Reviewed by Louise Totton
We love boardgames in our house and have been making a real effort to spend more family time on games and puzzles, and less solitary time on gadgets and watching TV. For the most part, the kids do love this family time, but the key is finding the right game to play with them! They’re both big fans of the Hotel Transylvania series of films (we were dragged to see the third one on the day of release last summer!), so the prospect of having a selection of Hotel Transylvania games and puzzles to try out.
We were sent a bundle of Hotel Transylvania 3 games and puzzles (RRP: £29.99) by Rachel Lowe to try out – a boardgame, a jigsaw and a set of snap cards. The kids were keen to try out all three, but we got started on the board game first.
Contained in the box is the board, four character pieces (Drac, Mavis, Frank and Wanda), 5 activity cards for each of the characters, 5 accessory cards for each of the characters, 8 Zing cards and 12 Bleh Bleh Bleh cards, along with a die and a spinner. The game is easily set up – unfold the board, place your character on their designated start space and pop the ZING and Bleh Bleh Bleh cards, as well as the spinner, in the middle. The game is a very traditional style of boardgame, whereby the characters take it in turns to roll the die and move around the board. The space that they land on will determine what they have to do next.
The players have their own character’s numbered Accessory and Activity cards from the beginning, faced down. The aim of the game is to land on the right spaces so you can turn all ten of these cards over, as well as collecting two specific ZING cards from the pile of eight. To turn over the Accessory and Activity cards, you need to land on the Accessory or Activity space then spin the spinner. You can then turn over the numbered card as indicated by the spinner – the aim being to turn over all of your cards.
Additionally, when you land on a ZING space, you pick up a ZING card. You need to try to collect your character’s ZING card, as well their partner (so Wanda and Wayne, Frank and Eunice, Mavis and Johnny, and Drac and Ericka). If you pick up a card that isn’t yours, it goes to the bottom of the pile and you can try again next time. Finally, the Bleh Bleh Bleh cards add another fun element – you might need to move back a few spaces, have another turn, pick up another card or miss a turn.
We all thoroughly enjoyed this game – because you are desperately trying to collect all of your cards, it can get quite panicky and even slightly frustrating for the kids, but in a really fun way! The game is suitable for ages 6+ – we played it with a 7-year old, a 10-year-old and two adults, and had a great time. The rules are really easy to follow and understand, and the kids can also play in independently too, which is fantastic for the school holidays when I still need to get on with the normal household chores. It takes around half an hour to play, so is great for filling up rainy days in the holidays.
The 7-year-old is completely mad on jigsaws, so she was the once who decided to get out the 100-piece jigsaw. The jigsaw has a lovely image of all of the main characters from the film, with the cruise ship in the background, and the pieces are a good size for kids ages around 6. They are small enough to be challenging, but not so small that younger kids can’t easily put them together. She thoroughly enjoyed playing with it, and we all thought that the pieces were thick and robust enough to stand up to children playing with it again and again. We thought this made a brilliant standby activity for the holidays, as it’s always nice to sit and wind down with a jigsaw!
Finally, we tried the snap cards. We had great fun with these – snap is always a winner, and it’s especially fun if the cards feature some of your favourite characters! These ones have nine different images (four of each), so you’re not forever waiting for that one card to snap! They are brightly coloured too, so smaller children have a better chance at calling snap, and we had a great time with them! Snap is always fantastic to keep in a handbag for waiting around at restaurants, for longer train journeys or taking out and about when visiting friends and family – all in all, ideal for the school holidays!
These three items were all great fun and we loved trying them out. The quality of them as well as the playability was fantastic and they will fill lots of ‘I’m bored’ periods for quite some time!
RRP: £29.99 (Games & Puzzle bundle)
For more information or to buy online visit rachellowe.co.uk.