Reviewed by Louise Totton
We are big fans of board games in our house, and the girls are even bigger fans of the Frozen films – we haven’t seen the new one as yet but it’s on our to do list in the Christmas holidays. So the idea of combining them was always going to be a winner for us, and that’s exactly what you get with the new Frozen II Charades Board Game. With the winter nights drawing in and the school holidays imminent, the idea of trying out a new game couldn’t have come at a better time and we hoped it would fill up some cold, rainy evenings.
Most people will know the basic premise of Charades – it’s a game that’s played across the country at Christmas, probably because it’s great fun, can be played by all ages and gets everyone thinking and moving. The Frozen II Charades Board Game adds a bit of structure and a lot of Anna and Elsa into the mix to make for a great fun game that kids over the age of 4 will be able to play alongside the adults. Contained in the box is:
- Game board
- Deck of 52 charades cards
- Sand timer
- Dice (numbered 1-3, each number repeats)
- 4x playing pieces (Anna, Elsa, Olaf and Sven)
- Set of instructions
Playing the game is really simple, as it has to be if kids from the age of four are able to play with it! The playing pieces are placed at the start, and the object of the game is to act and guess your way around the board to finish point. As with most of these games, the youngest player starts by picking up one of the playing cards and rolling the dice. There are three numbered different Frozen-themed challenges on each card, and your challenge is to act out what is indicated by the dice roll. Additionally, and a lovely touch, is that one of the clues is also depicted on the top of the card with a drawing, so younger players who can’t read yet can play more independently. They don’t have to pay any attention to what is indicated on the dice and just go straight for the picture clue.
When you start acting, the egg timer is turned over and only the player to your immediate left can have a turn at guessing. They get one guess and if they guess correctly, they move forward 3 spaces and the actor moves forwards 2. If they don’t guess correctly, the person next to the left can have one turn at guessing and again, if they guess correctly, they get to move forwards 3 and the actor moves forwards 2. Play continues to be passed until either the clue is guessed or sand timer runs out. As you move through the board, you will either land on a blank space (no action required), a space that tells you to move forwards 2 spaces or backwards 2 spaces or the switch space where the tables are turned and the other players act out the charade for the player whose turn it is to guess.
This game is great fun – we played it as a family of four with two adults, a 7-year-old and a 10-year-old and it was enjoyed by all of us. It can get a little silly at times, but I think that’s half of the fun with games like this and all four of us thought it was hilarious. I loved how it made both of the girls really think about how they could show their ideas without speech. There were some of the clues that we all struggled with (how do you act out marshmallow?), but this added a sense of randomness and competition to the game as it wouldn’t have been such good fun if everyone managed to guess every clue!
This is a super game and would be lovely to get the kids involved with the annual charades games that take place on Christmas Day Night and Boxing Day. It would be a great Christmas present for any Frozen-mad child with the added bonus that it’s completely unisex – a lot of Frozen-themed products do seem to be squarely aimed at girls.
Available to buy from www.smythstoys.com.