Gaming our way, part two: Swish, Jr.

Those who have read this blog probably have gathered we love to play games of all kinds. We have lots of them at home, and taking things on the road can get a bit cumbersome. When I find a game that is compact, fun across all ages, and is tidy I squeal (just a little bit, and mostly just in my own head)! We had 3 generations playing the game I am about to tell you about, and we all enjoyed it for several rounds.

On a recent vacation we popped into a small local toy store, as I am prone to do, especially when I see small family owned places. I love to have a look at game areas, especially in different countries, and this time we were visiting our neighbors to North. Games vary country to country due to popularity and cultural differences. Although sometimes they just have slightly different names (Chutes and Ladders is called Snakes and Ladders in England for instance). At this little toy store we found a really cool game called Swish, Jr. by Think Fun! Turns out they are a US company, but I hadn’t seen their game before. You can order directly from their web site or I saw Amazon had it as well…but check your local family toy store first if you can.

The game comes with its own little bag to keep all of the cards in, which makes it ideal for storage in our little cubbies.

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Nice, right? Especially for Type A people like me!

The cards are interesting too. They are clear, which allows you stack the cards to make and see “matches” after calling “Swish!”

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The other thing I like about the cards being plastic is that if something gets on them (say, spilled milk), they wipe off and you are ready to play again.

The only downside we have found to the game is that you need a slightly brighter background to lay the cards on, so you can see shapes better. You also do not want to play on a surface that has a lot of patterns on it (unless of course you would like the extra challenge!). I will need to make sure I pack something to put under the cards (even a white t-shirt will work).

You start by laying out 12 cards in a 4×3 grid.

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The dealer says “go” and players look for matches. A match is matching an inside shape with their outline, and you have to do it for both shapes on your card. The first person to call “Swish” gets to make the first match. You can either match 2 cards (which is easier and the shorties will have no trouble with that) or 3 cards which is harder (I try to do that to make the game to a little slower).

Here is an example of a 2 card match:

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Here is an example of a 3 card match:

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Then you put more cards out to replace the ones you matched from the stack of cards and continue on.

If you call “Swish” and can’t make a match, you have to give one of your earned cards back.

If I have completely confused you, I noticed there was a 3 minute instruction video on YouTube that shows you how to play (watch it here).

There are variations also listed in the instruction pamphlet to make things a bit more challenging. The game is rated for ages 5 and up, and I think that is pretty spot on. Some 4 year olds might do ok with it too. One of the things we like is that it gives our son practice with his S sounds, which is something he is working on with his Speech Teacher. It makes practicing fun!

The price is right around $13 for the game which makes it fairly reasonable too.

We highly recommend the game!

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