Monday, October 3, 2016

Shimmer and Shine: Genie Friends Forever (game review)

Have a Shimmer and Shine fan? Check out the Shimmer and Shine: Genie Friends Forever cooperative game from Briarpatch (University Games). Being a cooperative game, the game requires all players (up to 4) to work together to get to the end. No one person is a loser, all winners or try again!

Each player gets a magic carpet, selects their character as their playing piece, and utilizes a spinner to determine movement. There is also a token that gets flipped, so your kids might just learn a new skill! (My kids had no clue how to flip a coin before this game.)

Storage of the game is easy, provided you have a container to keep all the pieces together. We just use a sandwich baggy for all of the player pieces, token, and 32 jewels.

Spinner, cardboard coin for flipping, magic carpet, and playing pieces.

Counting only goes up to 3, so for those children just learning to count, it will be easier than some other games I've reviewed. In fact, recommended ages are 3 and up! To start, all 32 jewels are placed on the castle.

Jewels are on the castle and we're ready to pick our playing piece!

No reading is required for this game except for the person reading the rules the first time around. The game is two-part. You start out on the start space on the first half of the board (the side with the castle). You spin to move, and each space means something different:

Jewel Space: You select any jewel you wish from the pile on the castle and place it on your magic carpet.

Genie Space: You select a jewel from the pile to give to another player.

Wish Space: You flip the token in the air. If it says "Oops", you remove a jewel from your magic carpet and put it back in the pile. If it says "Boom Zahramay!", you take a jewel from the pile.

You stay on the left side of the board until all players have one of each jewel on their card. This is where the cooperative part comes in, as players need to look at all the cards to determine which player they give a jewel to (usually the one with the least amount of jewels).

Squiggle gives me a pink jewel

If you have your magic carpet full, you still play while others need jewels. You can give a jewel you get to another player since you can only have one of each on this half of the board.

All 4 jewels acquired, ready to move on!

When all players have one of each jewel, you all move to the magic carpet spot on the second half of the board to continue game play!

On this half of the board, the goal is to fill the jewel spaces on the bottle before all 6 oops spaces are filled. The spaces have slightly different meanings on this half.

Jewel Space: You still collect a jewel from the pile and place it on your card.

Genie Space: You select a jewel from your card to give to the player of your choice.

Wish Space: You flip the token, but if it lands on "oops", you place a jewel from your magic carpet card onto an oops space on the board. If it lands on "Boom Zahramay!", you place a jewel on the matching shape on the genie bottle.

3 jewel spaces are filled on the bottle
You have to encourage your little ones to think about which gems they should be taking from the pile in this half, as you want them to have the gems they need to put in the bottle. If they have to give a gem to another player, you want them to have enough of the needed gems to give to a player that might not have that one so they can use it if they land on the right space.

We did it!

Sometimes you get lucky and get very few "oops" flips. From the winning picture above, you can see we only had two! We aren't always so lucky, however, and sometimes we can't get the jewel spaces filled before the oops spaces.

This game is very colourful, and movement is easy since counting only goes to 3. This makes it easy to maintain the attention of the younger children. It can be frustrating for those who haven't learned how to flip a token or coin yet.

She's ready to play again!

The only thing my kids were unhappy with was not being able to do anything if they landed on the magic carpet space. You can always adopt the rule that they spin again if this happens, though. That way they don't feel like their turn was skipped.

Shimmer and Shine: Genie Friends Forever would make a great gift for birthdays or holidays, and can be found purchased for around $20. Be sure to check out for this game, and many other great games!

Disclaimer: Thoughts of Fluff was sent this product for review in exchange for my honest opinion. This did not influence my opinion of the product in any way. All opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own.

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