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



Last Letter ™

Last Letter ™

Spring 2014 Games
Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: ThinkFun Inc.
Price: $12.99
Review:

Players of this card game are dealt five cards, each adorned with a delightfully different illustration. The creative images show a lot of whimsical detail, for example, one has a sea serpent in a bathtub, with a little boy, toy boat, and other details. The dealer plays the first card, calling out something in the card, such as "Serpent". As fast as they can, other players can then play one of their cards, if they can call out something on that card that starts with the last letter of the item just called. In this case, I could play my card that has a "Trapeze" on it. Anyone with something on their card that starts with an E could then play. The object is to be the first to play all of your cards.

In addition to honing players' powers of observation, this game is a savvy vocabulary builder. Where one person saw tree people, another saw "ents." We named items, emotions, adjectives. Our 9 year old was rattling off "aliens," "serpent," "contaminated," and "sphinx". (I have to admit it… finding something on our cards that started with an "x" really challenged us).

The adults may slow the game play a bit so younger players can keep up; the detail on the cards demand a lot of attention. The deck also includes alternative versions to mix the game up. After playing a couple of rounds, we started thinking about strategy… trying to name things that end with a tricky letter, or saving cards for last if there were a lot of easily noticeable things on them.

Each round can be played quickly (5 minutes or less), making this a fun go-to game to take to restaurants or to play when you don't have enough time for elaborate set up. Easy to start playing, easy to transport, easy to teach new players, and different every time it's played. See how fun it is to learn?

Barbara Chamberlin   ©2014 Parents' Choice
Barbara Chamberlin researches and develops educational software and media at New Mexico State University's Learning Games Lab. She and her husband have two boys.

Look for this product at:
ThinkFun Inc.
703-549-4999
http://www.ThinkFun.com/

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