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

Simon Flash

Simon Flash

Fall 2011 Games
Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: Hasbro Games
Price: $29.99

Here we revisit the classic 1978 Simon game in which Milton Bradley created an electronic version of the traditional children's react-to-instructions game of Simon Says. This time around, Hasbro has reintroduced the classic Simon paired with new technology. Instead of a bulky hand-held gizmo where you try to repeat colored light and sound patterns on display buttons, you now have four sleek small cubes that light up (red, yellow, green and blue) and make sounds. More importantly, the cubes electronically communicate with each other whenever they're side-by-side, which is what produces the games.

There are four different games, and for the most part they are easy-too easy for anyone older than 10. To play Lights Off, for instance, you try to line up the cubes in the right order to turn off the cube lights. In Simon Shuffle, the cube lights scramble and you have to reset them in their original order. In Simon Classic, you must remember and then repeat increasingly longer sequences of lights. And in Secret Color, the hardest of the four games, you test your logic against speed (you have two minutes) to line up the cubes in the one order that shows the same color on all four cubes.

Though this doesn't offer the same innovation in gaming as its predecessor, younger players will still be challenged by this version of Simon.

Don Oldenburg   ©2011 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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