Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Connect Four, By Funyards Australia - REVIEW

Nature/ Type:            Classic wooden game  

Rating:                       ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Recommended age:   7 year-old ++ 

Who would love this: Collectors of wooden / classic games 

We love fresh ideas and creative games. But sometimes, we just want to stick to the classic - the straightforward, easy-to-learn games that never go out of style. “Connect Four” falls within this category. It’s a game that our family always enjoys as a “filler”. Today, I’m going to share about another “Connect Four” set from Funyards Australia

Why I love ❤️ this game: 

(1) Classic 2-Player Strategy Game 

Connect Four is a two-player strategy game- each player takes turn to drop a ball/ disc into one of the columns of a vertical board. The aim is to form a line of 4 discs of the same colour (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally), whilst trying to “block” your opponent from making a solid 4-in-a-row. It’s a game of “perfect information” - all games pieces and actions are open for clear view. Nothing is hidden, nothing is concealed. Funyards Australia has a few versions of “Connect Four” range of top quality (I previously reviewed one which includes 49 red/green timber balls). This set that I am reviewing today has similar design - with button screws and removable 6x7 game board that can be flat-packed or set-up vertically. It has a a slightly larger game board and includes 42 discs in two different natural wooden shades (21 discs for each colour). I love the chunky discs, smart convertible game board, and the handy discs compartment/ tray for each player. If you need a quick reminder of the rules, the set also thoughtfully includes a small instruction sheet for the game. 

(2) Convertible Design - From Flat-Pack To Vertical Frame 

I absolutely LOVE how the vertical frame and the discs can all be stored and folded away neatly in a small, travel-easy size. The base and the removable board are each marked with a red spot (the two red dots should be positioned right beside each other when the board is folded down). Insert/ lock the screws at the two sides of the base, and now the game is good to go! 

(3) Solid Rubber Wood Material - Sturdy & Long-Lasting 

I love the solid rubber wood material - from the base, board, screws, to the timber balls. This set is built for long-lasting play and will definitely stand the test of time. I love how sturdy and smooth the craftsmanship is, and I’m loving the aesthetic beauty of this wooden craft! 

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this: 

Funyards Australia 

Check out also these classic games from Funyards Australia: 

Enjoy the video! 

LOGICO Piccolo & School Readiness, By LOGICO - REVIEW

Nature/ Type:             Learning games

Rating:                       ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Recommended age:   5 year-old ++ 

Who would love this: Parents looking for unique, screen-free learning tools! 

If you’re looking for something educational, not too ordinary, and can grow with the kids, then you should really check out the range at Logico (Australia) . Today, I would love to share about LOGICO Piccolo and one of its activity booklet - “School Readiness”. 

Why I love ❤️ this set: 

(1) LOGICO Piccolo - A Smartly-Designed Board With 10 Moveable Buttons 

Our kids love LOGICO Primo and solving multiple puzzles using the 6 buttons board. LOGICO Piccolo is a more advanced version of this screen-free board, targeting kids of the age range of 5 to 9 year-old. I LOVE that Logico “feels” like an IPad, but it’s absolutely non-electronic! The Piccolo board includes 10 colourful, tactile and chunky (but slightly smaller than Primo’s) buttons that can move around the frame. The board works with the Piccolo activity booklets and their learning game cards. It’s incredible to watch how my little “baby” girl grows from being a Primo-fan, to now a Piccolo-lover! She ENJOYS the activities - identifying the issues, recognising connection, matching the corresponding colours, and pushing the buttons to their correct spots. Piccolo is the great example of how kids can learn through play! 

(2) 16 Learning Cards In One Booklet Of Diverse Topics & Skills 

Piccolo covers a diverse range of interesting topics and stimulating activities. If you have a kid who is starting school soon (like my little girl over here), then the “School Readiness” booklet is an awesome choice for this holiday season! The set comprises 16 learning cards - covering activities such as putting pictures in order, matching tools to images, identifying a pattern, finding the missing “dominoes”, spotting the odd object in a row etc. The illustrations are colourful, and the activities are thought-provokingly fun! 

(3) Clever Self-Checking Feature For Independent Learning 

I LOVE the self-checking feature! Once the puzzles are done, kids can flip the cards over and confirm the answers independently by looking at the coloured buttons printed on the reverse of each card. 

(4) Light Weight & Travel-Easy 

This is a fantastic educational resources which would stand the test of time. Similar to the Primo frame - Piccolo board is light-weight, compact, with no loose components. It is a marvellous travel companion! 

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this: 

LOGICO Piccolo Frame: https://www.logicotoys.com.au/collections/logico-piccolo/products/logico-piccolo-frame (Australia) 

LOGICO Piccolo: School Readiness Look And Thank: https://www.logicotoys.com.au/collections/logico-piccolo/products/school-readiness-look-and-think

Enjoy the video! 

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Swan Lake Musical Puzzle, By Kaddo - REVIEW

Nature/ Type:             Musical puzzle 

Rating:                       ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Recommended age:   4 year-old ++ 

Who would love this: Music & puzzle lovers/ AND collectors of beautiful toys! 

