Reviewed by Hannah Chan
Our family is a huge fan of board games, especially face paced memory games! We own a couple of the Brain Box educational games and the children love how easy it is to play (and easy to pack away afterwards too). So we were pleased to hear they’re branched out into one of our favourite Universes, Harry Potter!
The game is aimed at children aged 8+ which I think is due to the need to read the questions, although we played it with Mr 6 and as long as someone helped him to read the harder words he was perfectly fine to play. My other children are 9 and 12 and had no problems with any aspect of playing. It encourages turn taking and patience and is a fabulous memory game! It kept us entertained for quite a while. We had 5 players, but it was be played with just 1 or up to 8 (number of cards dependant).
The cards are good and sturdy with very clear images on one side and questions on the back. Also in the box is a die and a timer. The concept is very simple and easy to understand. When it is your turn, a random card is selected from the box. You have 10 seconds to look at the image and information on the front of the card. This can be extended if you want to make the game a little easier, which is a good idea with younger players or when you first begin to play. When your time is up, hand the card to another player. Then throw the die, which will tell you a number. On the reverse side of the card is a set of questions, the number on the die will tell you which question you are to be read. Then answer as best you can with the information you remember from the card. Some are really easy and some more difficult for example What colour are Ron’s dress robes, or Where is Umbridge’s bag?
We have a couple of the educational Brain Boxes, Maths and a World edition which are fantastic for getting those facts embedded in young minds in a really fun way. We love how the game can be picked up and played with anything from two to ten minutes or even half an hour. The box is a little big to be portable but if you pop the cards and accessories into a pouch then it becomes the perfect game to pop in a bag for car journeys or in waiting rooms as you can adapt the game slightly to not use the die or timer. This adds another aspect to gameplay.
The only issue I have with this game is that it might not last my three long. As we played it a few times they began to remember the answers to the questions on the cards which made it a lot easier for them to win and took away some of the playability. It did take a few games to get to this point as there is quite a lot to see on the images on the cards and only 10-30 seconds to look but as the same questions came up, or we played again they remembered each others answers. By the third game we all tied scores, we were remembering the answers. Many of the other boxes have card expansion packs available so I feel this would really enhance the gameplay.
After looking at their website I learned that they have branched out into other popular themes such as Peppa Pig and The world of Roald Dhal! You can also download sample cards if you are unsure the games are for you. They also have games for younger ones aged 3+.
This game would be a great addition to a classroom environment, or with more Brain Box packs so that there are a lot more cards and the children don’t become too familiar with them.
I give this game 4/5 stars. Loved the game, but looking at the longevity we would need more expansion packs to stop us from remembering all of the answers, but if you’re not going to play so often or have a class of changing children it is great.
You can find the games in many stores and websites, For example this one Board-Game.co.uk which usually has some good offers on. It’s RRP is £14 which I think is a very good price for the amount of entertainment it brings.