Showing posts with label John Adams. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John Adams. Show all posts

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Family Fun with Othello - A Review

You will have hopefully read our recent post about a fabulous bundle of boredom busting games that we were sent from Ideal Games UK to help us keep busy and entertained over the coming weeks. My family and I had a wonderful selection of both classic and new games sent to us, which we shall be putting to the test over the next few days.

There was a little debate as to which game we should try first, but after having a good look through the games on offer, we decided to start with Othello. All of us enjoy fast paced strategy games, so this seemed the perfect choice to begin our family games night with.


Othello is a two player game, where the object is to trap and capture your opponents disks, whilst strategically placing yours on the board. If you trap the other players disk, then you can flip this over to match your colour, but of course they can also do the same to you, so it helps to try and think ahead before placing your next move.

We hadn't actually played this game before, so we each had a good look at the box and read through the instructions before starting to play. The front of the box has a large image, which shows a green playing board along with black and white disks. There is a caption that runs along the bottom that states "A Minute To Learn.... A Lifetime To Master!"

The rear of the box provides much more detail, along with a brief explanation of how to play. There were numerous images that gave examples of the game in play, which were also accompanied by some short sentences of written instructions. Once we had all taken a look at the box and the enclosed guidance, then we were ready to play and began to set up the board.

On opening the box we found the following contents:
  • 1 x Instruction Manual
  • 1 x Playing Board
  • 64 x Reversible Disks
  • 4 x Playing Board Feet
There isn't much assembly involved in this game at all and the only preparation you need to make is inserting the 4 playing board feet into the base and lining up your disks in your players row. Each player has 32 disks, with one person playing the white colour and the other person the black. The object of the game is to be the player with the most disks of your colour at the end. 

To begin play you both start with 2 disks placed in the centre position as shown below. Each player then takes it in turns to place down a new disk, whilst also trying to outflank your opponents disks. Outflanking means to place a disk on the board that traps your opponents disk at either end. If you outflank their disk(s), then you get to flip them over to your colour and the game continues.


To outflank a disk(s), it must be in a continuous line but can travel in a number of directions including vertically, horizontally and diagonally. This means that if you carefully observe the board, you could place your disk to actually outflank your opponent in a number of different ways.

If at any point there is no possible move for you to make to outflank your opponent, then you must forfeit your go, however if there is a move available then you must take your go, even if this would not be to your advantage. Once it is no longer possible for either player to make a move, then the game is over and the player with the majority of their coloured disks is the winner.


Overall we really enjoyed this game and to be honest I liked it more than I had expected to. My first impressions were that it would be a very simple game and it would be over in seconds, but in fact it requires quite a lot of thinking and consideration of your next move or strategy. Riley is only 7, but he picked up the concept of the game really quickly and I liked watching him take the time to think out his next move. My two older children aged 12 and 13 also found this game to be really fun and it was great to see them playing against each other in such a calm, yet competitive way. As it is only a two player game, it wasn't possible for us all to play at the same time, however we turned it into a family championship instead and did a series of rounds, semi finals and finals until crowning our Ultimate Othello Champion!

Othello is a game that is simple to learn and enjoyable to play. It has an RRP of £22.99 which I think is a reasonable price for this game. It can be purchased from retailers such as Argos and Amazon.

If you would like to find out more about Othello or any of the other products available from Ideal Games, then you can visit their social media pages on the following channels:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IdealGamesUK/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/idealgamesuk/



*Disclaimer - We were gifted the game of Othello for the purpose of writing an honest review of the game and our experience. All opinions and thoughts are my own unless otherwise stated. This post contains an Amazon affiliate link.


Monday, 14 October 2019

Win the Electronic Game of Bank Attack from John Adams Toys - Competition

Bank Attack is a brand new game from Ideal by John Adams Toys, which is sure to get families working together to crack the code and win the prize. This highly innovative and different play experience is both challenging and rewarding, but can you become criminal masterminds to break the vault and release the hidden gold inside?

Each player must pick their role in the group from Hacker; Money Man; Look Out or Explosives Expert and then use your special talents to break the bank. You can also select a difficulty level, then follow the spoken commands without delay: grab the right tools, pass them on at the right moment, use them quickly and grab the millions.

You can see how we got on when we recently played this game in our full review here.


Bank Attack is recommended for ages 7+ and has an RRP of £24.99. It is currently available to buy now from Argos, Smyths, Amazon and The Entertainer.

To find out more about Bank Attack or other games in the John Adams range, then you can visit their website and social media on the following channels:

Website - www.johnadams.co.uk
Twitter - @JohnAdams_toys
Facebook - facebook.com/IdealGamesUK
Instagram - @johnadams_toys
YouTube - JohnAdamsToys

We are delighted to be able to offer our readers the chance to win their very own copy of the electronic Bank Attack game and we have a fantastic competition for you to enter below. One lucky winner will soon be able to take on the Bank Attack challenge and see if you are able complete the mission!

