At Nannypalooza 2013 in Cleveland, OH, I won a door prize! Woohoo! I love free stuff! The prize was two games from Jax Games. I haven’t played many of their games, but I brought them both to work to play with 6 year old charge, who is really fun to play games with. He’s a smart kid and always has fun playing, whether he wins or not. Here’s my review of each of the games I received:
The description from Jax’s website: “Just roll the dice, then find a letter in the ‘LETTERGRAPH’ on the game board. If that letter matches one on your word card, place a chip on the corresponding space. Or… draw a card? You may get to remove an opponent’s chip, swap words, or lose one of your chips! Be the first player to ‘spell out’ your word and you win the game! ‘WORD’S OUT!’ is all about having fun with letters and words, and for the younger players, what a great way to learn!”
My young guinea pig and I had tons of fun playing this game. It’s fast paced, and with just the two of us, each game took about 10-15 minutes. The cards add a lot of variety to the game play. My 6 year old already reads well enough that he could read all the cards pretty well and knew most of the 5 letter words, but I think it’d still be just as much fun for a child who’s just learning to read, and it could definitely have some educational benefit. A lot of “educational” games end up being more learning and less fun, but not this one! We’ve already played it a bunch of times, and I definitely see us coming back to it again and again.
Description from Jax’s website: “Each card has the name of a capital with its location shown on the state. Players match the state’s shape and color on the card to the same state and shape and color on the board, then place a chip on that space. When you have five in a row it’s a . Players of all ages will have fun learning the states and their capitals while enjoying the fun, challenging play of the game.”
This game definitely takes longer- 30-45 minutes. It’s also not as fast-paced. It has a lot more strategy, since you’re having to decide which side of the board to play your state on to get a sequence faster. You always need to think about how to best keep your opponent from getting a sequence. My charge was already familiar with state names and already knew many of their capitols, because of collecting state quarters and playing an ipad game about states. So the states/capitols aspect of the game was pretty easy to grasp for him. The board is set up with the name of the state and a picture of the state (colored the same as on the matching card), and the cards have the name of the capitol and a picture of the state. The game also comes with a list of all the states and their capitols. So you have lots of ways to figure out what goes where. I would definitely recommend playing this with someone who is at least a little familiar with state names and what they look like. So depending on the kid- 6-8 or older should work out. The strategy element of the game can be fun and challenging, but definitely slows down the game. A child with more patience and focus would do better. My 6 yo and I enjoy playing this game when we have enough time set aside!