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My son received one of these last year for christmas. As he was only 5 years old I was suprised when it stated 8+ on it.
It is a sturdy brightly coloured plastic toy which makes different sounds. Its made by matel and costs around £20. In the center is a circular disc this has 4 moveable arms comming from it. Each of the arms has a different action. The centre disc is bop it then you have twist it, flick it, pull it and spin it. Once you switch it on you can play it on 3 different levels. The game then begins in turns the console itself will call out an action which the players have to perform in a certain time limit. The aim of the game is to keep the actions going to build up points and get a high score. The higher score you get the faster the game starts to go. You can play this with another player or alone.
I found this quite good for my son as he was only 5 years old he still managed to get a good score and it really helped him with his coordination.
WHAT IS IT?
Bop It Blast is an electronic game in which you have to keep up with random voice, musical or light commands by pressing a button, twisting or pulling knobs. The challenge is to keep it going to build up your highest personal score or reach the highest possible score. Or until you die whichever comes first.
This is a standard Bop It Blast model made in 2005. The game has since been modified with new versions.
I was given one of these for my last birthday. The sender hinted beforehand that it wasnt childish - his mate has got one. Which quite honestly didnt help his point. Perhaps this was a toy or game suitable for adults or more realistically kidults. Looking at it through bleary early morning eyes I have to admit it took me a fair while to puzzle out exactly what I had been given. Maybe that was the game in itself.
How can I describe it? I suppose it looks like a plastic octopus that had been involved in some underwater catastrophe and left with just two tentacles. Well sort of. What am I supposed to do with it? Throw it? Play with it in the bath? A closer inspection of this alien creature revealed a round head with a large button on it on each side and two arms attached with bits on the ends one that you twist and the other that you pull.
...THEN A CLOSER LOOK
Intrigued I attacked the nightmare sealed packaging the only method open to me - with a knife. Then took a quick glance through the instructions. I will read them through properly later. First off it told me to replace the batteries. They are in there for demonstration purposes only so may be weak or dead by the time you get them home. No, they were fine. And still going strong, in fact, a few months later.
WILL IT LAST?
Its sturdily built of mostly ABS plastic by the looks of things with no bits that are likely to come away in my hands. Fairly heavy and a bit cumbersome, I suppose, but that doesnt matter. Length with arms closed approx. 21cm. Width approx. 13cm
LETS GET THIS PARTY STARTED
You can choose from three games Solo, Pass It or One-On-One. More on each later.
Then you press the mode button to select either voice commands (known as Vox Bop), musical commands (Beat Bop) or light commands (Light Bop).
********Vox Bop******** Voice commands
Choose between an American blokes voice (game show host in tone) and one that sounds like a hyperactive girl/woman/young boy. I tend to opt for the less irritating former.
******** Beat Bop ******** Musical commands
Instead of voice commands the commands are musical sounds a bass drum means Bop It, a cranking sound Twist It and an upwards whistle sound Pull It.
********Light Bop ******** Light commands
When the voice calling out Bop It, Twist and Pull It matches the lights lit up on the corresponding parts you need to respond by pressing, twisting or pulling those parts. It they dont match up dont respond. The game is trying to trick you. If you act too slowly or press the wrong part sorry youre out, my friend!
Suitable for 1 player or more in turns (to see who gets the highest score).
I first had a go this one, being on my tod. A press of the Bop It button and on comes a bopping beat. Bump da da... bump da da... bump da da... Pull it! shouts the voice. Quuuuick! The Pull It knob - where is it?, I panicked. And on it goes invariably Im too slow and the voice calls out Daaarrrrh! - a hybrid of Arrrggggh! and Homer Simpsons Doh!
Each one you respond to scores you one point. And the game steps up a gear getting faster and faster. The highest possible score is 500.
And I just know youre dying to find out what my highest score is. Well its 192 dont laugh. You can check was it is at any time by twisting the Twist It knob.
PASS IT GAME
Suitable for 2 players or more in turns - sitting side by side or in a circle.
Very similar to the last game, the aim is to keep up with the commands and be the last player alive. When you hear Pass It you pass the thing to the next person. If anyone is too slow or responds incorrectly theyre history! The winner is the last one playing who has completed the sequence.
