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My son likes anything to do with Fireman Sam and fire engines in general. He was pleased to open a gift from his little cousin Caleb on Christmas Day to reveal this Fireman Sam game. We own quite a few games suitable for my 4.5yr old sons age but also suitable for the whole family to play with together.
~Spin and Rescue Memory Game~
Age recommendation : 36months+
Players : 2 - 4
Requires : 2 x AAA batteries (not included)
This Fireman Sam game is said to encourage children to use their memory think and numeracy skills. It is an electronic game and everything you need (excluding the batteries) are provided in a red box with Fireman Sam on the front. Included is :
*Fireman Sam figure
*20 picture cards
The youngest player has the first turn. The aim of the game is to collect all of your picture cards relating to your marker. The pictures include Sams fire engine, pictures of the actual characters, Norman Price up a tree etc. These picture cards should be arranged upside down around the spinner base. There are four character markers and they can be put only certain sections of the spinner base. Included in this set are Fireman Sam, Elvis, Penny and Tom. Each player should take it in turn to spin the spinner and listen out for what Fireman Sam says and select a card. If it is their card, they collect it and set it aside. If it isn't their card, they spin again for the next player to be selected. The game is complete when a player collects all of their cards.
~Price and Availability~
This game is produced by Jumbo games. It is currently available on Amazon UK priced at £10.57. It is also available from www.elc.co.uk priced at £12.99.
We couldn't wait to play this game so Boo decided to take it to his grandparents house on Christmas Day. There were 5 of us but Daddy took a step back leaving Boo, Granna, Papa Boo and Mummy to play the game. This game is very easy to set up once the batteries are in place. Sam slots into place on top of the electronic spinner and there is an on/off switch on the actual spinner. I would recommend playing this game on a flat surface of table and ensuring you keep all the contents together as we have misplaced a few bits so far.
The first time we played this game, Papa Boo set it up. My Dad is really a big kid at heart and did want to try first but abided by the rules and let the youngest player take his turn. We all chose our markers and put them in place. The markers are quite small and made from cardboard. They aren't the best quality and have started to bend a little and become very creased. The spinner base is made of plastic and isn't too big but you do need a big area to play this game as you need to spread the cards out. The cards are very colourful and made of decent cardboard. They illustrate scenes from the actual show and my son was able to identify all the characters. Fireman Sam himself is quite big and looks the part with his hose. He can be used as a stand alone character as well as part of this game.
~Playing The Game~
As with most four year olds, Boo isn't very patient. It takes time for a child to understand how to play a game and wait their turn so we did have some slip ups before we got started properly. By the end of the game he had gotten the hang of how to play very well. It does take quite a bit of force for the spinner to come to life and it is very noisy - certainly not one to play if other children are in bed! Music plays and Fireman Sam starts speaking and says 'lets get busy!' before the fire alarm rings out. I was a little confused at first as it does say that he gives instructions. I expected him to say that the player had to find a specific picture on a specific card but this isn't the case. It is much easier.
Basically the spinner stops at a marker and that player gets to pick up one of upside down cards. No cheating remember! Once they have taken their turn, they spin again and where ever the spinner lands, that person gets to pick a card and take a turn. It is very simple yet quite fun to do and we all eventually got a turn. The big kid (Papa Boo) seemed to get more turns that the rest of us - sheer luck I'd say. Boo was very excited when the spinner landed at his marker. He got really in to the game by choosing a card and going 'yes!' or 'boo!' depending on whether or not it was his card. The selection of picture cards was really good and Boo liked seeing different scenes rather than just pictures of the characters themselves.
My son has got a really good memory so this game was ideal for him to show off his skills. He was able to remember where his cards were if the other players had selected them during their turn. He has a better memory than Mummy to be fair. If playing with four players, this game takes a good 15 minutes or so to play. This isn't very long but it is 15 minutes of fun and each game is likely to be different as you never know where the spinner will land. It is much funner than having just the cards on their own and is likely to be a hit with Fireman Sam fans.
We have played this game many other times too. We find it best to play with a few players but if only playing with two we choose two markers each so the game lasts just as long. Boo has showed his younger (by four months) cousin how to play and when I've had all the children at my home (age 10, age 6 and two at age 4) they have all happily played this game together and without any help. As well as encouraging memory skills, it is a great game for children to play together and learn to take it in turns.
Overall we can recommend this game. It is fun to play, looks good and very reasonably priced. It would make a nice gift for a Fireman Sam fan. I don't think my son would have been able to get the most from this game at the younger end of the age recommendation but at nearly 5yrs old he really likes it. It is something the whole family can enjoy together. Even grumpy old Papa Boo got in to it. He got a little carried away and made sure he won the first game which Boo wasn't amused about but he won the next game so all is good in the Boo family! The batteries last well.
Thanks for reading :)