I am in love with Kaddo - an imprint from the publisher of the well-known “Little People, BIG DREAMS” book series Quarto . Kaddo games and puzzles are uniquely elegant in a heart-melting, beautiful way. Today, I would love to share about “Swan Lake Musical Puzzle (The Story Orchestra)”. 

Why I love ❤️ this puzzle: 

(1) Beautiful & Unique Musical Puzzle With Sound-Clip Buttons 

Just like the Nutcracker Musical Puzzle that I had reviewed in October last year, Swan Lake is another enchanting puzzle from The Story Orchestra range. “Hidden” within the puzzle board are 4 music buttons, each has a 10-second sound clip that plays beautiful melody composed by Tchaikovsky for the world’s best loved ballet! Press the musical buttons to experience the romantic love between Odette and Siegfried, intertwined with the menacing scenes of Rothbart and Odile. The music is loud, vibrant, and captured the emotions of the sensational ballet performance perfectly. We are moved by the seamless transition of moods, from the graceful theme of “Flight of the Swans”, jumpy “Dances of the Swans”, the dangerous “Act III” where Rothbart revealed his nasty trick, to the emotional “Act IV”. We love the dynamics of the instruments (oboe, harp, bassoon). We are intrigued by the enticing beauty of the music. 

(2) Enchanting Illustrations - 48 Puzzle Pieces

This set comes with 48 puzzle pieces - 4 in unique shapes with circle cutouts that give access to the musical buttons on the puzzle frame, and 44 in mainly standard ribbon cut form. The puzzle was illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle, a talented artist who illustrated a series of children’s books. The pictures are enchanting and captured the essence of the Swan Lake scenes. 

(3) Double-Sided Poster With Fascinating Information About Swan Lake 

The set comes with a double-sided poster with the full puzzle image on one side, and information (about the composer, a short summary of Swan Lake story, and description of the music clips) on the other side.

(4) Great Components & Sturdy Packaging 

I love the sturdy packaging - the box cover is glittery with golden holographic words. There is a thick cardboard insert with ribbon attached to keep puzzle pieces nicely contained within the lid, and the assembled puzzle pieces are held securely once they are fit onto the board. 

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this: 

https://www.booktopia.com.au/swan-lake-story-orchestra-musical-puzzle-jessica-courtney-tickle/book/9780711287075.html (Australia) 

Enjoy the video! 

Mission Jungle, By Bioviva - REVIEW

Nature/ Type:             Board Game 

Rating:                       ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

Recommended age:   7 year-old ++ 

Who would love this: Nature enthusiasts and trivia-lovers 

Are you a nature enthusiast who gets excited about carnivorous plant, Amozonian forest, and adventurous expedition? Check out Mission Jungle by Bioviva! Thank you Divisible by Zero for proving a copy for review! 

Why I love ❤️ this game: 

(1) A Game With Fun Trivial Questions And Tactical Moves

Mission Jungle is a board game packaged with fun trivia questions, tactical moves, reflexes and speed, bluff and humour. Included within are a hexagonal game board, 39 jungle cards with questions / challenges, expedition / super expedition cards, Konga cards, off-limit card, “Pennants”, 2 multi-coloured dice, and a top secret envelope. In each round, players select and simultaneously reveal an Expedition Card showing one of the 7 chosen sites. The site chosen by the “Guardian” of that round is “Off-Limits” - any players who have selected that site will have to skip a turn. The rest of the players will take turn to tackle a challenge set out in a Jungle Card. Player who succeeds in a challenge claims the clues, and can prevent another player taking the same site. I love the interesting gameplay and twist incorporated into a “pub quiz” / challenge game. 

(2) Fascinating Questions On Nature Subjects + Challenges 

The jungle cards include a range of multiple-choice questions and challenges. The questions are specific, fascinating, and often zoom into the rare and unusual nature subjects. There are questions about the Philippines galeopithicus (a lemur), Kimaru (a plant-eating piranha) in Guyana, and Taga palm in South American Equatorial forest. There are also selections of challenges such as throw a dice into a lid, find your way with eyes closed, “sniff” and guess a player etc. 

(3) Konga Game To Break A Tie

We love playing the “Konga” game (which is used to decide the “winner” when two or more players selected the same expedition card / or have a tie). To play this mini game, roll the two multi-coloured dice, and race to touch the Konga card with colours correspond to the dice. 

(4) Storyline With A Mission & Top Quality Components From Recycled Materials 

I love the mission to uncover clues about a secret expedition, and the top secret envelope as prize for the winner. I also love that the game is designed and manufactured in France, with components made from recycled materials printed using vegetable-based inks.

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this: 

Contact Divisible by Zero (Wholesale, Australia) 

Enjoy the video! 

Thursday, January 4, 2024

All You Can Eat, By Professor Puzzle - REVIEW

Nature/ Type:             Card Game

Rating:                       ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Recommended age:   12 year-old ++ (But my 7 and 4 year-old love this game too!) 

