Product Type: Hasbro toys
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Hasbro Bop It Extreme 2
Member Name: jo1976
Hasbro Bop It Extreme 2
Advantages: Highly addictive, very challenging, fun
Disadvantages: No longer widely available, not possible to adjust the difficulty level
Last Christmas, my oldest son received a couple of expensive gadgets so it was a bit of a surprise just how popular this inexpensive little 'Bop It' game proved, up against some stiff competition. Not only was this a hit with my oldest son but it also kept the adults in the family entertained too and still does, almost a year later.
The 'Bop It Extreme 2' is not the most memorably named toy but it is definitely one of the most entertaining and addictive toys around! As the (silly) name suggests, this is an updated version of the Bop It toy which has been around for several years now. This is not, however, the latest version as it has been superseded by a number of different variations which the most recent addition to the Bop It family being the 'Bop It Smash.'
It is quite difficult to describe exactly what this Bop It toy is and how it works, without making it sound far more complex than it really is, although game play is actually pretty challenging. It certainly looks like a bizarre item - vaguely resembling some sort of steering wheel. In the centre is a large button with two main arms coming off this and various random shaped and brightly coloured items at the end of each section. The toy is made from quite a sturdy, weighty plastic with two of the 'limbs' covered in an easy grip rubbery coating which makes the toy comfortable to hold securely which is useful as game play can carry on for some time, once it has been mastered.
This toy is essentially a challenge type of game. Bop It will shout out a stream of commands - 'Twist It! Flick It! Spin It! Pull It! Bop It!' - with each command relating to an action on a certain part of the device. Bop It means to slam (hard) against the central button, Flick It involves flicking a rubbery 'sticky out thing' (which looks disturbing like a sexual aid!) Spin It involves spinning a plastic water wheel and Pull It is a lever to pull. This does sound difficult to follow as there are five different commands in play and they are issued in very random orders, so there is no regular pattern to follow or remember, meaning that you need total concentration and the ability to react quickly and without hesitation. The time period within which you need to complete the required action is incredibly narrow, meaning there is very little opportunity for any hesitation. The player has to respond instantly with the correct action and any delay or the incorrect action results in the game ending.
The competitiveness comes into play with the toy's ability to remember the highest score ever achieved. There are also a couple of variations of the game play which all help to keep the game challenging and fresh. My son likes the 'Beat Box' version which involves sound effects being utilised rather than the usual word instructions. I find this version far too difficult for me to follow as by the time my brain has worked out what action the noise represents, I have hesitated for too long and lost the game. There are also games which involve more than one player at a time although we find the solo versions to be more entertaining and less likely to lead to conflict!
This comes with an age recommendation of eight plus which I think is fairly accurate. My (then) nine year old son mastered this pretty easily, much quicker than the adults managed to. (My husband is embarrassingly bad at playing this - always blaming the children for distracting him whilst he is trying to play! I don't think he has ever managed to achieve a score higher than ten!) I suspect this would be far too quick for a younger child to manage - certainly my five year old's reaction speeds are nowhere near quick enough for him to even attempt this game. This is the kind of game which would be very frustrating for a child not old enough to play so I wouldn't suggest purchasing this with a younger child in mind. It is a shame that the game doesn't come with any way of adjusting the level of difficulty. If it was possible to slow down the speed of instructions or to extend the amount of time available to react, this would extend the suitable age range considerably and this really would be a game suitable for the whole family.
The game has been very well thought out with the inclusion of a volume control (managed using the spinning wheel.) The instructions can be quite difficult to follow, however, on anything other than the maximum setting, particularly in a busy household. The game will also turn itself off after several minutes of inactivity, helping to preserve battery life. I can't actually remember ever needing to replace the batteries at all, making this a pretty economical toy to run as it has certainly been regularly played with over the past year. From a practical point of view, the number of controls has been kept to a minimum, with the game play features being cleverly utilised as the means of turning the game on and selecting the play mode, rather than cluttering up the device with any additional buttons or controls. This system did prove a little confusing at first, as it isn't immediately clear how to begin play or to change the modes, but we soon picked this up and now find it incredibly straightforward to pick up and play - but far more difficult to put it down once you've started playing!
As this is an older version, the Extreme 2 is difficult to get hold of in new, unused condition. This may explain (but not justify) why this toys is currently listed at an eye watering £49.99 on Amazon! I paid just £10.99 for this last year which is more or less its real worth, although I think the original RRP was around the £20 mark. (There is also a girly pink version in stock at Toys R Us, currently selling for £27.99)
I would certainly recommend this version of Bop It but only at a reasonable price. This game has proven to be so popular and entertaining that I've actually ordered the latest Bop It Smash game for my oldest son this Christmas. I only hope that the new version is at least half as entertaining and addictive as this version has proven to be.
Summary: An excellent version of a popular addictive game
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