November 18, 2015

Race Around The World With The #WildKratts - A Review

I had known for some time our favorite TV show, Wild Kratts, would be coming out with additions to its toy line from Wicked Cool Toys this fall. As I was browsing the new selection online recently, I was surprised to learn there is a also new board game from Pressman Toys.

In Race Around The World, players move through a variety of habitats, trying to receive creature power suits and discs for each one. Collect them all and get back to the Tortuga first, and you win!

SB has played the game regularly since we received it and really enjoys it. And we have had fun playing together as a family.

But in order to garner feedback from more members of the game's target audience, we decided to have a few of SB's friends over to play. We invited kids age 4-8 who we know are enthusiastic Wild Kratts fans to come over and check it out.

In preparation for the get together, we modified some of the great ideas we found in this post from PBS on hosting a Wild Kratts-themed party. SB had blast making our version of the lion veggie dip:

And after the kids had played Race Around The World, we went out on the deck to enjoy some delicious dirt cups!

We had two groups of players at our party. The younger ones had a hard time getting started because they found it tedious to listen to all the rules. They played with the assistance of their moms.

The older players just let my daughter explain how the game works, and decided they would refer to the instructions if they ran into any snags or had questions along the way. They had fun playing, and had completed a round of the game before the younger group even got started.

The kids all loved getting to be one of the characters from the show. The girls were especially pleased to have Aviva and Koki as options.

Everyone liked the different habitats and animals. The kids, however, were less than impressed by the "Wow Facts" on the back on the Creature Power Suit cards, since it was all information they had already learned from the show. It might be more fun - and educational - if the Wow Facts offered new information about the creatures.

Some feedback all of the moms, including myself, had was there are too many rules. It takes a long time to read through them all before beginning play the first time, and an adult had to refer back to the instructions often during the game.

The box says, "5+", but I'm not sure the average five year old has the patience for this game. My child is almost seven, gifted, and plays games considered well above her level. And even she finds Race Around The World frustrating. Then again, she has that reaction to pretty much every game she plays sooner or later.

Since the point was to gather feedback from the kids themselves, I asked each what she or he thought of the game. The responses ranged from, "It was pretty fun," to "Cool!" and "Fun and exciting!" They all gave it a thumbs up and said they would like to play again. When we held a drawing at the end of the party to give away a copy of the game, the five year-old girl who won was thrilled. She clutched the box to her chest like a special treasure.

The Race Around The World game is available from most major toy retailers and is reasonably priced. If your kids love Wild Kratts, they will have fun getting to Race Around The World as one of their favorite characters from the show. And if they enjoy collecting creature powers via the online games and apps, this board game will give them the opportunity to do the same outside a virtual world.

As an added bonus it enables you to do the same, and have the experience be an interactive one for the whole family.

If your child has a short attention span or struggles with patience, this might not be a good fit. I believe it is better suited for older kids, but every child is an individual. You know best what your child will and will not enjoy.

We are a family that really enjoys board games, and this has been a great addition to our game "library!"

But, if I ever want to get to be MY favorite character from the show, I'll have to play the game sometime when my child is not around...

Stay tuned for an upcoming review of the new additions to the Wild Kratts toy line. And if you haven't already, be sure to check out my awesome giveaway. I've got tickets for all five Florida locations where Chris and Martin will be performing live in 2016!

Watch the premiere of WILD KRATTS: A CREATURE CHRISTMAS November 25 on PBS! Check your local listings for details! 

Premieres November 25; encore presentations on Nov 26, 27, 28 & 29; Dec 7, 18, 20, 24 & 25

Disclaimer: I received samples of the Wild Kratts Race Around The World board game in exchange for this review. However, all opinions expressed are my own. See full disclosure statement here.

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