Sunday , July 14 2024

Kids Game Review: ‘Letter, Number, or Bug’ from University Games’ Briarpatch

Letter, Number, or Bug from University Games’ award-winning Briarpatch collection continues its mission “to provide inspiring, educational, and above all FUN content to preschoolers everywhere.” Many times we do not equate fun and learning as we should, and Letter, Number, or Bug is exceptional at setting up so much fun that players might not realize they have been learning.

Setting Up the Fun

Letter, Number or Bug begins with shuffling the large Category Cards, each of which is marked with a letter, number, or bug, and placing the deck face down so that the cards will be mysteries. The smaller Answer tiles are double-sided, each showing a letter, number, or a bug. Players spread the Letters and Numbers in no particular order around the table, ensuring everyone has a view of them. The Bug Answer tiles go beyond the main play area to all around the room, creating an extended venue for an action-packed game.

Making a Guess

Once a game of Letter, Number, or Bug is set up, players all guess whether the next card to be flipped over is a letter, a number, or a bug. When the card is revealed, the players who guessed correctly then race to find the matching Answer tile. The first player to touch the tile collects it, placing it in front of them to keep score. If no one guesses correctly and the card is a letter or number, play simply continues with the next round of guess. If the card is a bug and no one had guessed it, however, there is a chance for everyone to grab the Bug tile and gain a point. Play continues until one player collects five tiles to win the game.

Educational and Surprising

At first glance, Letter, Number, or Bug might seem to be a straightforward guessing game, but the nuances in its gameplay show that it is packed with surprises. The obvious benefits are coordination with practice for small motor skills, literacy in recognizing letters and numbers, and mathematics in counting to keep score. Beyond these, players will also develop their spatial awareness by taking note of which tiles are where on the table or around the room for Bugs. This will give them an upper hand in being the first to grab a tile.

Older players might also look at Letter, Number, or Bug with probability in mind. With 10 Numbers, 10 Bugs, and 26 Letters, a guess of “Letter” makes statistical sense. However, the statistics will shift as the game goes on. This gives players a good chance to evaluate their options either by remembering what cards have been revealed or scanning the table to see what tiles remain.

Letter, Number, or Bug is a guessing and matching game for two to four players aged three and up. Players will develop their preferred strategies, whether playing the safe game of choosing “Letters” even if it means they may need to race against others or trying for a Number or Bug with the Answer tile’s position in mind. With the tagline “Catch the Match and Win,” younger kids and older players alike will be eagerly anticipating the next flip of a card while guessing what it could be.

About Jeff Provine

Jeff Provine is a Composition professor, novelist, cartoonist, and traveler of three continents. His latest book is a collection of local ghost legends, Campus Ghosts of Norman, Oklahoma.

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