Did you ever try to play a board game with a 3-year-old? Were you just bored out of your mind with the banality of it? Or did you let them win?
Today I’m sharing my thoughts on the Postman Observation game sent to me by Timberdoodle in exchange for my review.
It is appropriate for ages 3-103. At least, that’s what the box says. In my opinion, some 2-year-olds and even some 104-year-olds might enjoy it as well. Not that I’ve ever met anyone who lived to be 104, but I’m just sayin’.
My great-Granny lived to be 101. But she was blind. So she couldn’t have played this. It’s a visual observation game so you do need to be able to see to play it, whatever your age is.
Okay, never mind about the centenarians. Let’s just say it’s for seeing people all ages.
The Postman Observation Game (or Observation Postman Game… or Observation Game Postman… depending on where you are reading it… it’s imported from Spain, what can I say?) is comprised of quality game pieces printed with whimsical artwork in lovely muted colors. The box is even printed on the inside.
The game includes 8 interlocking game board pieces, a deck of cards, and a cotton draw-string bag of darling little pieces of mail.
The idea is to assemble the board pieces to create a map of a town. The pieces are meant to be put together in a random order each time to help keep the game challenging.
For one round we even assembled it with an open space in the middle.
As you can see, there are many styles of houses in the Postman town…with different numbers of windows, doors, and chimneys. The roof lines have different shapes and there are different colors. There are also a few community buildings such as a hospital and school. Also, the 3 Little Pigs each have a house tucked away somewhere. And the candy house of the Hansel and Gretel story.
How observant are you? That’s what this game is about.
Each player gets an equal number of letters from the drawstring bag to keep in a pile in front of them.
The deck of cards is shuffled and then placed face-down in a stack in the middle, to be turned over one at a time.
Game play itself is pretty simple. Everyone looks for the house on the card and the first one to spot it gets to “deliver” a piece of mail to that house. The first person to deliver all their mail is the winner.
However, it’s not as easy as you might think. Yes, some of the cards do have a picture of the exact house you’re looking for. Those are the quickest ones to find, but even they can be kinda tricky. For example, the house above has a green door. There might be another house on the board that looks just like but with a red door. You have to watch for that.
Another type of card describes the building– blue house, specific shape, 1 yellow door, 4 windows. I almost had it… but no, the one I found has 6 windows. Better keep looking.
Nope. Not that one either. In the meantime, your 3-year-old probably found it and has already delivered a letter.
Some cards are even more vague. Yellow house, 5 windows. And there are 4 solutions. Four letters need to be delivered on that turn, so everyone keeps looking until all four houses are found.
A few cards have characters to be matched with a specific building. There aren’t very many like that and it’s pretty easy to scope those locations out ahead of time, but it’s fun to see who can pounce first when that card gets turned over.
It’s meant to be played by 2-6 players, but I imagine it could be entertaining for a single young child to play alone, flipping the cards over one by one and finding the correct houses for each piece of mail.
We have a wide variety of table games in our collection. Some are quite complex and can take hours to play. I like having a few games on hand that are easy to learn, appropriate for a wide range of ages, and just take 15 or 20 minutes to play a round. Postman Observation is one such game.
Plus, it’s great for practicing visual discrimination. And did I mention the cute design?
Find this and other crazy-smart games and materials at Timberdoodle.com.