The good people at Esdevium sent us a couple of games to try out. Our review team of two boys aged 5 and 7 and their parents give their verdict. The first one is for the ‘Fly Trap Board Game‘.
On initial examination this one looks like it should be fun – sort of an aerial version of that 70s classic “Hungry Hippos” but in reverse. The basic set up is a central flowerpot with a big, toothy flower coming out of it. (Think “Little Shop of Horrors” style.) Coming out of the bottom of the pot are two pump controls, which shut the flower’s jaws, and two flicking pads, with which you can launch little plastic flies towards the flower’s gaping mouth.
When you switch on the power, the flower starts rotating around in a semi-random fashion. The aim of the game is to flick as many flies into the flower’s mouth as you can, whilst using the pump to close the flower’s mouth when your opponent is doing the flicking.
Unfortunately, we think there are a couple of flaws with this. Firstly, it’s bloomin’ difficult! The manufacturers reckon an age range of 4+, but our 5 year old tester didn’t really stand a chance of getting any flies on target, and our 7 year old was struggling. The best way they could get a decent game out of it was to take it in turns to switch off the rotating flower when it was facing them and have a “one flicking, one blocking” contest. Having said that, when they played the game this way, they thoroughly enjoyed it. We just get the feeling that once you’re old enough to have the dexterity to play this game as designed, you’re probably too old to get much satisfaction out of it. The second problem is a common one with modern games. The production quality just isn’t quite where it should be. (Anyone who has played the modern iterations of the classic games “Kerplunk” or “Downfall” will understand what we mean.) The plastic leaves fall off at the slightest touch. The pumps have to be pushed pretty hard to make the flower shut. It’s all just a bit unsatisfying.