A few weeks ago my friend asked me if I could make use of a few board games that their child had grown out of so straight away I said yes as me and my little girl love playing games and she didn't really have that many yet. One of the games was Topsy Turtle which was the first game my daughter chose to play as she loved the look of the box!
The box is instantly appealing to children (it attracted my three year old immediately) as it shows a cute but worried looking turtle balancing on some bright coloured discs. The background of the box is blue and so the bright yellow and green turtle stands out well. The title of the game is in large white lettering at the top of the box and just under that we are told a little about the game. It is stated that the game is "The tilting, toppling, talking turtle game". The game is made by Hasbro and is for children aged 3+. It is for 2-4 players and has an approximate game time of around fifteen minutes.
Inside the box you will find the turtle, which does require assembling, and 24 plastic play pieces (8 blue, 8 green, and 8 red). It is really easy to assemble the turtle, you simply slot the legs into place and they click in so they stay in place. It is stated on each leg which goes where as they aren't interchangeable due to how they move during the game. The game requires 4 AA batteries so make sure you have some on hand! The on/off button is located on the bottom of his tummy.
The game is very simple to play, the turtle is trying to get out of the pond and this is done by placing the plastic discs underneath his legs. Before starting to play, each player needs two of each colour disc, so you begin with six discs in total. The game is started by pressing the long button on the top of the turtles shell which will activate the game. The turtle will tell you which colour disc he wants placing underneath one of his legs and the player picks that colour disc and places it underneath. Throughout each players turn a tune will play and the turtles legs will move so you need to get your disc underneath before his legs are lowered again. He will then say another colour and it is the next players turn and so on. The turns continue until someone has used all their discs or until poor turtle topples over. If he topples over on your turn all the discs are added to your pile! The winner is the first person to use all of their discs.
As the game is played the turtle does have a couple of little sayings "Oooo don't let me fall" and "ooooo this is toooo high!!" and the tune plays throughout. We have played this game many many times and my daughter really enjoys it. The game is aimed at age three and above, and I think it is a really accurate guide though I do think an older child wouldn't get the same enjoyment out of it. The idea is that you can only use one hand to place the discs under the legs and this is a little tricky for young ones to understand though my daughter does understand it but still tries to cheat and use two!! Obviously little hands are somewhat more clumsy than our adult hands and so initially quite often my daughter would knock the turtle over before placing the disc under his leg, but she has now got the knack of it so she gets less frustrated with it. I have found that when playing sometimes my daughter needed a little help in knowing where to put the disc but the more we play she is getting more aware of where the discs should go where there is more space. Sometimes when playing the game, if it looks like it is going to fall over quite early on I will help keep the turtle steady but more often than not we are able to play the game to the rules.
You certainly need a flat surface in order to play this game as it is very unsteady anyway, so if it isn't on a flat surface it will fall over even faster. We tend to play on the floor rather than the table as when it topples over the discs can get scattered so rather than have them fall on the floor we just play on the carpet.
I think this is a really good game and I wish I had seen it around Christmas time as it is something that I would have liked to buy her rather than one of the other games I bought. It is a brilliant game to help develop fine motor skills and judgement along with it being great fun. It also helps teach colours, as the turtle tells you which colour he wants so the child has to choose the correct colour. My daughter loves the turtles voice and when he falls over she cracks off laughing and the more we play the more she laughs. The voice is cute and the tune is fun for a while but there is no way of turning it off or even turning the volume down so after a while it can get a little annoying.
The game is made out of plastic but it is strong and sturdy and shows no sign of wear and tear after many many hours of being played with. As it is plastic it is very easy to clean and can be simply wiped over with a damp cloth - ours has been covered in little chocolate fingerprints after my daughter decided to play while eating a kinder egg!!
I would recommend this game to anyone with young children as it really is fun and its something that you can enjoy together but also they can play alone if they wish (my daughter does sometimes just sit and play it by herself if I am busy). I have looked online and the game is available on Amazon for £12.49 which in my opinion is a really good price for such a fun game.
Thank you for reading my review.
This preschool game from Hasbro bought by us from Toys R Us for £16.99 is for children aged 3+ and up to four players can play.
The premise of this game is help Topsy Turtle get out of his pond by stacking different coloured blocks (that look like large rolos) under his feet as he lifts them. The idea is to keep each side of the legs as even as possible to prevent him toppling over.
Topsy is a lovely bright green and yellow colour and the blocks come in red, blue and green (8 each) so visually this game is very appealing to young children before game play even gets under way!
The game needs two AA batteries (not included) and all you have to do in order to set the game up is to snap his four legs into place then you are good to go. Note that each leg has to be put into a specific slot and are not interchangeable but you have initials on the underside of each leg to guide you. You operate Topsy with an on/off switch located on his belly. Topsy's head then emerges a little more from his shell and when each players has two blocks of each colour at the ready, press the button on his back and let the action start.
Topsy will then call out a colour and two of his legs will raise up in the air. You must quickly put the appropriate coloured block beneath one of these raised legs and then the next player takes his turn once the legs have lowered and the music stops and so on. Topsy will sometimes call out any colour (self-explanatory), so if you have run out of a particular colour, you have to hope you get this option when it comes to your turn otherwise you miss a go. The first player to get rid of all their coloured blocks without making him fall is the winner. If you do make him fall any blocks that have fallen with him become yours!
You can play an alternative (co-operative) game (which saves on arguments or bad sportsmanship). Playing this way allows you to work together to get all the blocks under his feet and get him to the very top.