If you are feeling lucky, then simply read the terms and conditions and enter using the gleam form below.

Win a Bank Attack Game from John Adams

Terms and Conditions

  • There is 1 (one) prize of a Bank Attack Game from Ideal by John Adams.
  • Entry is open to UK residents aged 18 years or over.
  • Competition closes on the 31st October 2019 at 23:59
  • A winner shall be drawn from all eligible entries within 7 days of the closing date and notified via email.
  • The winner will have 14 days to confirm their acceptance of the prize before an alternative winner is drawn from the remaining eligible entries.
  • No bulk or third party entries
  • The winner's details will be shared with the promoter for the purpose of prize fulfilment and permission shall be obtained from the winner prior to doing so.
*Disclaimer - This post contains an Amazon affiliate link. 

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Bank Attack from John Adams Toys - A Review

Bank Attack is a brand new game from Ideal by John Adams Toys, which is sure to get families working together to crack the code and win the prize. But can you become criminal masterminds to break the vault and release the hidden gold inside?

Each player must pick their role in the group from Hacker; Money Man; Look Out or Explosives Expert and then use your special talents to break the bank. You can also select a difficulty level, then follow the spoken commands without delay: grab the right tools, pass them on at the right moment, use them quickly and grab the millions.


Now that my children are getting older, I really like the fact that we can play more challenging games together. This new electronic game encourages players to cooperate with one another and follow the instructions carefully in order to win, so it was really nice to play something a little different as a family.

The product itself comes packaged in a recyclable cardboard box which features brightly covered graphics all over. The front doesn't really give much away as to what is included or what the game is about, however the reverse has very clear photographs that show the product well, in addition to some basic instructions which gives you a good understanding of what is involved. Both the front and rear state the recommended age of 7+ and also advise that it is suitable for 2 to 4 players.

It was really easy to set up the game and simply involved removing the tools from their packaging and placing some batteries into the safe. It requires 3 x AA batteries to play and it is important to note that these aren't included. The full list of contents are:
  • 1 x Electronic Safe (requires 3 x AA batteries which are NOT included)
  • 8 x tools consisting of goggles, drill, laptop, map, flashlight, headset, explosives and gloves
  • 12 x plastic gold bars
  • 20 x money bills
  • 1 x set of instructions
I read through the instructions briefly and so initially there was a little bit of confusion amongst us and we failed the first attempt spectacularly! However after reading through them again more carefully, it soon became clear as to what we needed to do and we very quickly got the hang of what was required.


To play the game all players need to firstly select their role in the mission. This can be the Hacker, Money Man, Lookout or Explosives Expert. Once all the positions have been decided then you next select your level. There are five progressive levels to choose from which each get quicker and more intense, so it is definitely the best option to begin on level one until you have had some practice. There is also a bonus level which we haven't attempted just yet. You also need to load your gold bars into the top of the vault which is really easy to do and takes less than a minute and replace the lid.

Once you are ready to play you need to follow the instructions from the Boss, whose voice comes out from the electronic safe. The Boss will tell you whether you need to grab certain tools, pass them to one another, use them quickly, or collect the money bills. If mistakes are made then the alarm will trigger, but if you manage to successfully work together then you will pull off the heist and the gold bars will be released from the top of the safe.


We thought that the audio was really loud and clear so it was easy to hear and follow the instructions, but it could sometimes be hard to remember who had what tool which added to the fun element of the game. It was exciting and challenging and I really liked the fact that there was no designated loser out of the individual players which certainly meant that there was no upset or arguments between my children.

Overall we really enjoyed this game. Admittedly it took a couple of goes of level one for us to fully get the hang of it, but once we knew our roles and what to do, it quickly became a fast paced and engaging challenge. It is recommended for ages 7+ which I think is definitely the right age bracket as although my six year old played with us fine, he found it hard to process the information and react as quickly as he needed to, especially in the harder stages. I really liked the fact that it encourages the family to work together, so there were no arguments about anyone being the loser. It stores away in the box easily and it's size also means that it is ideal for us to take away with us on holiday. I would happily recommend this game to families and groups of friends and I can definitely see this being a popular game to play on Christmas Day.


Bank Attack has an RRP of £24.99 and it is currently available to buy now from Argos, Smyths, Amazon and The Entertainer.

