Sunday, 8 November 2020

A Night of Family Fun with Spin Master Games - A Review

Whilst lockdown has had many disadvantages, it has created a very positive experience for us, in that we have been able to spend plenty of family time together. In the summer we were able to enjoy the fabulous weather in the garden, but now the colder and darker nights are drawing in, it has given us the opportunity to enjoy some fabulous family games that have provided us with plenty of entertainment.

We were recently sent a selection of games from Spin Master which included Grouch Couch, Beat the Parents and Hedbanz. All of these games were great fun and suitable for all of our family with our age ranges being from 7 to 40. 

Grouch Couch Review

Grouch Couch was the first game that my children wanted to play. Our first impressions were that it looked like a fun game that was sure to make us laugh and we weren't wrong. The box has a clear window at the front (which is always my preferred choice when it comes to toys), so that you can see exactly what the product looks like inside. The text on the front describes it as 'The furniture with attitude game!™' and it is recommended as being suitable for 2-4 players aged 5+.

The rear of the box provides some clear images of game play along with a brief description of the game, which provides you with a good understanding of what is involved to play. It looked simple to understand, exciting to play and lots of fun, so we couldn't wait to get started.

On opening the box we found the following contents inside:

  • 1 x Grouch Couch
  • 16 x Treats
  • 15 x Lost Goodies
  • 1 x Dice
  • 1 x Instruction Sheet

The Grouch Couch was fastened into the box using an elasticated band and two plastic connectors. These connectors simply need to be twisted to allow the product to be released from the cardboard base. This was really simple to do and even better they can be continually used going forwards, meaning that you can also refasten it back into the box once you have finished playing. My only slight frustration with the game arose at this point as it was only on removing the item that we realised it needed batteries. I had checked the front and rear of the box before opening it to check this, but hadn't noticed that the information was actually detailed underneath the box and that it required 3 x AAA batteries. Luckily we had already bought some spare packs in preparation for Christmas, so this was only a minor inconvenience that we could quickly resolve. We were soon ready to play and I began to read out the instructions to the rest of my family. 

To begin game play you lift the centre cushion of the Grouch Couch and load all the 15 Lost Goodies into the hole before closing the cover securely. The Lost Goodies look like tokens, but each one has an object printed on them such as a sock or a mobile phone.  You then place the treats in a pile within each reach of all the players. Underneath the Grouch Couch is an on and off switch, so when you are ready to play you simply switch this on to begin your game.


Starting with the youngest player, you roll the dice and place that may treats anywhere on the Grouch Couch. That player then presses the remote control button which will make the Grouch Couch come alive as it begins to move and open its mouth. If he likes what you feed him, the Grouch Couch will make some satisfied burping noises and then release one or more Lost Goodies. These are flung out of the bottom of the sofa and are released quickly and at speed, which my children found hilarious. You then need to keep these Lost Goodies safe as the person who has the most at the end of the game is the winner. You will know when you have reached the end of the game as the Grouch Couch will sing a song before releasing the final Lost Goodies.

The dice can also play an important part in helping you to win, as if you roll a vacuum cleaner on the dice, you can then roll a number and remove this amount of tokens from another player. This adds a good twist to the game as just when you think you are winning, another player could take some of your Lost Goodies. After we had played this game a few times, we also added a further challenge in for my older children, in that they had to catch the Lost Goodies as they were released otherwise they would be forfeited. This added another fun element to the game and we loved that it was easy to add our own variations.

Overall we all loved this game and found it really funny. I liked that as well as playing by the set rules, we were also able to adapt this to suit my older children and add some variation to the game. It is really simple and easy to understand and I know it is a game that my youngest son Riley will want to play with his friends repeatedly, once they are allowed to visit again. The game is currently available to buy at Amazon for £19.99, which I feel represents good value for money. I can see this being a game that many families would enjoy playing together and I would therefore happily recommend this to others.


Hedbanz Review

Hedbanz is a game we are familiar with and has been a firm favourite of ours for many years. As described on the box, it is the quick question game of "What Am I?" and provides a wacky guessing game as you try to figure out what is featured on the card on your head.

