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King-size Chess, anyone?

At a time when iPads and Nintendos rule the roost, it can be quite difficult for a parent to get children to sit down and play a ‘real‘ board game. I have always had a soft corner for board games like Othello, Monopoly, Connect 4, etc. because I feel they enrich us. Games like Chess, for example, help us develop not just concentration but also strategic thinking. And what better age to introduce this, than childhood?

Believe it or not, I did not have the fortune of learning to play Chess during my childhood. A neighbour once offered to teach me, but I guess I found it intimidating! Add to it, a problem of ‘butter fingers’ and this game was out of my league!

I definitely wanted to introduce my 6-year-old to this timeless classic!! However, as you can imagine, expecting a child of this age to sit still and understand the complex rules of Chess can be quite challenging!

Therefore, what better way to do it, than present him with a KING SIZE version of the game?

I was very excited when I came across ‘Big Game Hunters’ (specialists in garden/outdoor toys and giant play equipment). Their ‘standard chess set’ is actually rather huge! My son’s eyes lit up when the box was delivered. He couldn’t wait to arrange the pieces (as per the very handy instruction leaflet) straight away.

As a parent, I am glad that this set has rekindled interest in playing real (touch and feel) board games, as opposed to a rather sedentary Temple Run and Subway Surfer!

The child in me was reminded me of the wizard chess that Harry Potter and Ron Weasley played 🙂 Just that in this case, the magic was not a ‘philosopher’s stone’ but the exciting life-size experience of the game itself 🙂

However, do be aware that (as displayed in the website and Facebook page), the sets are quite big, and take up space, even when they are boxed.

As regards the product review goes, I would rate this 4.0/5.0, the rationale being as follows:

Pros:

  • Sturdy and robust pieces, especially for little hands. Butter fingers welcome 🙂
  • An innovative take on a classic game, definitely kindles interest, especially for kids.
  • Excellent delivery (super fast timeline and efficient tracking)

Cons:

  • The mat is a little thin and slippery, and crumples easily. Realised it only when a toddler crawled over it, and by the time we could yank him off, the mat had already crumpled. Perhaps a matte finish would have worked better?

I would definitely recommend this product (if you have the space, that is), both for its intrinsic value, and also as an alternative to watching TV indoors or smashing insects on an iPad!!

(PS: I received a chess set from Big Game Hunters for the purpose of this trial. No other consideration was received for this review. The review is entirely personal and not influenced by Big Game Hunters in any way whatsoever).