‘The Hare and the Tortoise’ board game review
By Ed Appleby, Senior Columnist
Despite how many people assume that games are strictly for children and that, as we get older, we should focus on more “adult” pursuits, I rarely come across board games that I would consider “kid friendly.”
Whether it is in subject matter or rule complexity, many games nowadays tend to be made for a more mature audience. Even classics like Clue or Monopoly are heavy when it comes to subject matter. How nice it was to come across a game that, though aimed at a younger audience, still has enough complexity and breadth to keep adults entertained too?
Tales and Games: The Hare and the Tortoise (2011) is a card-driven betting game for two to five people designed by Gary Kim and published by IELLO. In the game, players place two bets—one random, one chosen—on who will win the rematch between the Hare and the Tortoise, with challengers the Wolf, Fox, and Sheep also participating. Players take turns laying down cards in order to move the racers, with each racer moving in a different way at a different speed. First, second and third place score points, and the player with the most points wins the game.
Each round of the game is very fast, and the whole game can be completed in less than half an hour, allowing multiple games to be played in a session. The whimsical setting and simple rules allow the game to be played by children, but it still has enough strategy and complexity to be stimulating to parents. Rather than a simple roll-and-move mechanic, the card-based play and character-based movement give the game depth and allow players more control over the game.
This game is the third in IELLO’s Tales and Games series—the other two being The Three Little Pigs (2013) and Baba Yaga (2013). These games are kid-friendly and include the in the box several folk tales related to the subject. In the case of The Hare and the Tortoise, it comes with versions of the familiar tale by Aesop, Jean de La Fontaine, and Benoît de La Flaque, adding to the educational value of the piece.
I would recommend this game to anyone with children, or as a gift for a child. It is a great introduction to the wonderful experiences that board games can be.