Reviewed by Deborah Banasko
I have to say that reviewing Hoppy Floppy’s Happy Hunt Game made my day for two reasons; it’s a game (big tick!) and it can be viewed as an Easter or Spring themed game which means the nice weather isn’t so far away!
I have found that I’m playing more games than ever before (in-between the school work), and am always keen to review any that I’m offered. I think we are all trying to gleam the positives out of life and enjoy our children as much as we can.
My children are ages 2 and a half, 6 and 9, so the youngest is more at the target age group but we reviewed this as a family as we play a lot of toddler games together with him.
The box is absolutely gorgeous, even down to the carrot designs around the edges. Lovely bright colours and art work; all three of my children swarmed me as I opened the box. I do wonder whether the egg shaped box was intentional for Easter? Either way it’s adorable. It’s also quite compact so won’t take up too much shelf space.
Inside the box you have a spinner (hurrah, it’s pre-assembled), four pastel coloured plastic baskets in orange, yellow, pink and purple with 16 carrots in the same colours. The game board is actually incorporated into the base of the box for a game that’s quick to set up which is always a bonus, and finally you have the Hoppy Floppy Rabbit Squeezer. The quality of the game pieces is excellent, particularly the squeezer which has lovely detail and is made of chunky plastic for easy grip and less chance of breakage. The rabbit paws are ridged to allow you to grip the carrots too. My kids really loved the little rabbit and liked to hop him about, and were so excited about the game pieces too.
The game is for 2-4 players, and each player must first choose a coloured basket. The carrots are scattered onto the game board, and player one spins the spinner. There are several options on the spinner; you may have to select a carrot of a defined colour or a colour of your choosing using the rabbit squeezer. You may need to spin again, loose a turn or steal any carrot from any player. The final, perhaps more controversial option in our house, is that your basket tips over and you have to put all of your carrots back into the game board box. The first person to collect one carrot of each colour wins the game.
It’s an easy game to grasp, even my 2 and a half year old mastered the idea pretty quickly with us guiding him as to what the spinner needed him to do, although we couldn’t face forcing him to miss a turn or steal any carrots from his basket. The recommended age range of 3+ sounds perfect as by then there would be a better understanding of the rules.
We did feel that the game would benefit from a few more carrots of each colour, as sometimes we did run out if everyone kept spinning the same colour. My 9 year old commented that the carrots are a potential choking hazard, however the game is targeted at children over the age of 3 so for me it is age appropriate. Just be cautious if you have any younger children at home.
I found a minor issue when my 6 year olds basket had to tip over as per the rules of the spinner. When I say issue, I mean tears and sulks. I think this depends on the type of child that you have, as my 9 year old laughed when it happened to her but that could be a maturity thing. I personally think it’s a fun addition and extends the game a little; in fact my 2 year old was quite willing to copy his sister and empty his basket too, so it’s maybe one to change yourself if you have a sulker. Otherwise keep it in and let them learn to be a good loser!
At first my toddler needed some help to grip the rabbit and pick up the carrots but he was so excited and really keen to master it. He was totally enthralled and keeps bringing the game to me to play. It’s a quick game to play, so we usually manage at least three games before he wants to move onto something else.
This is a good educational game as you practice the pre-handwriting skills and fine motor skills when you grip the carrots using the squeezer, as well as hand-eye co-ordination. We also worked on our colours, counting and matching skills. The box claims that strategic thinking is developed, and this is the beauty of the game as it can challenge your child differently as they grow. For example when the spinner says that you can steal a carrot from another player, you can choose the best strategy to help in your quest to win the game. My two year old wouldn’t have a clue about this so we just let him steal from me to avoid tears from the emotional 6 year old, but in time this is a skill he can practice.
Looking at this game in terms value for money; on the one hand I usually expect to pay around £10 or less for this type of educational game. However the Hoppy Floppy’s Happy Hunt game doesn’t just rely on the usual cardboard game pieces you’d expect; it is of a far superior quality and the rabbit squeezer is a really sturdy item, and this is what you are paying the extra for. I am more than happy to pay the few pounds extra, as an inferior squeezer design with cardboard baskets just wouldn’t be the same and nor would it last as long. It’s a really lovely game to play as a family or even just the two of you, and I would not hesitate to recommend it to my friends with young children of pre-school age.
This game would be a fantastic Easter gift for a young child as an alternative to chocolate or even as well as, if you like to buy the kids a little gift as I do. Although you could really buy this game anytime of the year. The concept is different from anything that I have seen before, and as an adult I really do enjoy playing it. I would award this game 4.5 stars out of 5.
This product can be purchased from Learning Resources here.