The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

With so many products available we often need a little help in making our curriculum choices. The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine family understands because we are in the same boat! Do you need more information on a product before you buy? With over 5,500 products listed in 52 easy-to-use categories, much of the information you need to know is only a click away! Let our reviewer-families help yours.
Do you want to get the word out about your product or service to the homeschool community? Email Tess Hamre and share a little about what you´d like showcased, and we can help with that!

Dr. Eureka Game Review by Kelly Burgess

Blue Orange Games
1000 Illinois Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

The Dr. Eureka Game is a fast-paced thinking game from Blue Orange Games that challenges the minds and coordination of players ages 6 and up. 

The game can be played by 1-4 players, either as an individual activity or competitively. Either way, this game is pure fun! It includes 12 test tubes, 24 balls in three colors, a deck of challenge cards, and illustrated rules. It can be purchased on the company’s website for $19.99.

Right out of the box, understanding the directions only takes a moment, and setup is really fast with each player getting a set of three test tubes and 6 balls (2 of each color). Each player draws a challenge card, which reveals a visual illustration of which balls go in which test tube and in what order. The players need only match their materials with those in the picture. But wait! The rules say you cannot touch any of the balls, and if you drop a ball from a test tube, you are out of the round! This is where the challenge comes in. Each player must use strategy and thinking skills to keep transferring the balls from test tube to test tube with as few transfers as possible so you can finish faster than your opponents! The winner of 5 rounds is the winner. It sounds simple enough, but it’s harder than it looks! And the playing field is not as predictable as you might expect among players of varying ages and skill levels, because you each have a different challenge card, and some are more difficult than others.

As soon as this game arrived, my family couldn’t wait to give it a try. I actually got it with my 8-year old son in mind, as this game is intended to improve focus and attention, processing speed, visual perception, and fine motor skills. He has significant attention issues, and he struggles with fine motor skills like writing within lines and coloring small areas. So I really wanted him to spend some time playing this game to work on those skills in particular. When it arrived, he was busy playing a video game, so the rest of us sat at the dinner table and gave it a whirl. First, it was me and my teenager. Shortly after, my daughter joined in. Next, my husband came and joined the fun. We were all laughing and being so loud carrying on in our fun with it that low and behold, my young son came running in to see what all the excitement was about! And of course, he sat down to play along with us. 

The skill it required to rearrange those balls in the tubes without touching or dropping them was challenging for him, but he soon began to improve. Above all, this game was really fun! I absolutely loved how fast we could set it up, play a few rounds, and put it away. No big time commitment was required since it only takes about 15 minutes to play, which was great after dinner or when we just had a short window of opportunity in which to play. For my young son, I really preferred for him to play alone so he didn’t feel any frustration with not being as fast as his older siblings. That way, he could work on the skills and concentration required without getting flustered with the competitive factor. It’s wonderful that this game can also be played individually like that. Then he can get better and better at it for when he does come together to play it with the rest of us. 

I generally store my board games in jumbo zippered storage bags so they take up less space, but I decided to leave this one in its original box. It was packaged so nicely in a really sturdy box with a custom insert that holds each of the test tubes full of the balls in place so they don’t become damaged. It also makes the cleanup a breeze. This has become a go-to game for a quick round of weeknight entertainment for the whole family! I would definitely recommend it.

-Product review by Kelly Burgess, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August, 2016