ToysBulletin.com gets some exercise, as we review the latest games from Thinkfun.
The staff had to get up off their chairs this week, as we tackled three new Yoga related games from Thinkfun. First of all, each of the games asks the participants to move around and loosen up a bit before beginning play. In fact, the rules provide a link to a specially designed Thinkfun site, where warm up suggestions are fully explained and illustrated.
We decided to start with “Memory Yoga,” a game for 2-4 players, ages 3 years old and up. The game includes 36 Yoga pose tiles (18 different pairs), with each of the sturdy tiles measuring just over 2″ square. The beginner game is very simple to play, as the tiles are shuffled and placed face down in a 6 x 6 grid. Players then alternate turns by turning over one tile and trying to find its matching tile. If there is a match, the player keeps the tiles. If not, the tiles are turned back over face down. Play continues until all matches are made. The player with the most tiles is declared the winner. But wait, why did we have to warm up for that? Well, there is an advanced set of rules for ages 6 years old and up, and it is still the basic match game, as just described, but in order to claim any two matched tiles, the player must first perform the illustrated yoga move and hold the position for 10 seconds. The poses may seem fairly simple, but we were still huffing and puffing after trying to stay in one place for 10 seconds. But, after playing numerous times, we had to admit it was a fun physical test for sure. “Memory Yoga” retails for $9.99.
Next, we decided to tackle the “Yoga Cards,” another game for 2-4 players, ages 6 years old and up. This time there are 48 green Yoga pose cards, each depicting a different pose, including both the English and Yoga meaning of the pose. Each card is also numbered in the right hand corner from 1-48. There are also 6 red Yoga mission cards, with each listing 2 goals required to complete that mission. Finally, there is a very handy blue player aid card to help match poses with missions. To set things up, each player receives one of the 6 Yoga mission cards at random, and 7 Yoga pose cards from a shuffled deck as his starting hand. The remaining Yoga pose cards form a draw pile with a discard pile adjacent to it. The top Yoga pose card is drawn and placed face up on the discard pile.
To begin play, players must first take a close look at their Yoga mission card, and determine the Yoga positions that are required to complete the 2 goals listed on the card. A player must collect 7 specific Yoga pose cards before his opponents are able to do so, in order to win the game. To start a turn, a player chooses a Yoga pose card from his hand and performs the illustrated pose for 10 seconds. If he is successful, he keeps (collects) that card in a separate pile nearby. If the player fails in his attempt, he does not get to collect the card. On the same turn, the player picks up the face up card from the discard pile and performs that illustrated pose for 10 seconds. Again, if successful, he collects the card, and if not, he does not get the card. There are specific rules as to when new cards are drawn and discards are made, but every player will always have 7 cards in their hand at the beginning of their turn. The first player to collect 7 cards that meet the requirements for the 2 goals on their Yoga mission card is declared the winner. The player aid card lists all of the Yoga pose cards (by number) that are applicable to each of the 6 Yoga mission cards, thus making it very easy to spot the best Yoga pose cards to choose and perform on a turn. The poses required in this game were very challenging for sure, but there was a certain sense of accomplishment when any of the Toys Bulletin staff completed a pose. Kids and adults, who think they are fit, will love this game. It will not only test your flexibility, but also your ability to balance and hold a pose. “Yoga Cards” retails for $4.99.
Lastly, we play tested the “Yoga Spinner Game.” This game featured a plastic container that housed not only the game’s spinner, but also held the playing cards used in the game. In short, the packaging was fantastic. The game is suggested for 2-4 players ages 5 years old and up. There are 54 Yoga pose cards in 4 colors (14 red, 14 green, 14 blue, and 12 white). Each card measures about 3½” square, and features pose illustrations and descriptions in English, French and Spanish. The white cards are very unique as they each require 2 players to complete a pose, and include instructions on how to do them in each of the 3 languages.
To play the game, the cards are shuffled and placed in 4 stacks according to color. The first player spins the spinner to reveal one of 8 possible actions. If the spinner lands on red, green or blue, the player draws a Yoga pose card from the matching colored stack and performs the Yoga pose for 10 seconds. If a player successfully completes the pose, the player claims the card. If the player cannot do the pose, he does not earn the card. The spinner might also land on “Player’s Choice,” allowing a player to choose a card of his choice for posing, or on “Steal a Card,” where a player can take a pose card from another player, or on “Partner Up,” where a player must take a white card and have all players attempt the pose with another player for a time specified on the card, or on “Opponent’s Choice,” where a player’s opponents choose his next pose card, or on “Lose a Card,” perhaps the worst spin of all, because the player will lose one of his pose cards. The game continues until one player collects 4 cards of each color, and is declared the winner. The staff had an especially good time playing the “Yoga Spinner Game.” The poses were not only challenging, but the game introduced some luck and strategy, along with some very interesting dual Yoga poses. The “Yoga Spinner Game” retails for $14.99.
We have to be honest…..we had never seen a game devoted to Yoga poses before and this series of games caught us a bit by surprise. But after multiple sessions, we now have a new appreciation of Yoga, and Thinkfun has certainly created a most ingenious way of making winning games from Yoga poses. All of these games can be purchased at your local game store or on-line at Amazon.com.