Super Mario Shaky Tower – Review
Super Mario Shaky Tower is a wonderfully simple game that has proved an instant hit with my young children. My first children’s game review for Zatu and with 2 young children of my own, I do hope it to be the first of many.
It is a great pre school aged game. Straight away on the box it notes a game suitable for 4+ and this I can see is down to some items that children could potentially choke on if left un supervised, so that is the safety item for the age rating given for this game. I have been playing it with my 3-year-old and 14-month-old, I fully supervised them in play and we have had a lot of fun. Please use your own judgements here for your own children.
What grabbed my attention?
Straight away when browsing Zatu’s sight, the main man, Mario, grabbed my attention. I’ve always been a Nintendo boy throughout life so this plumber always captures my attention no matter what it is. Then realising it is a game got me that much more excited. The box is colourful and stands out. The contents are a full set of colourful minis to play with which is brilliant. Most games I play have one colour on a playing piece only, so for these models to be miniature replicas of the loveable characters was great for the kids.
I’m not the handiest of dads so it is really pleasing to report that this is a simple set up. There is a “Bowser” tower to assemble and the instructions are easy to follow (thankfully). It also looks very good and is so functional for the game. The trickiest part is when the tower is complete, getting the weighted ball to balance on top initially, I’ll come back to that. You are now ready to play.
This is a wonderfully simple game of turn taking and allowing young children to practice fine motor skills. Simply roll the dice, and place that many mini’s on to the tower, without knocking that heavy ball off of the top. If the ball falls, you lose, and you start again. If you manage to place all the minis on the tower. Play continues by rolling the dice, and taking that many mini’s off of the tower, again, don’t knock that ball off. A very simple concept. You keep going on and off until the ball falls.
For adults and older children, this game will be pretty straight forward and could turn into a marathon as it is reasonably easy to place the mini’s on and off. For young children developing their coordination and fine motor skills it is really challenging for them as they have to focus hard. Watching mine play you can see them thinking about placement really carefully as they do not want to knock the ball down. I guess it is a good point to note the tower base is spherical and so the tower really is quite shaky.
When the ball does tumble down the tower it knocks all platforms as it falls, catapulting any minis standing on them off which does look quite spectacular. I’ve been so impressed with how my two have quickly grasped taking it turns as well as not getting upset when the ball falls down. Understanding winning a losing is so important, I feel, this game does a great job of introducing that concept.
What could adults get from this game? I do see this as perhaps a fun party/drinking game. This game will be more challenging after a couple of beverages for sure. I’ll let you come up with what other rules you could add to it, I know what I’d do.
This game is a lot of fun with plenty of replay-ability. I have been so impressed with how it can start to teach taking it in turns, winning and losing as well as building on some fine motor skills. It has proven a huge hit with my children and provided the entire family with a lot of laughs which is the most important thing for me. Give it a go.