Re:creation Cranium Cariboo

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Re:creation Cranium Cariboo

Taking a step away from trivia questions and clay sculpting, the makers of Cranium have instead created a game for teaching little ones a few colours,...

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80% positive

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Review of "Re:creation Cranium Cariboo"

published 13/11/2009 | oldchem
Member since : 30/05/2009
Reviews : 410
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About me :
Pro Fun and educational
Cons Just a couple of little niggles but nothing major
very helpful
Value for Money
Playability & Enjoyment
Design & Presentation

"Cranium Training Preschool Variety"

Re:creation Cranium Cariboo

Re:creation Cranium Cariboo


I bought this game for my granddaughters third birthday.

It’s a fun and educational game for preschoolers that helps with letter, number, colour, and shape recognition.

It’s an ideal first game, to get children used to the idea of a structured game, and it’s also a much more tolerable game for adults to play than many of the standard preschool games on the market.

The basics

Cranium Cariboo is a game aimed at 3- to 6-year-olds. It can be played with 2-4 players and combines a treasure hunt with colourful bouncy balls, an easy-to-use key, and lots of cards and doors.

The board itself consists of two parts: a large section where there are doorways where the six included balls are hidden and a narrow section where the balls are stored once they’re found. When all 6 balls have been found and put inside the collection area or “Tidepool,” they press up against a piece that opens up a treasure chest. A beautiful “gem” is revealed and the game ends.

The game can be played two ways: Beginner and Advanced.

Cards, cards, cards

There are two decks of cards—Beginner and Advanced—for use with this game.

In addition, each of the 15 trap doors on the board has a card on it.

The cards can be played in the Beginner or Advanced mode by sliding them out and flipping them before gameplay begins.

These door cards have pictures on them as well as the written name of the object beneath the picture. For instance, the Beginner illustrations include a picture of four yellow square books with the word Books written beneath it and a picture of three red circle cupcakes with the word Cupcakes below it. In this Beginner mode, players pick a card from the Beginner deck of cards (which have one highlighted colour, number, shape, or letter on each one) and match it to one of the door cards.

Then the included key is used to open the door and check for one of the balls. Regardless of whether you find a ball or not, that is the end of the player’s turn.

Whereas the Beginner cards are easy to spot matches (the words are printed larger, the first letter of each word is capitalized and bolded, and the largest number to match is four), the Advanced cards require some counting and careful “reading” (letter recognition of all the lowercased letters in longer words).

For example, one of the door cards has four astronauts while another has eight vegetables.

My thoughts

My granddaughter loved it and wanted to play it all the time.

It was much more enjoyable for me than many of her other games and it did an excellent job of reinforcing educational concepts in a fun way.

Also the gameplay is quick.

My granddaughter and I can play several times in a half hour ( and it’s not too tedious since the cards change and the balls get hidden behind different doors each time.

Plus, the game encourages teamwork.

The rules explain that the object of the game is to “work together to find all six treasure balls and open the treasure chest.” There’s still a winner, but at least the “loser” feels like they helped contribute.

But I do have a couple of problems with this game. For one thing, the cards are rather small for a three-year-old to deal with.

y granddaughter has problems taking one card from the deck at a time and there’s no neat way to keep them in a pile when playing with a preschooler.

I think that a storage area or dispenser for the decks of cards would be a good idea. That would make the gameplay easier and cleaning up would be a lot quicker.

From the first day we had this game, our treasure chest would not open on its own. It also gets jammed often and I end up just opening it by hand after all six balls are in the Tidepool.
To be honest though, that's not too much of an inconvenience and my granddaughter doesn’t seem to care and still enjoys seeing the glittery purple jewel inside.

The balls can sometimes get stuck behind the same door. So you do need to tip the board a bit before the game begins so the balls each roll into their own indentations behind the doors.

I also wish the door cards flipped easier. They are somewhat thick and laminated, but they’re still starting to bend after only a few months months of play.


Even with all my few moans about this game, I still think it’s much more enjoyable and educational than the vast assortment of boardgames targeted toward preschoolers. If this game ever comes in a deluxe version with better storage for the cards, I’d give it five stars. For now, four stars.

This game is available from around £15

It is now available at

for £11.79 with free delivery

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Comments on this review

  • paulpry118 published 14/11/2009
    I might treat my daughter to this for xmas, she seems to be having problems with her alphabet at the moment
  • D_i_a_n_e published 13/11/2009
    Great review
  • catsholiday published 13/11/2009
    Certainly looks like your grand daughter enjoys it.
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Product Information : Re:creation Cranium Cariboo

Manufacturer's product description

Taking a step away from trivia questions and clay sculpting, the makers of Cranium have instead created a game for teaching little ones a few colours, shapes, numbers, and letters. (And, if you know 3- to 6-year-olds that won't lose all the included cards and balls, they may also learn sharing, cooperation, and imaginative play.) --Lucie Naylor Box ContentsCariboo Island game boardSix treasure ballsFour types of matching cardsKeyTreasure chestCariboo Island treasure mapInstructions

Product Details

EAN: 9781893028210

Type: Board Game

Sub Type: Children's Board Game

Manufacturer: Re:creation


Listed on Ciao since: 29/06/2009