Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Stix & Stones

Stix & Stones

Fall 2010 Games
Ages: 7 & Up
Manufacturer: Educational Insights
Price: $24.99

Stix & Stones is a Pictionary-type game in which teams of players compete to identify a word or phrase represented by a design made of plastic sticks and stones. In the full version of the game, a player from each team bids on words and phrases by claiming to be able to create it using only a small number of pieces. The player bidding the lowest then makes the design and his or her team has to identify the image. A minimum of four players is necessary for this approach. In the three-player version of the game, there is no limit on the number of pieces, and players compete to be the first to identify the object.

Like charades or Pictionary, this is a game best suited to larger groups of players of similar abilities. The word cards provided an impressive variety of phrases at wide range of difficulty, so even young players could make pictures for others to recognize, but older players always had the advantage in guessing the pictures. The name-that-tune style of bidding makes the game more challenging but not as fun or spontaneous as charades. We did enjoy playing, and it would be a very good party game, but we did not find ourselves drawn back to the game repeatedly. As such, the game may not have the long-term appeal of other, similar games.

Emily Crawford   ©2010 Parents' Choice
Emily holds a BSE in electrical engineering and computer science from Duke University and a Master's in computer engineering from Georgia Tech. She is a homeschooling parent and lives with her husband, three children, five cats, and thousands of LEGOs in Blacksburg, Virginia.

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