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As those of you who are regular readers of my reviews will know, I have an 8 year old son so as you can probably imagine, I have a vast quantity of games and toys of his to review. With Christmas out of the way I have had a good sort out of his games and toys and came across one that I’d forgotten he’d got. That game was the Scooby Doo Escape The Phantom game.
This wasn’t purchased for him as a birthday or Christmas present, he chose it himself as a reward for an excellent school term and I think he was attracted to it purely because at the time he was a Scooby Doo fan. The game wasn’t cheap even though it was purchased a while ago and my partner paid around £13.00 for it at the time.
It is a bog standard board game and within the box you get a square board, four playing characters, four character stands, a dice and the phantom. The four playing characters are little coloured pieces of card with a Scooby Doo character on each card. As there are only four characters, this game can only be played by four players maximum.
The initial set up of the game is simple. The phantom needs 1x AAA battery inserting and then you simply have to attach the characters to a stand so you can ‘walk’ them around the board. The board has round circles as steps and each player takes it in turns to roll the dice and move the amount of steps that the dice states, making their way around the board trying to get back to the start. Some steps have directions on such as moving back and forward a number of spaces but that’s it. The first player back to the starting point wins the game.
As the game is called ‘Escape the Phantom’, the concept isn’t as easy as simply moving around the board, you have to escape the phantom too. The phantom is a large plastic ghost which you place on the track on the board away from the characters and switch him on. The phantom starts to move slowly around the board trying to catch up with your characters. Although the idea of the game is very simple as you only have to move around the board, the fun aspect is that the game has to move at a rather quick speed in order for all players to avoid getting ‘caught’ by the phantom. This works especially well if you have four players playing the game as the game really does have to move at a fast pace to enable all players to get around the board quickly.
Quite often, my son and I played this on our own and it didn’t quite have the same effect as with four players as we have found that we both manage to get around the board without the phantom getting too close so you don’t get the same intensity and with the phantom being the only real thing of interest in this game, my son found it a little boring after a few games. It is far more fun with four players though as the phantom always manages to reach at least one or two players before the game ends.
The good thing about this game is that even with four players, the game is over relatively quickly so although there isn’t that much in the game to keep a child interested, you can keep their attention long enough to complete the game without their minds wandering.
There isn’t really anything educational about this game at all, it is all about the fun aspect. The most you can get from it is your child having to count the spots on the dice on their turn, but if your child owns this game at a similar age to my son, then your child will probably by now like my son is so he really doesn’t get anything from this at all on an educational level.
All in all this is a really simple game to set up and play. There aren’t any fiddly bits and the object of the game couldn’t be simpler. This game can be quite fun with maximum players but doesn’t have quite the same effect when playing less people. This game is a real no-brainer but is quite fun and is over with quickly which is good. This isn’t the best game I have played with my son by a long way and I don’t think he would have been quite so interested in it if it wasn’t based on Scooby Doo, but generally he enjoys the game so it comes with a recommendation from me, but not a high one.