For 2 players.
This is a race game. Each player holds onto one of the arms green for Twist It or blue for Pull It. The trick is to press your side of the central Bop It button before your opponent does.
The colour for the player is announced and they win 1 point. The game ends when a player is knocked out for being too slow or responding too slowly, or when a winning player gets 10 points.
AND THERES MORE
There are four positions in which you can adjust the arms. The farther apart the tougher the challenge say the instructions. I found personally it didnt make much of a difference how widely spaced the arms were because my thumb is comfortably able to reach the Bop It button for instance. Perhaps for kids though it is more difficult.
To make things even harder the makers invite you to play the Blast Master Challenge playing the Light Bop Solo game with the handles fully extended and the male and female voices in the dark. Then when youve mastered that, go for the ultimate the One-On-One game with the same settings.
I tried the first in a darkened room and found it was no more difficult a game than in the light of day. As a thirty something it made me feel a bit silly.
SOME USES THE MANUFACTURERS HAVENT THOUGHT OF
The following serves as my own addendum to the instruction manuals range of options. Hasbro please take note.
- People try all manner of things to keep their brain ticking over as they get older - crossword puzzles, bingo, jigsaws etc. But none of them do a damn lot of good. Why oh why dont they employ this great game in old peoples homes. Sitting around in a circle in their Parker Knolls absorbed in a frantic game of Pass It would be a superb way of aiding senile reflexes. As well as being a scream for the bored OAPs.
- The Police get suspected drug drivers to walk in a straight line to test their alertness which all sounds very primitive. So why not use Bop It? The only downside is perhaps the instruction to Bop It may be taken quite literally, resulting in an arrest for assaulting a police officer. In which case it may need modification. And another thing, when the beat starts playing the suspect may think they are still in the nightclub and start getting on down.
- Its only a matter of time the voice and beat samples from this game are used in a novelty record. Thought Crazy Frog and Its Chico Time were annoying?
MY HANDY HINT
A word for the wise - keep it stored somewhere it wont be disturbed. Late one night I was reaching for something in the bedside cabinet drawer and accidentally nudged one of the buttons. A voice cried out BAAAARP IT! - nearly scaring the living daylights out of me.
MY RATINGS OF BOP IT!
It reminds me a bit of the game Simon from the 70s/80s. The difference being your aim was to recall the sequence of lights that came on. That was about memory. This is all about a test of lightning alertness and reaction.
I have tremendous amounts of fun with this. It is almost a classic in my eyes and appeals to people of all generations.
A BLAST OF FUN - ON YOUR OWN OR WITH FRIENDS
The Bop It Blast solo game is pretty addictive. It begs you to keep playing to beat your personal best, plus with a score of 500, a goal to set your sights on.
Also its great for playing with your friends. You dont want the palaver of getting your heads around a board game with a complex game plan. This is something thats simple to grasp and interactive. A fun, energetic party game. The beat is a fantastic idea, setting the pace for a lively competitive game. As it gradually gets faster and faster its enough to send anyone into hysterics. Seeing people panic when put on the spot is always a winning formula for a bellyaching laugh and this game provides it.
The variations of game modes add to its versatility. Once youve mastered one theres another one to have a go at. So would no doubt help extend its shelf life for bored kids.
The only downside is perhaps its size. The designers have given it curve appeal with the knobbly levers and large globular buttons. Quirky I suppose but they make it quite hefty and difficult to store. A flatter streamlined shape would have been better but this is just a minor criticism.
In all, Bop It Blast comes with a high recommendation from me as a fun unusual game that youll never bore of, whatever your age.
* Suitable for ages 8+
* 3 x AA batteries included
* Retails for around £18. Recently Ive seen it at Woolworths online store for just £8.99
* Made by Hasbro UK Ltd
* Previously published by myself, aka simoncjones, at Ciao.
The best selling game of 2003 has been refreshed to provide a new game challenge in the modern and compact design. Bop It, Twist It and Pull It, but only when they light up! Also has moveable arms for customised play. Age: 8 years and over.