|ToysBulletin.com plays a game of words and speed from Educational Insights.
“Freeze Up!” is an entertaining and completely unique type of game designed for multiple players, providing an especially good fit for family and friends. It is distributed by Educational Insights, whose reputation for innovative educational games is well known. “Freeze Up!” is basically contained in a blue plastic oval shaped electronic device powered by 3 AA batteries (included). It measures approximately 8”L x 6”W x 2”H.
Once “Freeze Up!” is turned on and the game begins, players are asked questions from 170 categories, with each answer beginning with different letters of the alphabet.
The game chooses the category and letter for each player. For example, “Name something found at an airport beginning with the letter-t?” Maybe a good answer might be “ticket.” “Freeze Up!” does not maintain a database of correct answers, instead the players must decide if an answer is acceptable. The player whose turn it is must provide an answer as quickly as possible and then push the freeze/stop button as soon as he shouts it out. This stops a 60-second timer, which is maintained for each player. The “Freeze Up!” unit is then passed to the next player. After several turns, the 60-second clock will begin to run out of time player by player, and when it does, each is eliminated from the game. The winning player is the last one standing with time still remaining on his clock.
There is a challenge button, which can be pushed if an answer seems wrong. The players then discuss and vote on whether the answer is acceptable or not. If acceptable, the challenging player is penalized 5 seconds. If the answer is rejected, the guessing player is penalized 5 seconds.
Another clever feature is the option to change the category or the letter if a player so chooses. It will cost a player a few seconds of valuable time, but a simple push of a category or letter button will force “Freeze Up!” to ask another question from a completely new category or provide a different beginning letter. There is no penalty for a player doing this, other than it uses up several seconds from their timer.
There is also a volume control that can be turned to high or low, another button to choose the number of players from 2-8, and an auto/manual button that will allow the players to control the time between turns, or simply let “Freeze Up!” move things along at a faster pace.
The Toys Bulletin staff played “Freeze Up!” for several hours, using many different players and really putting this electronic device through its paces. After everyone was comfortable with the game, we held a single elimination tournament with 8 players, including a couple of youngsters we had recruited to assist us. I will be the first to tell you that the game has an appropriate name, as I really did “Freeze Up!,” blanking out completely, trying to think of an answer. I had to change several categories to survive, and it just wasted away my time. I was eliminated in the first round.
It was really nice to have a game keep track of everything for every player, so all we had to do was a push a button, provide an answer and pass “Freeze Up!” to the next player. The device did all the work…it was great.
The only complaint related to the advantage that the last player competing had over the other players. Players are eliminated as soon as their individual 60-second timer runs out, so players who have not yet taken the same number of turns have a definite advantage. We rotated the turn order around to ease this problem.
“Freeze Up!” is suggested for ages 8 years old and up and retails for $24.99. Look for it at Amazon.com.
— RJ Cullen