Games come in an array of shapes and sizes and “Lucky Ducks” by Pressman-Goliath (a joint company that produces games and toys) is one of the best introductory games for young children. I review dozens of games every year, but “Lucky Ducks” immediately captured my attention since it is extremely attention-grabbing due to pure cuteness. The box alone is enough to seize the heart of any animal-lover: it depicts an illustrated image of fluffy yellow ducklings joyfully splashing around in a peaceful pond.
“Luck Ducks” is a cheerfully colored game that has a unique rotating platform. Aimed at ages three and over (although children as young as two could enjoy it), “Lucky Ducks” contains a rotational “board” that resembles a lake and twelve adorable yellow ducks. There are four sides to the board, each containing a unique shape and color (a red circle, a blue star, a green triangle, and a purple square).
Upon opening the box, the board slide out in one piece, although I needed to add batteries (which were not included) to make it operational. The twelve adorable yellow plastic ducks came wrapped in a plastic bag and a role of stickers was provided to “decorate” the ducks and parts of the board.
How to Play
After you place the ducks on the board facing clockwise, press the orange button at the center of the board. The board then starts to spin and the ducks seem to “swim” around it in tune to cute “quacking” sound effects. The object of the game is to collect all three ducks that suit the color/shape that you are sitting in front of, before another player can collect all of their ducks.
Pros and Benefits
Overall, this is an extremely simple yet cute and fun game that is ideal for smaller children. Even if older kids and adults will quickly find it too repetitive and easy, it works wonders for the very young age range for which it was created. It teaches basic concepts about matching (either colors or shapes), recognizing patterns, and identifying colors. You can also play a “guessing game” by trying to guess which emblem the next duck you select will be. It is also a fantastic way for adults and children to bond whilst playing a fun game.
Cons and Drawbacks
The true downside to this game is the set-up. When you open the box, the ducks do not yet have their eyes or identifying stickers at their base. The set comes with stickers that the users must unpeel and place onto the ducks. While the circle-shaped stickers identifying the colors and patterns are easy to adhere, the stickers to fill in the duck’s eyes are very tiny and difficult to manipulate. Moreover, if you place a sticker wrong it can be difficult to unpeel it and reattach it without ripping the paper. I had some trouble correctly placing the small eye stickers…and I am someone who has a fairly steady hand. If the ducks came “ready to play” like the board did, there would be less hassle at the set up.
Fun Additional Ideas
Although “Lucky Ducks” is fun to play on its own, its truly potential lies in how it can be used to play additional, non-standard, games. Most obviously, the adorable duck pieces lend themselves well to playsets and so there are limitless opportunities for children to use their imaginations to give each duck a unique name and backstory. Moreover, parents can even use these duck figurines to teach children about ducks and/or discuss the difference between how real ducks look versus the cartoony-imagery of the toy ducks.
General Information Recap
“Lucky Ducks” is intended for between two and four players ages three and up. It includes motorized “pond,” twelve ducks, and complete instructions. It requires two AA batteries (not included) and retails for $24.99. Personally, I highly recommend this game for children ages five and under–especially children who are fond of animals. Since it includes twelve stand-alone duck figurines, you are essentially a game and several toys all in one wonderful package. The cute visuals, engaging gameplay, and possible multi-uses make “Lucky Ducks” a plaything that you and your children will return to over and over again.
To learn more, visit the official Pressman Toy website.