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Review: Dr. Eureka

Those pesky balls are tough to control!

Those pesky balls are tough to control!

The folks over at Blue Orange Games — the manufacturer of our other favorite game, Doodle Quest — sent me Dr. Eureka a few months back. Although we’ve played it many times over the summer, this is the first chance I’m getting to review it. In three words: We loved it!

The game is designed for kids and adults ages 8 and up, but we’ve played it with kids as young as six. (The six-year-old actually did better than some of the adults!) The company describes the game like this: “Players pass colorful molecules between test tubes to match the pattern on a challenge card, building both cognitive processing and dexterity skills. Play it alone or at a party with friends, Dr. Eureka is your best bet for some crazy molecule juggling fun!”

What does that mean? Everyone gets three little plastic tubes and six colored balls — two of each color. The game also comes with 54 cards that show different variations of the little balls sitting in the test tubes. For instance, it might have no balls in one, four in another and two in the last tube. When a card is flipped over, everyone has to work as quickly and carefully as possible to duplicate what’s on that card without touching the balls or letting them drop.Do either and you’re out of the game! The first person to match the pattern on the card wins.

What I love about this game is that it makes you think. You’ve got to think about how you can best move the balls from tube to tube in the fewest number of steps. Do you pour four of them into one tube and manipulate the other two? Do you try and work from the bottom? The whole process might sound easy, but moving those balls from tube to tube is much more challenging than you’d think! Your fine motor skills definitely get a workout. “The tubes are so narrow,” was something one of the adults actually said out loud!

We’ve played it about four or five times and have not gotten to the end of the 54-card deck, but I do wonder if there are any additional permutations (and add-on packs) that we can buy. In the meantime, it’s definitely one of those games that everyone can get behind. Good clean summer fun — just make sure you play in an area that doesn’t have a lot of furniture. Those little balls tend to roll far if you drop them.

 

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