The game comes in a red square box with bright and colourful graphics on the front and rear. Whilst there is no description on the front, the images give you a good idea of what the game involves and what is included in the box. The rear of the box provides a contents list, further graphics and some more details about how the game can be advanced using the Hedbanz app.

On opening the box we found that the contents included:

  • 6 Blue adjustable headbands
  • 13 Scoring badges
  • 69 Picture cards
  • 3 Sample question cards
  • 1 Timer
  • Instructions

To set up the game you firstly need to separate the Picture Cards from the Sample Question Cards, then shuffle them up and place them face down in the middle of all the players, along with the Scoring Badges. Each player then places a Headband on their head, making sure that the Hedbanz logo is in the centre, as this is where the Picture Card will be placed. You then deal one Picture Card face down to each player, who must then insert their card into the clip on the headband. As tempting as it may be, do not sneak a peak at your card!

The youngest player then goes first, before play continues to the left. On each players turn the timer is flipped over and you have to ask the other players questions to try and guess the picture on your head.  The Sample Question Cards give you some ideas of what you could ask if you get stuck, but we enjoyed trying to think of our own questions. If you manage to guess the picture before the time runs out, then you take another card and continue asking questions until the time runs out. When you guess a card correctly, you can add a Scoring Badge to your headband and the first to collect 3 Scoring Badges is the winner.

Now whilst the rules of the game are simple and easy to understand, it is amazing how quickly your mind can go blank whilst you are trying to think of questions to ask whilst racing against the clock. I had a clear plan in my mind of how I was going to figure what was on my card fast, but once the timer began and the pressure set in, my plan of action went out the window. My family and I couldn't stop laughing throughout the game at some of the guesses that were made and it took a few turns each before we gradually started to work out our cards. Overall we think that this is a great family game that is easy to set up and understand. It is currently available to purchase on Amazon for only £10, which offers excellent value for money.


Beat the Parents Review

Beat the Parents is a game we have never played before, so we were keen to try this out and find out more. The front of the box didn't give too much away, but the reverse gave a good explanation of this head-to-head family game which is packed full of questions and challenges. Adults have to answer questions about kids' stuff, whils the children answer questions that the parents should know. As well as being full of fact filled trivia, it also includes fun and exciting challenges, with the team that crosses the game board first being declared the champion.

Inside the box we found the following contents:
  • 1 Game board
  • 110 Question Cards
  • 50 Challenge Cards
  • 2 Movers
  • Instructions

My children were really excited about this game as they were determined to beat us parents. The object of the game is for kids to play their parents as both teams try to answer questions and complete various challenges. The first team to get their mover to the other end of the game board are declared the winners.

Setting up the game is easy and each team sits on opposites sides of the board. Kids are yellow, whilst the parents are red. You then shuffle both decks of question and challenge cards and place them face down next to the board. Kids go first and the parents must draw a Question Card and read out loud the first question on the card. If this is answered correctly then the kids can move their mover by one space on the board and the parents then go on to ask the next question that is displayed on the card. An incorrect answer means that they can not move ahead and their turn is over. If you land on a challenge space whilst moving your mover then you must stop there and draw a Challenge Card. 

The Challenge Cards feature a wide variation of challenges. The challenges can be anything from playing Rock, Paper Scissors with an opposing team member or having to quickly add up the ages of everyone in the room and being the first person to shout the correct answer. We found the challenges to be great fun and some of them also provided plenty of laughter. The team that wins a Challenge Card can then move their mover the amount of spaces indicated on the card. The first team to reach the Win space wins the game!

Overall we really enjoyed this game and particularly liked the variety of challenges it offered. Beat the Parents is currently available on offer at Amazon for only £10, which offers great value for money, especially as this game can be played many times without feeling too repetitive, due to the amount of question and challenge cards available. You do need some extra items to complete some of the challenges such as a pencil or ice cubes, however most of these are ordinary items that you would have in your home and you could always remove any Challenge Cards that you would be unable to complete. My family and I enjoyed this game and felt that it also helped to improve our general knowledge skills. I would therefore recommend this game to others.


*Disclaimer - This blog post features items that were gifted to us for the purpose of writing an honest review of the products. Any thoughts and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated. Any prices stated within this post are subject to change. This post contains Amazon affiliate links.