Balancing Bees Game Review – Balancing Bees by Getta 1 Games is a table-top construction toy designed for kids from 6-8 years old. It contains 24 wooden pieces in the shape of worker bees and a single two-part queen bee. The aim of the game is to add the worker bees to the queen bee, and to each other, without toppling the whole structure.
It is possible to play Balancing Bees as a solo game. Usually it is played with 2-4 players. Following the multiplayer rules, the worker bee pieces are divided equally among the players. Players then take it in turn to add a single bee. If the structure collapses, or a piece of it falls off, when the player is trying to attach his or her piece, then the player loses a turn. He or she must keep the piece and play passes on to the next person. The winner is the person who manages to place all of his or her pieces safely by attaching them to the growing hive structure. As the hive grows larger, and more complex, it becomes more and more difficult to attach new pieces to it.
The product is well made, with robust, wooden pieces that fit together well. The game comes with instructions for use, and it requires quite considerable skill to complete the hive construction. Players have to work out where to place their piece, and they must have a steady hand, so that they don’t disturb the fragile balance of the structure.
The manufacturer recommends that it should not be played by younger children because the small pieces could be a choking hazard. Children over the age of 9 or 10 might become bored with it, and so the 6-8 age range are most likely to enjoy it.
The game is similar to classic building games with wooden straws or bricks, but the pieces in Balancing Bees have irregular shapes and sizes. This means that there is an added level of difficulty in placing them on the structure. This game is ideal for helping active children to slow down and concentrate on a single task. It also helps kids to improve their hand-eye co-ordination and to work out physical principles such as weight and balance.
Another benefit is the way it offers an unpredictable sequence of successes and failures. Players learn to encourage each other, commiserate when the hive falls, and cope with the frustration that they feel when they do not succeed. This emotional aspect of the game is a very useful feature. It’s a great family game because many adults find the construction task quite tricky, and kids who practice the game can easily defeat older players.
Overall, then, this is a deceptively simple construction game. It is fun to play, and achieves just the right balance between challenge and reward to keep children motivated. It’s the kind of game you would like to have for those rainy days when the kids are trapped indoors and looking for something interesting to do.