I always love to try out new games, and reviewing games certainly is a fun change from reviewing more serious curricula, so we were happy to be chosen to review two games from USAopoly: Wonky: The Crazy Cubes Card Game, and Tapple: Fast Word Fun for Everyone.
Before we even played the games, I noticed that both were designed for space-saving storage. Tapple didn’t come with a great box for storage, but since the cards store oh-so-cleverly on the back of the playing board, you don’t even need to save the box!
I’ll probably keep the Wonky box, just because it so so cute—notice it’s “wonky shape!” However, the blocks and cards can be stored efficiently in the included purple storage bag—so easy to stick in a cabinet or to carry somewhere. We have so many games that storage is a big issue. I love that USAopoly has made efficient storage a priority!
I also appreciated that both games could be played with only two players, since we have a household of two right now.
Tapple: Fast Word Fun for Everyone is a category game that reminds me of another game we own—an all-time favorite of my kids. Game play is simple. The included deck of cards names categories. Each round uses one category. The timer is started, giving the first player 10 seconds to name an item from that category starting with any letter. The player presses down the letter tab, marking that letter as “used” for the round. Then the timer is started again and the next player names a item in the same category starting with any letter that hasn’t been used yet. If a player can’t think of an item, then he or she is out for the round. The last person left keeps the card. Then the process starts over.
We thought this game was a lot of fun. The rules were quick to learn; the game moved fast, and it was quick enough to pull out for a short 10-minute game. (No hour-long time commitment needed here.) It’s also adaptable. I had 5 minutes left in the chemistry lab that I teach, so I pulled out Tapple and let the kids compete naming chemical elements and their symbols. It was a hit and was a fun way to review. I’ll be looking for more ways to adapt it for school use! Emily doesn’t like a lot of games, but really enjoyed this one.
Wonky: The Crazy Cubes Card Game is also easy to learn and play. Players try to be the first to run out of cards while stacking the Wonky blocks, a set of blocks in 3 sizes and 3 colors, a total of 9 blocks. The blocks aren’t quite cubes, with angled and curved sides, so stacking them can be quite a challenge. On each turn, a player plays a card and stacks a block. Playing cards illustrate the possible moves a player can take on his or her turn: a medium green block, a large purple block, a small blue block, any small block, and so on. Specialty cards allow players to reverse play, require another player to draw a card, or skip a turn at stacking. If the blocks fall on your turn, you must draw 3 more cards.
I thought Wonky was pretty fun, but Emily didn’t care for it. The blocks are pretty hard to stack, but the game just wasn’t as challenging as we thought it would be. This game is for ages 8 and up, but the cards are designed to work with non-readers, so I think it could be used with even 5 year olds. Teens probably won’t get excited about this game, but it is a good family game because it is active and can include younger children.
I also adapted this game to use with a 7-year-old girl that I’m doing speech therapy with and her older sister. She’s working on her “r” sound, so we added the rule that she had to describe each card (played by anyone) before the block was stacked. There were a lot of “r” words to practice: card, large, purple, reverse, tower, She made sentences like:
- This card has a large blue block.
- I’m adding a purple block to the tower.
- Draw an extra card.
The girls begged to play Wonky again next week, so it was a big hit with the younger crowd as well as a fun method for speech practice!
Both games are a welcome addition to our game collection!