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

Oh, Really!

Oh, Really!

Fall 2010 Games
Ages: 10 & Up
Manufacturer: Find It Games
Price: $20.00

This game presents an opportunity for parents playing alongside children to talk about what's important in life and why. The complicated instructions are confusing, and they give this game a slow start. Several options are available for play, including the "Partners Game", the "Free for All Game", and the "Follow the Leader Game". Once the game choice has been made, set-up is simple. First, position the game board in the middle of the play area and give each player a set of five ranking cards, each with a symbol printed on it (!, &, +, #, and *). Then, shuffle the word cards, draw five, and position them on the game board's five card spots, each of which is marked with a ranking symbol.

Each player secretly ranks in order of importance the five words on the table. We found the game's mix of serious and silly words compelling. On a single turn, the words to be ranked can include odd, thought-provoking, trivial, and funny selections. In one game, we drew Respect, Honesty, Prison, Hair and Movies. In another, Cops, Soda Pop, Education, Dentists, and Good Looks. Players are frequently challenged to decide what's more important among abstract concepts like Respect or Honesty. One of our players said Prison! That's where the "Oh, Really!" name begins to make sense, as the other players will find themselves surprised and wanting to know why their opponent ranked the categories as they did.

While the game moves along nicely once everyone gets it, smart parents playing with their kids can use occasional pauses between hands as learning moments to talk about what's important to them and why. When a child chooses Underpants as more important than Emotions, for example, it's good to ask "Why?"

Don Oldenburg   ©2010 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

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