Toy review: Monkey Tree Tumble Trouble
There are good parenting moments. They are great parenting moments. And then there is the absolutely stupendously brilliant parenting moment when The Works opens a store in a town near you. The discount retailer is a parent’s best friend due to the fact it sells loads of great value books, great value toys and great value board games, like Monkey Tree Tumble Trouble.
Two board games for £10
We purchased this fun, stick removal based game as part of The Works’ two board games for £10 offer, but it’s currently selling online for as little as £4.49 (£3.50 + delivery), so, if you hurry, you can get it even cheaper than we did.
Monkey Tree Tumble Trouble
The first thing you will notice about this game is that it has loads of pieces (30 monkeys, 10 green sticks, 10 orange sticks, 10 blue sticks, one tree top, one tree base and two half tree trunks, to be exact). The second thing you will notice is that your toddler has already managed to lose several of the monkeys and sticks (hint: I’d check under the sofa). And the third thing you will notice is that, in order to create the central tree structure, you need to join the two half tree trunks together. I’d love to report that this is easy, but, due to the poor quality of the plastic, the segments always take a little more “forcing in” than you might expect.
Once the tree has been erected, it is time to push the sticks through the trunk. My toddler usually helps me with this bit, an act of kindness which has positives and negatives. On the plus side, it’s a good way of improving his fine motor skills. On the minus side, it prolongs the set up process by a good three-to-five minutes.
Sticks in place, now all you need to do is pour the monkeys into the tree and ensure they are all hanging off the sticks by their tails. Done that? Excellent, you’re ready to go.
How to play
Select the player who is going to go first (i.e. your toddler) and get them to roll the dice. Once its landed, it will display an orange circle, a blue circle or a green circle. If it’s orange, player one needs to attempt to remove an orange stick without dislodging any monkeys from the tree. If it’s blue, they need to attempt to remove a blue stick without dislodging any monkeys, and so on. Any monkeys that fall off on your go are placed in your “pile”, and, after you’ve taken it in turns to remove all the sticks, the winner is supposed to be the person who ends the game with the least monkeys. I say supposed, because my 3-year-old son often shuns the conventional rules in favour of awarding victory to the person who collects the most monkeys. And to be honest, I’m more than fine with that.
The bottom line
So what does it all mean? It means that, while a little rough around the edges, Monkey Tree Tumble Trouble is an entertaining, good value and easy-to-play game that’ll please your toddler for a good 15-20 minutes every time you get it out of the box.
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