose pirate is left standing on the plank at the end of the game when the other pirates have fallen off!
As you can probably tell from my description the game play is pretty simple. My son received this game for Christmas last year when he was five and a half and he had no issues in following how to play the game despite the age recommendation on the box being for children aged seven plus.
The game takes around ten to fifteen minutes for each game so my son and I often play a few games in a row before we get bored and move on to something else. I like how quick and easy the game is to set up and play as it can fill a few minutes when my son is bored with minimal fuss.
Often if it is just my son and I playing the game we will choose two pirates each so that no roll of the dice is wasted and we both have two chances of winning! We also use the game to talk about numbers as sometimes the dice will give you the option of moving an opponents pirate one space closer to the edge or your own pirate back two spaces towards the pirate ship so we will talk about how many more spaces we need to move to beat each other and things. It is simple maths but I still think it is worth talking about.
The game fits back in to the box well after play and the only parts that need to be removed are the sails of the ship. These are easily slotted back in to the ship the next time that you wish to play the game and so the game is literally ready to play again in seconds which is a great thing I think.
I really do think that this is a great game for young children. It is simple enough that they could play without adult supervision from being around six years old I think with their brothers, sisters or friends. It is also a good game for adults to play with their children though in my opinion as I really think playing games is a great way to spend quality time with your child and it wasn't something that was done with me as a child. The game can be purchased from amazon for £8.99 including free super saver delivery and I think it is well worth that price.
Thank you for reading my review!