Product Reviews - The Old Schoolhouse

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Repeat or You're Obsolete Review by Stephanie Ruby

Zack Levins/Rich Powell
Innovative Kids
18 Ann St
Norwalk, CT 06854
203-838-6400
http://www.innovativekids.com/index.php

Are you looking for a new, exciting way to practice critical thinking skills? If so, you need this game! As soon as my kids saw me opening this package, they were begging me to sit down and play this game with them. How good is your memory when compared to your 9-year-old's?

The box says this game is for ages 8 and up. My 6-year-old, however, enjoyed this game very much and didn't have any trouble keeping up. (As a matter of fact, he beat me the first round we played.) The rules were simple enough for my younger son to follow, but the game was still interesting enough to keep my older son's attention.

Can I just be honest and tell you what I noticed and liked first of all? Before I even got the rules or the game board out, I noticed the wonderful packaging. So many games come in big, bulky boxes with no designated place to organize the pieces when they are put back in. This means my kids have trouble getting all the parts put away neatly and we have a huge mess on our hands when we get the games out again. Repeat or You're Obsolete, however, does not have that issue at all! Instead, this game looks like it is tucked away in a book. The inside flap unfolds to reveal the game board, and all of the pieces are kept in a plastic tray on the opposite "page." The plastic tray has individual compartments to keep all of the pieces from getting mixed up! I love neatness and organization, and this just made my day.

Now, on to the game: The goal is to keep all of your colored pieces, while hoping that the other players lose all of theirs. Everyone starts out with 4 game pieces, and as they land on the different colored circles (based on a roll of the dice), they must "defend" their pieces by performing various tasks. The categories for the tasks are: Word Play, Sound Off, Mime Time, Tall Tales, and List-O-Rama.

In Word Play, the player that lands on the space will start out by saying a word that fits in the category of the card drawn. For instance, let's say that the card drawn says, "Ways to Say Hello in Different Languages." The first person might say "bonjour." The player sitting to the left of the first player then has to say the first word (bonjour) and then add a word (aloha). This continues around the table with each person repeating the full list before them and adding a word until someone misses or can't think of anything new. The person that missed will then lose one of their 4 colored game pieces.

All the categories follow the same format: repeating everything that's already been said (or done) and then adding to it, trying not to forget anything. In "Sound Off" you will repeat sounds based on the card that is drawn. In "Mime Time" you will act out your list. "Tall Tales" was my favorite category; you get a topic for a story, and then everyone must add to the story as they go around the table. "List-O-Rama" was the favorite for my youngest son; a topic is named (such as "school supplies"), and you simply start making a list of all of the school supplies you can think of.

The first person to lose all 4 of their game pieces is out of the game, and play continues until there is only one person left with any pieces.

Now, this game is fun. What good would a game be if it weren't, right? On top of that, though, it really stretches you to think! It's always nice to find games that can be enjoyed by the whole family. This game isn't the type that you will play with your kids just to humor them; you will enjoy it too. And the joy that they get when they can actually "catch" you missing a word from the list is contagious!

For rainy days, for days of relaxed schooling and schedules, and just for fun, I highly recommend this game. Costing only $19.99, this game is a great deal. Inside the instruction book, you'll find additional tips and tricks to help improve your memory, plus information on your long and short-term memory. We could all use some help improving our memory, and this game is an entertaining way to do just that.

Product review by Stephanie Ruby, Travel and Conventions Assistant to the Publisher, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November 2008

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