To find out more about Bank Attack or other games in the John Adams range, then you can visit their website and social media on the following channels:

Website - www.johnadams.co.uk
Twitter - @JohnAdams_toys
Facebook - facebook.com/IdealGamesUK
Instagram - @johnadams_toys
YouTube - JohnAdamsToys



*Disclaimer - We were sent this item for the purpose of writing an honest review of the product. All opinions and photographs are my own unless otherwise stated. This post contains an Amazon affiliate link. Video is from the John Adams YouTube channel.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Family Fun with Fuzzy-Felt by John Adams - A Review

We all have toys that we fondly remember playing with as a child and I am no exception. When I was in primary school, I used to have a childminder that would pick me up from school every day and I would go and play at her house for an hour until my mum came to collect me. My childminder had a great range of toys for us to play with, but I always remember getting the same toy out of the cupboard each day and would sit on the carpet happily playing til home time. That particular toy was Fuzzy-Felt.


My childminder had a few different sets, but I always remember my favourites being the house and farm sets. I used to love arranging all the animals on the green background and making farm scenes that would tell a story in my own mind. I was never really brilliant at drawing or art in school and so this was a way I could be creative without needing any certain skills. I could create what I considered at the time to be masterpieces by simply arranging the felt to create a beautiful picture.

This memories were brought to the forefront of my mind recently when the Royal Mail brought out a series of stamps that celebrated children's toys from the past 100 years. Clearly I was not the only one to have loved Fuzzy-Felt, as the Fuzzy-Felt farm set features on one of the new stamps. The stamps recognise the most iconic toys of the last century and so it was of course, only right, that Fuzzy-Felt be included in the collection.

Fuzzy-Felt also has quite an interesting history, in how it actually came to be created and produced as a best selling toy. During the second world war, tank gaskets were made from felt and whilst being manufactured, small pieces of off-cuts would be left over. These 'left overs' then became popular with the children of the factory workers, who would play with the felt. This then led to the creation of Fuzzy-Felt by Lois Allan in 1950.

The toy manufacturer John Adams, now produces a fantastic range of Fuzzy-Felt sets which include the following:

  • Fuzzy-Felt Busy Builders
  • Fuzzy-Felt On Safari
  • Fuzzy Felt Butterflies
  • Fuzzy-Felt Magic Garden
  • Fuzzy-Felt Pet Parlour
  • Fuzzy-Felt Little Princess
  • Fuzzy-Felt Little Ponies
  • Fuzzy-Felt My House
You can view the full range on the John Adams site here: Fuzzy-Felt Range

Being such a fan of Fuzzy-Felt from my earlier years, I was delighted to be sent the Fuzzy-Felt On Safari play set for Riley to test out, enjoy and review. This was something completely new to him and he hasn't come across it in school either, so he was firstly intrigued as to what was involved.



The front of the box immediately caught Riley's attention due to the bright orange background and the images of safari animals and vehicles that were displayed. The contents on the reverse of the box listed that there were over 100 assorted felt shapes inside, so I knew that it would definitely keep us busy for a while. The reverse of the box also lists how Fuzzy Felt can encourage co-ordination, recognition, counting, sorting and story telling, which are all big plus points to aid a childs development.


Inside the box was a green felt board along with several sheets of coloured felt. The sheets had numerous animals, scenery, vehicles and trees imprinted into them and so the first task was to push all the individual pieces of felt out. This kept Riley busy for a good fifteen minutes doing the larger pieces and I helped out with the smaller more tricky ones.


Once we had our collection of Fuzzy-Felt pieces ready, it was time to begin creating our picture. At this point Emma asked if she could help Riley, so I happily let her step in and they worked together nicely, in creating a lovely safari themed landscape. The beauty of Fuzzy-Felt is just how easy it is to do. There are no specific skill sets required and it is just a nice calm activity to do on your own, or together with others. Riley can get a little frustrated if something gets a bit tricky and he can't do something the first time he tries, but with Fuzzy-Felt, there was no chance of him having any difficulties at all.




Riley couldn't stop grinning once his picture was complete and was extremely proud of his efforts. Emma created a story for him based on his creation and they sat together for ages just creating pictures and stories over and over again.


Overall we had a fantastic time making creations with our Fuzzy-Felt set. It was initially an activity I had planned to do with just Riley, due to the guide age on the box being ages 3 to 6. However the whole family ended up getting involved and both Emma and Ben also really enjoyed getting creative and producing their own fuzzy felt masterpieces. We all loved the fact that the pieces can be used over and over again, as well as being able to combine them with the other sets that are available. Emma was fantastic in creating funny stories for Riley based on the pictures he had made and it was lovely to see them laughing and joking together about what the safari animals were up to. He has already added the Farm Fuzzy-Felt play set to his Christmas list too, so he is already keen to start building up his collection.

You can find out more about the Fuzzy-Felt sets that are available by visiting the John Adams website, or their social media channels which can be found here:

Website: John Adams Fuzzy-Felt
Twitter: @JohnAdams_Toys
YouTube: John Adams YouTube Channel


Disclaimer: We were provided with this product on a complimentary basis, for the purpose of providing an honest and impartial review of the product. All opinions and photographs are my own unless stated otherwise.