Katamino is a gorgeous wooden game that we have been sent by The Toadstool Online Toy Shop to review as part of our role as Toadstool Toy Testers.
This is a real fun game that can be played in all kinds of different ways, so is suitable for anyone age 3+ really. The pre-schooler uses it as a jigsaw and just tries to fit as many pieces in as possible. My partner and I like to play the two-player game and actually it can get a bit heated....
The instructions and reference sheets are in a gorgeous book, that is made with really good quality materials, so should last very well. This is great because it is necessary for the game.
Above is the easiest setting at 3 rows and below 2 levels harder. With each level of difficulty you add another playing piece as shown in the handbook and move the wooden divider across. It sounds complicated, but like a lot of games makes total sense as soon as you play.
Once you reach the later levels it's really hard and the teenagers use it competitively and time each other.
For the 2 player game you place the wooden divider in the middle and take it in turns to pick out playing pieces until you both have 5 plus some small blocks and then race to see who completes their side first.
There are thousands of possible combinations and solutions, so it's not something you can 'learn' and thereby spoil the game.
The blocks can also be used for 2D and 3D modelling, with some simple examples shown in the book to get you started. Playing really helps with hand-eye co-ordination, problem-solving, concentration and fine motor skills and Katamino is a very useful tool for youngsters. I think it's greatest asset is the 'whole family' play together.
We've had a really good time playing Katamino and playing with Katamino. It's excellent fun, especially for me the 2 player competitive game, which is so simple and quick, but great.
Katamino is a gorgeous game, the booklet and big wooden pieces are very well made and it's a real quality product. The design is brilliantly executed and this does mean it's not a cheap game in any way. This is a beautiful thing that will come out of the cupboard regularly on games nights and in 30 years time will still be in the same condition as it is now. I imagine playing this with my Grandchildren.
|My 15 year old clearly spotted another challenge in making a perfect cube with the blocks...|