There's nothing I like more than a good family board game - it's one of the only times I can get my boys to sit down for a moment and spend quality time with me! So I'm always on the look out for new games to play with them. The memory game Baffled by Cheatwell Games sounded right up their street too so I was looking forward to trying it with them.
Baffled has a brilliantly simple concept that's easy to pick up: You and up to three other players must memorise the location of twelve symbols (fruit, numbers and animals) on the board before they're covered up. You then take it in turns to roll the die and move around the board, each time having to find the symbol that's shown on the square you've landed on. If it sounds easy, bear in mind you only have a minute to memorise the position of the symbols before the game starts - plus they'll be moved around during the course of the game!
Each player has a certain number of life cards (you decide how many to dish out depending on how long you want the game to last for). The aim of the game is to travel around the board for longer than your opponents - not use up your life cards. Each time you're unable to remember the symbols you lose a life, until you're out. The last player standing is declared the winner.
I sat down with Gabriel (8), Flynn (7) and Neil to play last weekend while Jude was napping, and we had picked it up and were in full swing within ten minutes. The box says the game is for ages 8 and over, but Flynn was soon playing without any problems, and his memory put me to shame. Honestly, my memory is appalling, and I struggled to remember the location of more than three of the symbols. In my defence, I had lots on my mind, and was taking photos... Flynn and Gabriel thought my poor memory skills pretty hilarious.
When setting up the game I'd given the boys five lives each and myself and Neil just four - presuming they'd need more help than us grown ups. But the reverse was
sadly true - I used up my last life card and exited the game before Flynn had even turned one over!
For me, that's one of the great things about Baffled. It's about ability rather than knowledge, so everyone of ages can play together fairly, and has a fair chance of winning. I'm sure my five year old Theo could manage it with some help. Plus it's a game that really gets your brain working - which as clearly demonstrated, I need to do more often...
The winner of our family game was Flynn, and by some margin too. Flynn and Gabriel had an absolute blast playing and rated Baffled 10/10. As a parent there's nothing not to like and it's great family fun. I'm sure we'll be taking this one out of the games cupboard time and time again.
:Cheatwell Games sent us Baffled free of charge in return for an honest, impartial review. All words and pictures are our own. You can buy Baffled on Amazon and find out more about Cheatwell Games at cheatwell.com