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

Mermaid Beach

Mermaid Beach

Fall 2011 Games
Ages: 6 & Up
Manufacturer: Gamewright
Price: $10.99

To an adult, Mermaid Beach seems like a fun variation on Go Fish, but the beautiful design and mermaid theme make it very appealing to four through eight year old girls (and boys!). The game is like Go Fish, but each pair as well as each special mermaid card gets the player a shell card with points. The game is won based on these points. Additional complexity is introduced by bad mermaids (used to steal another player's points), crabs (forfeit some points), and tidal waves (return points to the discard pile.) The cards, particularly the mermaids, are visually beautiful and sparkly.

Our testers can't stop playing Mermaid Beach with each other and with all their friends. The instructions recommend playing with 7 cards for 2 players and 5 cards with 3 or more, but the games can be very short when you start with 5 cards (5 minutes or less.)

Editor's Note: One playing card introduces Emily Ehlers, the 8-year-old game inventor. We loved this detail, which explains to readers that she developed the game with her two brothers while on a year-long sailing adventure with her family!

Rachel Schiff   ©2011 Parents' Choice

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