Way, way back (a few months ago), I wrote about Press Here by Herve Tullet in the first Favorite Book Friday post. In that article, I mentioned the book had been made into a game, which was on our Christmas list. Obviously, Christmas came and went, so let me confirm. Yes, my children did receive Press Here, The Game. As such, I thought it would be fitting to let you know my thoughts about it now that I've added the Mind Game Monday series to the site. So here goes...
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Though the packing and game pieces are quite attractive, when we first cracked this game open I didn't have high expectations for it's entertainment value. It looked so simplistic and the rules are more open-ended than to what I am accustomed. I didn't think the kids, especially the rule-following boy, would take much interest.
But you can't judge a book by it's cover and you can't judge a game until you've played it.
As it turns out, the loose rules contribute to the games complexity. On the surface, it looks like you spend each turn simply placing colored chips on a board according to luck of the draw (not fun). Rather, to be successful, you must calculate which board and which position on that board you want to place a chip in order to set yourself up for success and prevent your opponent from having the advantage (strategy=fun).
In order for all of this talk of chips and boards to make sense, let me explain how game play works.
The game comes with 25, double-sided sturdy cards and 90 chips of red, yellow and, blue.
Each card has a colorful or black and white design and white circular spaces where color is missing. That's where the chips come in. On each turn you reach into the bag of chips and pull one out. Depending on which color you get, you place a chip on the board to help "finish" the card in a logical and creative way. (I LOVE that both of those things are required in this game!)
Logical does not necessarily mean a chip goes on a circle within the same color as the chip. Take the card on the very left in the picture above, the rule for that card could be that the white circle has to be filled with the color to the left of the circle, or to the right of the circle, or with whatever color is missing from that row. As you can see from the black and white card in the picture, there is no existing color to dictate any logical progression. An acceptable rule for this card might be that all circles get yellow chips, triangles get red, and squares get blue. The rule for a card is determined by the players as play progresses. You can place chips in any manner until the rule is established.
Though a different rule could be applied, the most obvious for these cards is color mixing. Red and yellow make orange, yellow and blue make green, and red and blue make purple.
There are up to six cards in play at one time. After drawing your chip, you can decided on which card to play it. If your chip is placed on the last white spot on a card, you win the card. The first person to collect 6 cards wins.
The game challenges kids to think ahead, but it's very easy to play. In fact, I think my description of how to play is more complicated than actually playing.
As I said earlier, each card is double-sided. One side is easier with only three blank spaces, whereas the harder side has six blank spaces.
Because of this option and being able to decide how many cards to have in play at once, this game is easily adjustable for all ages. It's suggested for children three and up and it could easily be used as a color-matching or pattern-making game for preschoolers or changed up to please a group of adults. This is great for me, as my kids range from unborn to nine.
This is one they can all enjoy and one in which I can get a lot of bang for my buck. But even with just one child, this game is very reasonably priced. As of this writing, it's selling for around $13.
So there you have it. I love our Herve Tullet books, and now I love our Herve Tullet game. It uses my kids brains and appeals to each of their gaming interests (strategy for The Boy, quick play for Little Mama, and simplicity for Tres).
If you're looking for a good game for family night or something to arouse your kids creativity and logical-thinking skills, this one will do it.
If you own or have played Press Here, The Game let me know in the comments what your kiddos think of it!
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