I got this for my 5 year old and her 7 year old brother (6 at the time) was also keen to play. Despite this being marketed as a preschool toy I feel their ages are actually more suitable to the game in the sense of being able to place the right colours in the time allowed, as it is not as easy to master as you may think. However, it is not a game that keeps their interest as long as it might a younger child but I feel younger children will struggle and need lots of adult supervision and assistance.
You definitely need a good, flat, smooth surface on which to play otherwise Topsy topples far to easily and even when on a smooth surface he can be a bit temperamental if the blocks are not exactly in place. However, this is a good game to get younger children to recognise colours and to improve dexterity in getting the blocks in place in time. My two found it a little challenging at first but soon got used to it and we have managed to get him to the top of the blocks once or twice!
The turtle's voice and tune it plays as it lifts its legs may grate on an adult's nerves after a while but the kids enjoy it and that's what matters isn't it? I find a glass of wine always helps!!!
Kids always seem to like things that fall down with a crash so I would recommend this game but note that in our household, after playing with it on Christmas Day and on an off for a week or two afterwards it has not come out of the box since although now I am reviewing it they are keen to play it once again so thanks Dooyoo for that! For this reason I am only awarding three stars.
Thanks for reading. x
also on Ciao under ryanellaxx
This is a game my daughter received for Christmas last year, and it is something I had never heard of before. My first impressions of the game were that it was pretty rubbish, it didn't seem to work properly and the children were getting frustrated (this was more likely to be due to over excited impatient children on Christmas Day than the actual game). So anyway, it has since resurfaced and my first impressions were wrong, it is actually quite good, and my eldest daughter is really entertained by it.
The actual game 'Topsy Turtle' is made by Hasbro and is described on the box as 'The Tilting, Toppling, Talking Turtle Game'. It is for age 3 and upwards, has 15 minutes game-time (debateable) and is for 2-4 players, the game also requires 4 x AA batteries (not supplied).
The game contains a 'talking turtle' which has to be assembled before play can begin; all you have to do is snap the legs into position. You also get 24 coloured plastic stackable discs (8 red, 8 blue & 8 green).
Apparently the turtle is trying to get out of the pond, so the aim of the game is take him as high as possible by placing the discs underneath his legs. So before the game starts, each player takes 2 discs of each colour (so they all have 6 discs in total), then you activate Topsy by pressing the button on his back. He will tell you which coloured disc he wants you to place under one of his legs, then a silly little tune will start playing, and two of his legs will move upwards, and it's under these legs that you can place your discs. Then he will say another colour and those legs will move back down and his other two will move upwards ready for you to position the next discs, and this continues until Topsy Turtle topples, or until one player has got rid of all their discs.
The idea is that as each turn passes, Topsy is slowly getting higher and higher, sometimes he will say 'Ooooooh this is toooo higggghhhhhh' . If Topsy falls before the game has ended, then whichever player caused him to fall gets all the discs back and play begins again. The player that gets rid of all his or her discs first is the winner. Unfortunately this has never happened during our play times yet...Topsy always falls over and over again before anyone gets rid of their discs.
What I found when we played this with 3 children (a 3 year old, a 5 year old and a nuisance 2 year old), it didn't particularly work. The kids were too keen to put their blocks under his legs without taking turns or care about how gentle they were being, so Topsy was just falling over all the time. This is why I thought the game was not very good, it seemed like it was too delicate for young children to play, and they definitely needed an adult's supervision to tell them whose turn it was, and to make sure they weren't being too rough and knocking Topsy over all the time. They also needed advising about where to put their blocks and to be quick before Topsy's legs returned back down again. It was all very complicated and frantic and was not particularly enjoyable.
However, recently I have been playing this with my 3 year old, just me and her, and it has become a much more enjoyable pass time. We don't stick to the rules, we just set him going and put the blocks under as and when we can, I let her do most of it, but I try to keep him steady so he doesn't fall over straight away every time. She really enjoys playing it this way, and finds his silly voice amusing, and laughs every time he falls off his blocks, and laughs even louder when I pretend to be angry that she has made him fall.
So we have both been enjoying the game, and I'm pleased we have it because I think it will last her as she gets older and becomes more skilful. And hopefully it will be something my two daughters will be able to play together when they are older.
Unfortunately, there are a few disadvantages to this game.
First of all, the voice is quite loud and annoying, as is the music, and there is no way to turn this off or even reduce the volume while you are playing the game. An option to do this would have been handy.
Secondly, you have to play it on a flat surface, a dining table would be the best option, but because my daughter is only 3, she can't reach it when it's on the table, so we have to make do with a tray on the floor. This in itself is a problem because the game is now within reach of flailing arms and legs and so is more prone to toppling over.
Thirdly, the game is quite unstable (I suppose that's half the idea), but when a group of heavy handed young children are playing, the game never quite gets going because they either don't position the discs correctly, so Topsy's legs can't rest on them properly; or they knock a disc out of position when trying to insert new discs, and thus Topsy topples. I have also found that we cannot get any more than 3 discs under his legs before he topples.
But even with those slight disadvantages, I would still recommend this game because my daughter does really enjoy it. I would say adult supervision is usually required, depending on the age of your children, just to assist them in positioning the discs correctly and to stop them from knocking him over too often. This will extend their game-play time and I think make the game all that more enjoyable for them, especially if one of the children actually gets to win!
Available on Amazon for £16.90 (£8.99 in the Amazon Marketplace).
You can also get it from Toys R Us for £16.99.