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Bug Bingo Review by Brittney Rutherford

Laurence King Publishing Ltd.
+44 (0)20 7841 6900
361-373 City Road
London EC1V 1LR
United Kingdom

Bug Bingo offers a familiar game with a unique and educational twist, making it fun for all ages. The game features 64 bugs from around the world. Bug Bingo includes a game board, twelve game cards, 64 square bug cards, a cloth bag, and 200 counters. The first thing I noticed was the superior quality of the materials. Everything is well made and durable, especially when compared to many traditional board games, and I expect them to last for a long time. The illustrations are gorgeous and inviting.

Game play is fairly simple. One player is chosen as the caller and takes the cloth bag with the bug cards. The remaining players each take a bingo card. There are twelve game cards, so you could have up to thirteen players. Each game card has a 5x5 grid of 25 insects. The caller chooses a bug card and calls out the bug’s name. If a player has the bug, they can cover it with a token. The caller will then place the bug card on the appropriate spot of the game board, which acts as a record of what has been called. The first player to cover their entire board calls “BINGO!” for the win. You can then choose a new game card, change the caller, and play another round. If you want to play a quicker version, you can just aim for five in a row, instead of filling the entire card.

The bugs featured are from all over the world, so players should see familiar and exotic insects. For instance, as a family from the United States, we saw the familiar honey bee and house fly, but also saw bugs that were before unknown to us, like Chan’s Megastick, found in Borneo and the Malay Peninsula. The instruction booklet contains a small picture of each bug, along with the common name, scientific name, and a brief description. We liked to read a quick fact about the bugs the first time we called them, but there are instructions for using the descriptions in advanced game play.

If you have children who are interested in bugs and entomology, this would make a great gift. On the other hand, if you have kids who might be a little scared of bugs, this would be a reasonable way to have them notice details and learn some fun facts, without getting up close and personal with real specimens.

The game is intended for ages six and up, and all of my kids from ages 5-11 enjoyed it. Having the realistic illustrations makes it easy for non-readers to join in, but using unfamiliar bugs keeps it interesting for older players. I appreciate that the game allows for many players and flexible game play. As a homeschooler, I love that we can play this game as a complement to our nature studies, and I think it would be fun to include in an elementary co-op science class too.  I would recommend this to other families and even teachers for their classrooms, because it is a beautifully illustrated and educational game that works for a variety of ages and skill levels.

-Product review by Brittney Rutherford, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August, 2018