The Color Catch Smart Game was the perfect choice to take along on our camping trip this past weekend.
Why? Because it features bugs and creepy-crawlies, of course! (But no snakes. I don’t do snakes.)
Also, because it’s a single-player game that you can easily play while sitting in your bag chair by the campfire. Or at the picnic table, if you prefer. You’ll be playing by yourself, so sit wherever you like.
Color Catch comes in a nice little box with a lift-up/tuck-in lid that includes quick-start instructions on the back.
One thing I appreciate about Smart Games is that many of their game boxes are this same size and design. We have several and I like being able to stack them together neatly on the shelf.
Not only that, the game itself is completely contained within its own little game board with a clear plastic lid. The challenge book fits inside as well. So if you were really tight on space you wouldn’t even have to keep or take along the outer cardboard box.
That’s all well and good, you say. But enough about packaging! How do you actually play the silly game? I’m so glad you asked.
Game pieces include: the game board with a lid, 5 black tiles featuring the creepy-crawlies, and the challenge book. The game board has 9 raised square blocks: 1 red, 2 yellow, 3 green, and 3 blue. The colors are fixed in place. There are 4 double tiles with some combination of frogs, salamanders, and bugs. And then one single tile with a bug.
The object of the game is to arrange the pieces in such a way as to match the challenges in the book. For the first challenge, I want to have 3 blue salamanders, a yellow frog, and a red frog. But they have to be facing the direction indicated. That part is a little tricky. The blank spaces shown on the challenge page can be anything, as long as those 5 squares are correct.
The first challenge, of course, is the easiest. There are 60 challenges in the book, conveniently divided into Starter, Junior, Expert, and Master levels.
If you are thinking that it’s too easy and just for kids, you would be wrong. Starting with the Junior section (Challenge #13) the challenges no longer show the game board, but rather just the critters. I found it truly a challenge to arrange them on the board so that each one is the right color and facing the right way in order to catch the bug shown.
I remember when I used to visit the Timberdoodle booth at homeschool conventions the Deffinbaugh sisters would pick out a challenge for me way in the back of the book of whatever game they were demonstrating. Didn’t want it to be too easy for me, you see. Well, I have to admit, with Color Catch it would be Challenge #13!
Fortunately, the Color Catch challenge book includes solutions in the back. The best way to approach it, however, is to work through the Starter challenges, even though they seem easy, just to get a feel for how it works.
I like single-player thinking games in general, but especially non-screen versions. There’s something about being able to physically manipulate the pieces that adds to the experience. I find it actually helps me figure out the puzzle better to be able to move the pieces around.
Color Catch is recommended for ages 7 through adult, which makes it a game your kids can grow with. I think it would also be great for senior citizens who are looking for creative ways to keep their brains sharp.
Find this and other crazy-smart games and materials at timberdoodle.com.