Reviewed by David Savage
Now that the weather is starting to warm up it’s a great time to get the children out in the garden to get some fresh air, but what to do when there? Well, we have been trying out a garden game from Big Game Hunters.
Big Game Hunters are experts in outdoor games and play equipment (since 1997) and offer a wide range of garden sized games such as Giant Connect 4 and Standard Garden Chess. For review we received the Garden Games Mega Hi-Tower (think of it as giant Jenga).
The Mega Hi-Tower consists of 58 solid pine blocks, measuring 18cm x 6cm x 4.5cm, and comes in a strong zippered nylon bag to store the blocks in. Each pine block weighs approx. 312g.
When the box arrived I was surprised at the weight, it is really heavy. While the individual blocks are quite light (so won’t hurt your feet if a block is accidentally dropped), the collective weight of 58 of them is substantial (just over 16kg so does require an adult to carry it). When the twins got home from school they couldn’t wait to see what it was and what it did.
The idea of the game is to build a tower before game play begins and then each person takes it in turns to remove a block and place it on top of the tower without making the tower the collapse. The loser is the person who makes the tower topple and the winner is the last person who placed a block without toppling it. So the rules are straightforward but the game itself is all about skill, strategy, daring mixed with a bit of luck.
When we wanted to use the blocks it had started to rain (that’s always the way and at the time of writing this we have just had heavy hail!) so as the blocks are not that heavy we decided to do it indoors.
To start with the tower has be built (takes 5 minutes to do). This requires a base of 2 blocks evenly spaced with a further 2 evenly spaced, in the opposite direction, placed on top. From there on the remaining blocks are placed in rows of 3 on top (without space between the blocks), slowly building the tower until all the blocks are used. The completed tower measures approx. 90cm (so not too tall that young children can’t reach the top blocks – but obviously will get a big higher once game play begins).
So now game play can begin. For our first game I was playing with 4 year old twins. We each took it in turns removing a block from the tower and placing it back on top (you can’t remove a block from the bottom 2 layers or the top 3 completed layers). While the twins didn’t quite understand what the purpose of, they got into the spirit of it and had great fun (especially when the tower toppled – I think they like this bit most). Once the game had finished they attempted to build the tower themselves and liked working together to do it.
They both liked playing the game but they also like playing with the blocks to build towers, cubes, houses are other structures. So while it is designed as a garden game it is also a game to develop imagination, dexterity, logical thinking and has plenty of play value.
We have since played it with friends and their children and everybody loves it. All the children (4-7 years old) also love just using them as large building blocks.
Overall, Garden Games Mega Hi-Tower from Big Game Hunters is a fantastic game. While there are a lot of wooden blocks the overall footprint is compact so can be played in a relatively small space (best in the garden but on rainy days we still play indoors). The blocks are a very good quality as they have been played with on wooden floors indoors and are not damaged (and neither is the flooring).
The nylon storage is excellent quality making storing the blocks when not being used very easy. The bag has 2 strong handles making the game fairly portable (you wouldn’t want to walk too far carrying 16kg in your hand, but carrying from the house to the garden isn’t an issue).
This game is excellent fun and would be great for children’s parties, barbeques and just general family time enjoying the sun in the garden this summer (should you be lucky enough to see the sun).
While at £57.99 it could be considered expensive but the quality is excellent and they are definitely value for money. The quality of the blocks is excellent and they do stand up to a lot of punishment (ours are still in great condition) and they should last a very long time as long as looked after properly (not let in the garden in the rain).
We love the Mega Hi-Tower. The completed tower is not so tall that the younger children cannot play and it’s not so small that adults cannot join in the fun. It is a great quality game and hours of fun for the whole family and friends – a great way to spend quality time with the kids, enjoying the sun in the garden (and don’t forget to put suncream on the kids if playing in the garden for any period of time).
We can highly recommend this game.
Available to buy from Big Game Hunters here.