Reviewed by Nigel Chester
My family loved this game for so many reasons, the first being that my little one could open the box on her own and start to lay the board out. There are six large cardboard pieces that lock firmly together in the manner of a jigsaw. She quickly understood that it was double-sided and chose to put the snakes and ladders upmost. I think this was more to do with the illustrations than the game we were about to play.
The quality of the artwork matches both the quality of the board itself and the box it comes in, a sturdy box with no unnecessary packaging here, it will sit on a shelf or slide under a bed with ease and stand the test of time.
The game counters are large fairies riding unicorns and so clever that they had a back and a front, we had to make sure that the fairies were facing in the right direction to be able to “see” where they were going. As is traditional with snakes and ladders, or in this case, rainbows and ladders, the playing direction changes from left to right and back again. For a child who is still insecure with numbers, direction arrows provided an invaluable visual clue.
The counters moved in small hands and were remarkably stable and fortunately, wipeable, as was the game board.
Along the way, there was so much to look at, the woodland creatures are delightful. I was pleased to see that the fairies weren’t just girls, several boys were amusing themselves in the treehouse, they were also ethnically diverse.
When we had finished naming all the fairies, counting birds and sliding down rainbows, we turned the board over to play Ludo. The counters on this occasion are simple card discs and a little more dexterity is required, but, as the game is somewhat more complex and aimed more for 6-9 years, this makes sense. The primary coloured playing counters are a good contrast to the pale pretty board. Once again, woodland creatures are a part of it and, I want to be the rabbit or frog seemed to take precedent over token colour. Ludo literally means “I play” so play we did.
This game set isn’t just a one-day wonder, it’s a family staple. Small enough to take to Grandma’s, easy to assemble. The instruction leaflet also has directions to a website for more fun things to do.
I think, for under £10, this is a must have, a perfect party gift, beautiful in every way and what’s more, it’s made in Britain.
For more information or to buy visit www.orchardtoys.com.