Bright Idea Games

Bright Idea Games are designed for kids. They’re maybe not complex enough for us grownups. But if the kids are having fun, well, then, they’re fun enough. Way more than Chutes and Ladders, let me tell you. Maya (7) and I (63) have played two of these games – Gopher It and Catch the Match – enough times for them to become a cherished part of our personal play stash. Both games are made of cards that are thick enough to withstand bouts of childlike glee. Both are different enough to be suitable for different moods. Gopher It is a game of luck and risk. Catch the Match a game of visual perception.

Of these two, the technology of Catch the Match is maybe the more impressive. There are 15 large, thick cards. On each card, there are 15 images. Given any pair of cards, there are exactly two images that match. Neat, huh. Exactly two. The idea of the game, be the first to spot the match. Easy to understand. Simple enough for a 7-year-old. And me, too. Maya and I have tied twice. What else can I say?

Gopher It reminded me a little of Sid Sackson’s Can’t Stop. You mish up all the satisfyingly thick cards, face down. There are three suits: carrots, nuts and apples. You can pick up to three cards, but if you pick two of the same kind of card in a row, you lose your turn. So you can’t be too greedy. But you can’t be too conservative either. As a result, there’s just enough tension to keep everyone in play, without taking winning too seriously.

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