Despite my best efforts, I absolutely have moments and perhaps even full days of being a helicopter parent. Constant worries that my little ladies are going to injure themselves or others, and micromanaging their actions a bit more closely than perhaps I should.
Then again … all too frequently when I let those annoying tendencies go, and allow my kids to follow their instincts, inevitably the following cry is unleashed:
MY SISTER IS THROWING TOYS AT ME!!!”
Fortunately, the urge to throw toys at each other can now be focused within the boundaries of a board game! Flying Kiwis is published by Blue Orange Games, with a design from Frank Bebenroth and Marco Teubner, and artwork also by Frank Bebenroth. It can be enjoyed by 2 to 4 players, recommended for ages 6 and up.
Before we jump into the game, perhaps we should mention that the Kiwis of this game are not anthropomorphic fruits (as I first thought!), but rather flightless birds native to New Zealand. How do these long-beaked birdies take flight, you ask? Let’s look into the game and find out.
Every player is given ten Kiwi discs and a catapult device. The game box itself is the target, with a recessed 4×4 grid of square-shaped pockets. To play the game, everyone simultaneously hurls their Kiwis at the box, hoping to land them in one of the sixteen pockets. If any player manages to complete a 2×2 square, or a 4-in-a-row line, they immediately win the game! If no player has won by the time all of the Kiwis have flown, the winner will be the player who has the most visible Kiwis.
Each game of Flying Kiwis only lasts about 5 minutes, and what a glorious five minutes they are! The game is utterly chaotic, filled with a uniquely goofy joy that can only come from catapulting flightless birds across a table.
LITTLE THUMBS – HOW IS IT FOR CHILDREN?
Speed games can be a bit of a mixed bag with little ones. Fortunately, Blue Orange was wise enough to include optional turn-based rules, which is definitely the place to start with young players. Many dexterity games are skill-based, and being able to watch other players manage a new skill can help with their own turns. Even for us big kids, it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of just tossing birds back and forth, losing sight of the actual goal of the game. However, with a few slower turn-based games, it won’t take long for everyone to be on a relatively even playing field, which will allow for the simultaneous silliness to commence!
Even with plenty of practice, parents should be prepared for these plucky pigeons to plummet off of the table and onto the floor every single game. For us, that means an opportunity to count the components to confirm that we still have ten birds per colour!
BIG THUMBS – HOW IS IT FOR ADULTS?
My series of Digging Into Dexterity articles are a testament to my love for games with kooky methods of interaction. In that respect, my plays of Flying Kiwis with adult groups have been an absolute blast, with every session involving multiple games, almost always resulting in copious amounts of explosive laughter! Even curmudgeonly gamers who roll their eyes at dexterity games can be convinced to play a few rounds of Flying Kiwis, as the game is over moments after it begins.
While the theming and artwork suggest a game that is intended for children first, I’m planning to keep Flying Kiwis shelved with my adult-intended dexterity games. It doesn’t offer the depth of some others in the genre, but the smiles and chuckles are definitely bigger after the little ones are asleep and us big kids are playing. In that respect, I’m recommending the game very highly!
As much as they have enjoyed our plays of Flying Kiwis, my children have not asked to revisit this game without prompting. My suspicion is that the skill is just a touch beyond their 3 and 5-year-old grasp, so we’ll definitely revisit this game when they are a bit older. Big and Little Bean will absolutely dive into the experience if I pull it off the shelf, but it’s clearly not connecting with them in the way other Blue Orange titles do. Save the Dragon continues to be a smash hit with everyone in our after school club, which probably casts a shadow on most other games on the shelf!
As mentioned above, I am considering Flying Kiwis primarily as a quick party game for adults, that can literally be played during bathroom breaks. It’s guaranteed fun, and a great way to shake up the energy of a game night. In the narrow category of quick dexterity games, Flying Kiwis is one of the best around, and we can strongly encourage purchasing a copy for both children and adults!
TWO BIG THUMBS UP!
TWO LITTLE THUMBS UP!
This article was made possible by Blue Orange Games, who provided us with a review copy of Flying Kiwis.