It happens all the time. A company comes up with a great idea that actually sells, and then the next thing you know, they’re expanding their new-found “brand” to encompass every other gadget imaginable to take full advantage of their brilliant initial concept. Such is the case with the Angry Birds market. While it started from an explosive mobile app featuring a cynical yet appealing flock of angry birds, there are numerous other products on the market today attempting to capitalize on the flying icons from stuffed animals to T-shirts, and apparently, now board games as well. The Angry Birds premiere board game called Angry Birds: Knock on Wood is designed for kids ages five and older and promises a real-life replication of the wildly popular mobile app.
Knock on Wood Game Features
Fun and Simple Concept
Unlike a lot of other games (even the ones targeted towards kids), this game is not hard to play. The rules are pretty simple: you pick a card, follow the instructions to build a structure, and your opponent tries to knock it down by using the included slingshot to shoot the birds at your masterpiece. For some reason, lots of youngsters (and quite a few adults as well) find this kind of destruction incredibly entertaining. Plus, little kids can play it too since no reading is required and the concept is fairly (ok, really) simple.
How can a board game with a set of clearly stated instructions be versatile? Simple—just don’t follow the rules. Sound ridiculous? Maybe not. Some customers reported only buying this game in order to get their hands on the cute little plastic replicas of the signature Angry Birds characters. Once you have these in hand, add a little imagination, and you can do with them whatever your heart desires.
If you happen to not be the rule-breaking type, then there’s still a way to make this game semi-versatile. How? Use the level-labeled cards to increase or decrease the difficulty factor for younger or older players.
Yes, you heard that right. This board game based on a seemingly pointless but wildly entertaining video game app has some redeeming educational qualities. No, it won’t teach your kid to spell or perform calculations in his head, but it will help him develop the fine motor skills and coordination necessary to build the required structures, plus his imagination is a bit more engaged that it would be were he simply playing the game on a cell phone or computer.
Lots of Pieces
Many parents consider toys and games with seemingly zillions of pieces to be truly the bane of their existence. If this is true for you, or if you’re planning to give this game as a gift to a kid whose parents you actually like, then you may want to consider this fact before purchasing. Just remember, in addition to the coveted plastic Angry Birds characters, you’re also getting a ton of pieces to build the structures required for playing the game as well as a stack of cards featuring building instructions. Besides the obvious frustration of having your entire house cluttered with Angry Birds and their accessories, if you lose even one or two of the pieces, you can’t play the game as it was meant to be played. I guess this is true of most games, but for this one, there really are no “extra pieces;” you need them all in order to build the structures correctly.
Structures are Hard to Build
Some customers have reported the structures featured on the cards to be quite difficult to build, even the Level 1 cards (supposedly the easiest ones). Although your five –year old may not have too much of a challenge with your help, he may find the building aspect to be quite challenging on his own, so if you plan to make this purchase worth more than just an occasional family game, then you may want to keep this in mind if you’re buying it for a younger or less-coordinated child.
Not So Durable
The plastic pieces aren’t made with the most durable plastic, but perhaps this is to make knocking them over with the catapult a bit easier. Unless you (or your kid) bends them repeatedly or puts them in the microwave (gasp), then you shouldn’t have too much trouble with the lifespan of the pieces.
What Others Are Saying
- The rules are simple, easy to explain to younger children, and you don’t have to know how to read to figure things out, so that’s also great for little ones.
- Games with catapults are always a hit around here!
- I love, love, love Angry Birds anything!
- Set up was easy – within a few minutes – and they have been playing with it ever since. This one is a keeper!
- Fun for the whole family.
- This is the BEST investment in fun I have made in a LOOOOONG time!!
- Requires coordination and patience…
- I wanted to love this game, but the plastic pieces are so flimsy and light.
- Most of the time, you spend a long time building the structure only to miss it completely with the birds.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that if your kid loves the original Angry Birds app or computer game, he’s going to love this game as well. And chances are, even if your little one doesn’t know what Angry Birds is yet, he’s still going to love this game. After all, what kid doesn’t like building things and then destroying them? Although you may balk at the millions of pieces or lack of durability, your kid is not going to care one iota about those things. So, your decision making really comes down to this—are you willing to make a little sacrifice to see your kid smile as he engages in technology-free fun? Of course you are!
You can also check our review of the Angry Birds Plush Toys.