Generally when I see a new game that is based on a licensed product my hopes don’t run high. Far too often US game companies just license a book, TV show or movie then grab some bad game design sitting on the shelf and presto they have a game. What they’re selling isn’t a game but a name. This is especially true for children’s games. Maybe these game companies think that if the child likes the theme it doesn’t matter if the game is terrible.
When I can Do That games sent me their “Cat in the Hat” game I was pleasantly surprised. Not only was the game play creative, the theme was great and the theme fit the game. It was true to the spirit of Dr Suess books, it was fun. It is also an activity game that gets the kids moving.
The game play is simple and can be learned in about 2 minutes. Setup takes another 2 minutes. The components are made from thick foam and look very durable. In addition the pieces are large enough not to be a safety issue with small children. The game is about encouraging children to try things and thus build self-confidence.
On each turn players draw a red, blue and yellow card. If any of their cards say stop, their turn is over immediately. If none of the cards are stop cards then they get a chance to do an activity and earn stars. The red card gives the basic activity such as “Jump three times”, the blue card names an object from the game such as “The Fish” or “The Ball” and finally the yellow card tells how you must hold the object, such as “Under your chin” or “on your head”. The player then decides if they can do that activity. If they try it and succeed they get to keep the 3 cards. If they don’t think they can do it, they get to draw new cards and as long as they are not Stop cards, they can try the new activity. The cards have blue stars on them, the more challenging the card the more stars. The player with the most stars wins.
The activities aren’t too easy nor are they too difficult and the rules have a note to parents about customizing the rules to fit the abilities of the children. The box says ages 4-8, however it will be fine with younger children as well.
It’s a truly great children’s game. It’s fun, creative and helps build confidence.