Pip is quite fascinated by robots. She wants to know how they work and what they can do. One day, she wants to build a robot.
So when we were in our local games shop and she happened to have some pocket money to spend, Build a Robot, a puzzle and spinner game by eBoo, instantly caught her eye with it’s appealingly colourful box. On opening the box, the quality of the puzzle pieces is obviously apparent and are just as appealing as the exterior. Since Pip is a fan of puzzles, we really liked combining this into a game. I also really liked that the instructions are written on the inside of the box lid – no chance of losing them, plus it’s a nice environmentally friendly feature.
On playing it, we did encounter an issue with the game mechanic. The idea is that each player spins a spinner on their turn, the numbers on the spinner match numbers on robot parts and you gradually build up your robot. The first player with a completed robot is the winner. However, you need to spin for a Tool piece first. If you go through a few turns without getting the tool piece, this can become rather frustrating, especially for a four year old and more particularly if the other players do have the tool piece and perhaps a few robot pieces in place. After a couple of games where Pip seemed to admit defeat after not getting a tool within two turns, we decided to alter the rules a bit. Our house rule is if you land on the ‘Lose a Turn’ section before you get a tool, then it also acts as a ‘tool’ section. This increases your chances of picking up a tool.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t really fix this problem cropping up further on in the game too. We’ve had games of this where both players need their last piece and the game drags on turn after turn with nobody winning.
Apart from this little problem, I do think this is actually a good game. It helps with number recognition and the general concept of building a robot is really appealing to children. Most of the time when it’s played, Pip does enjoy it. We all really like making up names and back stories for our robots at the end of the game, as suggested in the rules, adding in a little creativity. Pip also plays with it alone, simply picking out pieces to build lots of different robots. I like this feature since it makes the game something for us to do together but also something for her to do alone when I am, for instance, doing housework.
Overall, I like this game and would recommend it. I would just also recommend tweaking the rules a bit.