Reviewed by Laura Ashworth
One of the things we enjoy doing to keep the younger children busy is painting lolly sticks and encouraging them to create a character with a backstory, however they can be really flimsy and break which usually ends in tears so when Jumbo Games asked if they could send the Robot Mix by Goula, I was very interested.
After doing a little research I found out that Goula is a Spanish company, founded in 1971 and primarily makes toys and games with wood from a plantation forest. The Goula range extends from musical instruments for kids to educational toys and puzzles. All of their toys are beautifully designed and crafted, bringing modern design to classic style toys which are fun, durable and will last for years.
The aim of this game is for children (aged 3+) to recreate the robots on the challenge card using the sticks, which each have a picture of part of a robot on each side (for example the eyes or feet). There is a cardboard base to place the sticks on and an instruction leaflet to explain the rules of the game. Robot Mix can be played by one or multiple players and is an excellent tool for teaching hand eye coordination, spatial awareness and visual skills.
Upon arrival the box displayed an example of a robot combination which is very colourful and fun, the children were very excited to get inside. Inside the first thing that stood out was how chunky and shiny the wooden sticks are, they feel very durable and this was proved when they were put down rather heavily (more than once) during a competition between my two youngest.
The Challenge Cards are a good size for little hands, 30 in total, neither too small or too big. There are three types of card – GREEN: beginners, ORANGE: Intermediate, RED: Advanced. Each card is white with the rim of green, orange or red for easy setup, one of the things that can be very tedious when settling young children down to a game is everybody is excited and bouncing around whilst mum, dad and any care giver is fumbling for the rules and instructions, however with the Robot Mix game the colour coded cards make it easier to identify the level of intensity needed so they can be grabbed quickly and easily.
The fun little robot characters make my children engage with the game without coaxing and the 7 robust wooden sticks are not easily lost like so many “age appropriate” game pieces which usually seem to take a long holiday in the tiniest of corners after the first game. The game is recommended for 3 years and up however my 2-year-old found this game really fun to play with her older sister, she struggled matching all the sticks to the cards but understood the concept and had a brilliant go.
My 4-year-old felt very accomplished with so many cards to choose from it kept her busy for several days then when she was done she enjoyed creating her own, and of course they had to have a backstory! Even I and my elderly mother enjoyed playing this with the children.
The only negative thing I have to say is the cardboard base for the sticks to go on was slightly curved at the width of the card which made putting the sticks on difficult, however this is not a huge deal and we played it without the base with no problems, the base would have helped with the coordination and developing fine motor skills having to line up the sticks within the lines. This game is for 1 or more players and would make a really great travel game.
Available to buy from Amazon here.