I was sent a copy of Baffled by Cheatwell Games in exchange for an honest review.
I played this game today with my partner and daughter, just turned 9. The game lasted about half an hour.
Game overview: you have 60 seconds to memorise the position of twelve symbol tiles; the symbols constantly swap and change positions; you have to find symbols, name them, swap them or test other players; the winner is the last player left in the game.
Things we liked:
the game feels solid and well built, and I do like a fold-up game board (for some reason);
colourful and good size playing pieces which are not at all fiddly;
the ‘Life cards’ are a clever idea and it is good that they are visible to all players;
we liked the opportunity to win back a life;
lots of variety in the actions needed: naming, asking, swapping and finding three of something;
we liked the tip about how to memorise the symbols by making mental connections;
it is interesting to notice the strategic choices people make: my daughter swapped then later re-swapped the same pair of symbols;
we liked the fact that this game is not easy, and that it provides a challenge for both adults and children. I thought I was good at memory games until I played this, but I went out of the game before my daughter. We agree with the maker’s claim that the game ‘helps develop vital memory skills’. I did notice that I was getting better at the game as it went along: I may have picked the wrong symbol but it was the correct colour;
the makers claim the game is ‘cleverly designed so that children and adults have an equal chance of winning’. We agree with this claim: an adult will not necessarily win if a child is concentrating hard;
the die is translucent!
Things to consider:
You have 60 seconds to memorise the positions of the symbols but no timing device is provided. You could use a watch (does anyone still wear one?) or a phone stopwatch. You might want to ask everyone to be silent during this 60 seconds so no one is distracted. I blame my poor performance on my daughter bellowing a Jason Donovan song in my ear.
Some people will be easily baffled by Baffled and find it frustrating. The hardest part is the constantly changing board. You might consider playing a version where you ignore the eight swap squares: if a counter lands on a swap square then move to the next square. This version could build the confidence of a less able player until they are ready to play the full version.
You will be referring to the rules sheet a lot when you play your first game but not so much at the end of the game. This shows that the board itself is quite easy to understand.
You probably won’t want to play a second game straight away as you will still be remembering the positions of the symbols from the end of the previous game.
I asked my daughter what she thought at the end. She said she was ‘looking forward to playing it when the schools are closed for coronavirus’. I’m sure she can’t wait for the schools to close, the little monkey.
I am sure we will play this game again. It is a useful addition to my collection of memory games.
I plan to include Baffled in a future blog post on 10 great memory games, similar to my recent post on 10 great visual perception games.
If you buy Baffled there is no financial gain for me.
My ebook ‘Starting a School Board Games Club: How to Win at Having Fun and Learning Through Play’ is available on Amazon.