Reviewed by David Ashworth
Buzz Off is a single player or turn based multiplayer wire nerve game from Ideal, designed for children aged from four years and up. The objective of the game is to guide the hooked shaped wand around the wire frame without touching the side, doing so emits an unpleasant buzz. The player who does this with the fastest time wins. The wire frame is in the shape of a hand and is connected to a lightweight plastic stand, the wire and hook are then connected to the base.
As an adult, my first impressions when removing this game from the packaging were that because the material is lightweight, it would break easily if mishandled. However, as a calming game for children to play responsibly and as intended this would be a very small issue. Also, the connection between the wire and the base plate wasn’t great and I had to spend a few moments adjusting the unit to allow the buzzer to work.
On the other hand, as a parent of a child with some mobility issues I was intrigued to see how my son would manage with and respond to this game. Once we managed to get it working my son took to it with gusto and spent several minutes trying to navigate the hook around the wire hand. Although, initially frustrated, my son rose to the challenge and continued to attempt the game and even encouraged mum and dad to join in and best his score. Despite not being able to avoid a buzz here and there, we did enjoy this game.
In terms of endurance, I do think that this is a game children will come back to again and again, but only in short bursts, and is an excellent toy for quiet and focussed play. It is also useful for improving manual dexterity and focus in children who may be struggling in those areas. Unfortunately, I found the buzzer itself to be a little too quiet with having younger children in the house as well and the minor technical issues meant that the base plate and wire unit had to be fiddled with to ensure the buzzer would work properly.
In conclusion I would award this product 3 out of 5 stars, kids will like it as a short distraction and it does have benefits in terms of increasing focus and dexterity. Unfortunately, parents may take some issue with the overall quality of the product and the minor faults which prevent Buzz Off! from attaining a higher rating. That said, my son did enjoy playing it which trumps any niggling doubts I have about overall quality and if treated with the proper care this game should provide countless hours of entertainment.
Available to buy from Amazon here.