Who would love this: Strategy gamers & food lovers!

Sushi Go, Go Nuts for Donuts, Picky Eaters - it’s no secret I’m a HUGE fan of food-theme games. Nothing tastes more delicious than claiming victory in a game of mouthing-watering cuisines and calculative planning. Allow me to introduce our newfound favourite - “All You Can Eat” from Professor Puzzle (Thank you Jedko Games for another awesome recommendation!) 

Why I love ❤️ this game: 

(1) Strategy Game - Collect Good Cuisine Cards & Avoid Bad Clumsy Waiters! 

To win this game, players race to collect the “good” cuisine cards, plan your way with combo cards, tread carefully with “risky” chilli cards, and avoid clumsy waiter cards. Each player takes turn to be the “server” who strategically creates columns of cards (some face-up, some face-down). Next, starting with the player to the server’s left, each player selects a column of their choice and takes it into their hands. Now, watch all the cards “unfold” and see how the selection affects the outcome of the feast! It’s amazing to watch how each player makes their choices: some play it safe, some take a risk, some have obvious “trust” issues 😂, some just love it random. I love the competitiveness, unpredictability, and a cheeky element of bluffing. 

(2) Wide Variety Of Cards To Spice Up The Game

I love the wide variety of cards included that really “spice” up the game. My 7-year-old (a risk-taker in nature) loves the chilli cards - 5 points would be deducted if a player collected 4 chilli cards, BUT you get to earn a whopping 10 points if you manage to collect 5 of them! Everyone loves dessert cards (who doesn’t love a sweet extra point?), and the player who collects the biggest set of cuisine cards wins one of 4 matching trophies of extra 3 points. 

(3) 4 Types Of Cuisine - Culturally Diverse 

The game features 4 types of cuisines: Mexican, Mediterranean, East Asia, and South Asia. We LOVE foods from around the world and the diversity displayed on the cards: Churro, Egg Tarts, Nachos, Ramen, Pizza, Dumplings, and more! 

(4) Compact Game - Family-Friendly & Travel Easy

I love that the cards and instructions are compactly packed within a small and travel-friendly box. This is a great family game - it’s recommended for older kids from 12 year-old ++, but trust me, younger kids “get” the game and enjoy it too. This is a delightfully yummy game! 

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this: 

https://cookiejar.com.au/products/all-you-can-eat-tasty-card-gam (Australia) 

https://www.dicksmith.com.au/da/buy/cookie-jar-all-you-can-eat-tasty-card-gam-8255459918053/ (Australia) 

Enjoy the video! 

Rainbow CVC Objects, By Junior Learning - REVIEW

Nature/ Type:             Objects that represent CVC words 

Rating:                       ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

Recommended age:   4 year-old ++ 

Who would love this: Teachers/ Parents / Kids who are exploring the magic of word-forming 

Junior Learning has a range of exciting resources that are versatile, open-ended, and SUPER FUN to play with. Today I would love to share about this amazing “Rainbow CVC Objects” set - a learning tool that our family really loves. 

Why I love ❤️ it? 

(1) 40 Objects - Short & Fun Words That Follow Pattern of CVC 

Unseal the box and you will find 40 objects of various sizes, shapes and types - all brightly coloured and visually-appealing. The kids were intrigued by these seemingly unrelated objects. They picked up the pieces one at a time, observed them closely, identified and named them, and finally, discovered the common connection - these are all CVC objects! Each object represents a three-letter CVC word which follows the pattern of consonant + vowel + consonant (hence, the acronym, “CVC”). They are short, fun, punchy words that young kids love making the sound of - such as “PIG”, “LEG”, “FAN”, and “BIN”. CVC words introduce young kids to the whole new world of sounds-blending 3 individual letters. I really love how adorable the illustrated objects are. My personal favourites are the cheese-stealing RAT, the cute BAT with two vampire fangs, and the friendly FOX with a smile. 

(2) Made of Quality Thick Cardboard With Foam Board 

The objects were made of thick cardboard with foam board, which gives them a chunky 3D feel. The BEST part? There are magnetic sheets at the back of these objects. The kids can stick the pieces on whiteboard, fridge, magnetic dry erase board, and more! The magnetic feature provides the kids with numerous play possibilities. 

(3) Multi-Purpose & Versatile - Many Ways To Learn And Play!

I LOVE how multi-purpose and versatile these CVC objects are! My four-year-old loves sticking them on a white board to create random (and sometimes ridiculous) stories, and it was great fun to watch her using her imagination in such creative way! We can also challenge the kids to write the CVC words on the white board, or use them together with other Junior Learning products such as the CVC Tri-Blocks, CVC Bubble Boards, and the magnetic Phonics Tiles for some words / pictures matching games! I love how the products work so well together. 

(4) Light Weight & Easy To Be Stored Away 

I love how light weight the pieces are. The box is easy to be stored away, and does not take up much space. 

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this: 


Enjoy the video!