Today’s review is for Safari Park Jr. by Smart Games.
Safari Park, Jr.
Like most other Smart Games, Safari Park Jr. is a single-player puzzle game. This one focuses on planning, problem solving, visual perception, language, and eye-hand coordination. It is recommended for ages 3 and up.
Safari Park Jr. includes a game board with four removable animals: an elephant, a lion, and two giraffes. The 3D landscape features of rocks, grass, trees, and a rainbow are part of the board. There are 30 challenge cards, printed on both sides for a total of 60 challenges at four different levels: Starter, Junior, Expert, and Master.
How to Play
Each of the four animals has a base with a different shape. The four corners of the board have shaped holes the bases fit in. The animals can then slide along the paths of the board. Just this element makes Safari Park Jr. a fun fidget toy for little ones, even if they don’t use the challenge cards.
However, its the challenge cards which bring all the thinking skills into play. The object is to move the animals along the grooves in the board until you can match the picture on the challenge card. In the first challenge the elephant has just walked through the rainbow. Ta-da! Pretty easy, of course.
By the expert level the challenge might incorporate multiple animals.
At first glance it seems like a pretty simple baby toy. The extra challenge comes in because the animals can only move in specific ways. For example, the giraffes cannot fit under the trees or the rainbow so they have go across the middle of the board, rather than around, to get to the other side. The lion, with the star-shaped based, cannot turn to go onto the path that leads across the board, so he always has to go around. The elephant is too wide to go between the rocks or the grass so he also has to cross the board to get to the other side.
Safari Park Jr. is, of course, meant for preschoolers. I love how it can easily be used for free play as well as building those early thinking skills.
However, it can also be enjoyed by any age. While the challenges are pretty easy compared to many of the SmartGames I’ve reviewed, they are still challenges and require some planning to move the animals into their respective places.
If you’re intrigued by single-player thinking games check out these other Smart Games I’ve reviewed: