My final review for this series of off-screen entertainment gift ideas for the whole family is for Braintopia Beyond. As usual, I need to mention that Timberdoodle sent it to me in exchange for my review.
Unlike the other games I’ve reviewed this week, Braintopia Beyond is a multi-player game, for 2 to 6 players.
Braintopia Beyond includes 80 challenge cards, 10 texture cards, and 24 brain tokens (which are used to track scoring). There are 8 different types of challenges.
Game set-up is simple. Shuffle the challenge cards and place them in a stack in the center of the table. The brain pieces are piled nearby, and the texture cards are set aside. Flip the top card over. Everyone studies it and the first person who comes up with the answer to the challenge slams his hand on top of the card to claim it and, without lifting his hand, gives the answer. If he gets it right he gets to keep the card. Scoring is based on how many cards each person accumulates.
Types of Challenge
Slam the card and, without removing your hand, name the only image that has a unique shape or color.
Slam the card and, without removing your hand, name all the letters that have a path to the center of the maze.
Slam the card and, without removing your hand, name the color of the only broken robot.
Simultaneously reveal the number of fingers shown on the card with the correct hand, announce the number shown in the speech buddle and slam the card with your other hand.
Slam the card and, without removing your hand, name how many squares are needed to fill the empty spaces.
Slam the card and, without removing your hand, name the only color of the bottle caps that appear four times in a row.
Slam the card and, without removing your hand, name the only shape that perfectly matches the colors of the star once placed in the center of the star.
The other players secretly choose one texture card and hand it facedown to the challenger, who has 10 seconds to recognize the texture using only his sense of touch and name the image.
What was interesting to me, when we played this as a family, was to notice which person was especially good at what type of challenge. As Timberdoodle says, “Braintopia Beyond tests your family’s mental focus and decision-making skills, and promotes advanced visual perception.”
Braintopia Beyond is a very active game, with all the players involved on every turn. The hand-slamming and calling out answers–and arguing over said answers–can get pretty rowdy. It would make a great family gift, perfect for hours of fun during the holidays.
It is recommended for ages 8 and up, though I expect a highly-interested slightly-younger child could catch on pretty quickly. Game play takes about 15 minutes, so it doesn’t drag on all afternoon.
However, I’m not saying that your kids won’t want to keep playing once they’ve started.
Need more ideas for off-screen entertainment gifts? Check out my previous Timberdoodle reviews!