Brainbox is a huge set of family and children’s games by the Green Board Game Company. They teach observational skills and memory. Playing these games ensures learning is fun with an element of competition. Some of the topics include languages (such as French or German), Countries of the World, Animals or even Disney Classics. For younger children there are subjects such as First Colours or First Words. Zatu Games stock a massive range.
The basic concept of a Brainbox game is that one person spends some time looking at a picture card containing information (perhaps for a few seconds) and another player then asks a question (or a series of questions) relating to that picture card. Points are scored if the correct answer is given. With time and repeated games players will learn more about a topic. Some questions may be factual whereas others may be more observational.
This is a very simple game. The basic Brainbox games are suitable for children of junior school age (seven and older) and the First Brainbox games would even be suitable for pre-school children. These can be played as a team or as an individual. Depending on the age and suitability of those playing, so the length of time to study the card can be varied.
Each game has a ten second sand timer (which is extremely short). Twenty seconds is a more appropriate time to look closely at an information card. Once the timer is finished, the card may be passed to another player and an eight sided dice rolled. This will allow one of eight questions on the reverse of the card to be chosen. If the player answers correctly then a point is scored. The next player then selects a card to study.
For a one-player game the card may be examined for ten (or 20) seconds. The player can try to answer all of the questions by recording the answers with a pen and paper. If all of the eight questions are answered correctly, the card is retained. If there are any wrong answers, the card is returned to the box and the next card chosen. The challenge is to see how many cards can be completed within a given time.
For two or more players the object is to win as many cards as possible in a given time. To make the game more competitive, one variation would be to ask all eight questions. A point would be awarded for each correct answer. By rolling the eight-sided dice a bonus point is given if that question is correct.
Thoughts about Brainbox
The Green Board Game have a reputation for producing high-quality, educational children’s games. The Brainbox series is no exception. Each box is made of sturdy card. The pictures and diagrams on the outside are vibrant, and together, a number of these make quite a colourful collection of cubes. Within each box are up to 70 large information cards. These are made from very thick card and are sufficiently robust to handle years of play.
The printing of the pictures on the cards is clear and bright. Much of the information is very pertinent to the subject but occasionally other more “random” information might be given. For example, in Brainbox Countries of the Word when presented with a card about Germany one question asks the name of the two seas that border Germany (North Sea and Baltic Sea), yet another question asks how many beer steins are shown. This does not detract from the game at all, but means that careful observation of the whole picture card is needed for success.
The pictures and maps are accurate and clear. This does ensure that children can easily see and recall information. There can be no dispute about any answers given.
Parents or friends choosing Brainbox game as a gift have a huge selection on offer. These games ensure children get to know a subject without realising they are learning! In fact, these games make learning fun and competitive. While playing Brainbox won’t replace reading Shakespeare’s plays for GCSE, this Brainbox game will at least give you an overview of all his plays.
As a parent of three children I can certainly say that these series are of great value. They are most suitable for children who like to look closely are pictures, but even the youngest can take something from these games. There may not be the excitement and drama of some games but for a short family game, these make an excellent choice.
Brainbox Games might be called ten minute memory recall games, but they can be very educational. They are suitable for all ages. They have the flexibility of an individual challenge or, with adaptation of the rules, as a team game. This means that they would be suitable for most families. For parents who want to encourage their children in learning geography, languages (or whatever subject), they are a relaxing way to learn. They are relatively cheap. With so many information cards in each game, they can provide hours of entertainment for the whole family. Perhaps every family home should have a few boxes.