This installment of Mind Game Monday is a week late. I had a ton going on last week, and since last week was also a Favorite Book Friday week, I made the executive decision to push Mind Game Monday back a week. It's good to be the boss.
That decision worked out because I wasn't entirely sure which game I wanted to write about. We have so many good ones, I couldn't make up mind. I finally settled on one (which will probably make the next edition of this series), but Easter was yesterday, and The Boy received a nifty little game (that he had specially requested). After playing it, I scrapped my initial plans and threw this article together. (The Easter bunny came to our house on Saturday instead of Sunday because The Boy went out of town Saturday night. That gave me an extra day to get this article ready.)
The game was so enjoyable, easy to set-up and learn, beneficial, and appropriate for (the day after) Easter that I had to write about it.
*This post contains affiliate links via image and text links. If you click on them and ultimately make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. This costs you nothing and helps keep this site running. You can read my full disclosure policy here.*
The Boy initially saw the game in a catalog we received from some company around Christmas (maybe/probably Rainbow Resource). He told me he would like to have it. Little did he know I had already pegged it in my mind as a good idea for Easter. Since I had not previously shown or told the kids about Rabbit Rally, I take this as a sign that I (sometimes) really know them.
The Boy approves! This pic shows the island on which the rabbits start in their quest to be first to Rabbit Island. This was The Boy's first move of the game, and he was successful!
The game did not disappoint. There's a place in the world for complex games that take a while to play and require a lengthy set of instructions, and I don't mind playing games like that. But oftentimes, when you're dealing with a younger crowd, simple is best. This game is simple and enjoyable.
The goal of Rabbit Rally is to get your rabbit from the starting island to Rabbit Island, a land filled with delicious carrots. The first player to reach the island gets the largest, golden carrot. Players make their way to the island using bridge pieces of various length.
Here you can see most of the game pieces. As you can tell from the four rabbits, this is a two to four player game. However, I think it could be enjoyable for a single player to test out their spatial reasoning skills or play against themselves with two or more rabbits.
Players take turns rolling the die, which is color coordinated to the bridge pieces. The color rolled indicates which length bridge piece the player must use for that turn. A stepping stone (round, gray wooden block) is placed the appropriate distance from where the player's rabbit is to where the bridge is estimated to end. Then the bridge piece is placed between the rabbit's current position and where the stone has been moved. If the bridge connects the two spaces, the rabbit can advance towards Rabbit Island. If the bridge piece is too short to span the gap, the rabbit has to stay where it's at and wait for their next turn to try again.
Rabbit Rally encourages spatial thinking through appropriately estimating distances. Obviously, the game will be easier for older children and adults (the instructions also include a more challenging way to play if a harder game is desired), but it's not guaranteed that they'll always do better than their younger opponents. I lost to The Boy the second time we played because I barely overestimated my bridge length at a crucial point in the game.
It is possible to be overly cautious and place your stepping stone within obvious reach of the bridge and ensure that you always move ahead. However, the downfall with this tactic is that you waste precious bridge length and don't proceed as far as you could each turn. This was The Boy's downfall the first time we played. Slow and steady doesn't always win the race. Good estimates do that.
The above pictures are from two different games, but they help show how you win. In the first shot, The Boy's black rabbit is about to land on Rabbit Island. He just needed to roll the die to snag a long enough bridge piece, which he did. In the bottom picture, my gray rabbit came from a slight disadvantage by scoring that long green bridge piece and accurately estimating that I could reach Rabbit Island with it. You can see, though, that I just barely made it.
The game is touted as being appropriate for ages four to ninety-nine, but I think a lot of three-year-olds could play it as well (and 100-year-olds for that matter).
I really feel like I've made a good purchase when all of my kids can use and enjoy the same toy or game. That's also a good indicator of quality. Given that Rabbit Rally meets (or will shortly meet) both of those qualifications, I have a hunch it's going to be around our house for a long time.
You Pinterest lovers can see all Mind Game Monday selections on my Pinterest board.