The iPad is big in our house. Jack has really taken to it and uses it for all manner of things. It’s been a life saver while dealing with clinic visits and extra time at home! Jack’s favorite thing to use it for, of course, is games. When I spotted the iPieces games from Pressman Toy at BlogHer a few months ago, I got excited. I readily agreed to provide a review and offer you, dear readers, a chance to win an iPieces game of your choice!
What drew me to iPieces was not only the fact that they use tangible game pieces (I like things I can hold in my hand!), but that they use the technology of the iPad to offer interactive games that people already know and love. I’ve wanted to share my love of board games with my son, but didn’t desire to have a billion board game boxes lying around the house with missing pieces. These iPieces games come in compact game boxes that are about the size of two decks of cards and have very few pieces!
We received both the Fishing Game and Air Hockey to review. Jack was familiar with the board game version of the Fishing Game, so he went for that one right off the bat. It comes with four ‘fishing rods’ that you use to catch fish and drag them across the iPad screen to a bucket in the corner. There is a pelican that flies by and tries to steal fish from your bucket, so while you are trying to catch fish you also have to keep an eye out and block the bird.
It took two games before Jack got the hang of using the fishing rod – it has a flat end that you have to keep in contact with the screen when dragging the fish. He kept trying to drag too quickly and would end up dropping the fish when the rod rocked and lost contact with the screen. He got the hang of it pretty quickly, though.
The Fishing Game is a four player game, but we just played with two players. We had fun competing to catch the most valuable fish and there was enough room on the iPad screen that we weren’t constantly bumping into one another. I think if there were more players, the difficulty level of the game would be raised a bit and the competitive aspect would ramp up, too, as players fight to find an open spot to catch a fish and try to navigate the other fishing rods to get the fish to their bucket.
Verdict: After we played a few 3-minute games, Jack kept going by himself – the game can be played with only one player, as well. Win! This one is definitely a keeper.
We also tried the iPieces Air Hockey game. This required a bit more of an explanation for Jack since he’d never played air hockey before. I felt a bit bad playing against him when our skill levels are so different. His reflexes just aren’t as fast as mine! This one has two physical mallet pieces, while the puck is digital. I didn’t love the pieces – one of them had gotten chipped during shipping so the round red base kept coming off. The mallets felt too small for adult hands, as well.
The format of air hockey doesn’t translate all that well to a small screen, in my opinion. I can imagine if you got two iPads and each player had their own screen, that would make it so you aren’t constantly coming so close to the midpoint line and the other player. In our case, Jack kept forgetting that he couldn’t cross over the middle line in the court and I don’t really blame him – there’s not a lot of room on the screen to sling those pucks like there is on a real table.
Verdict: The Air Hockey game is probably better for children, although my 6 year old didn’t totally grasp the rules. Teens and adults will probably prefer to play air hockey on a real table where they can stretch out.
iPieces are available for purchase at Amazon, Toys“R”Us, Barnes & Noble, K-mart, Radio Shack, Learning Express, and BJ’s Wholesale Club stores nationwide.
Now, time for the giveaway! This will be open for entry until Friday, October 26 at 11:59pm and is open to U.S. residents only (sorry, Canucks!). To win a free copy of one of five iPieces games (Fishing Game, Game of Goose, Air Hockey, Snakes & Ladders, or Pool):
1. Leave a comment telling me which game you would like and who you’ll be playing it with – mandatory for 1 entry
I was provided with a free copy of both of iPieces games for review. I was not compensated for my review and all words are my own. Please see my Disclosures page for additional information pertaining to products reviewed on this blog.