Pros: Fun, fast-paced, easy-to-use, durable.
My nine-year-old son received the Hasbro Cosmic Catch as a Christmas present. The game comes with six multi-colored hand bands that have a coded reader embedded inside. The ball will automatically detect the color of the reader on your hand. Each person selects a color and then the fun begins. Warning: This game is addictive, even for adults!
Easy to Set Up
The bands that you attach to your hand do not require batteries. The ball itself has a removable piece which is best accessed using a small phillips head screwdriver. The ball requires four AAA 1.5 Volt batteries. The battery section is about an inch deep inside the ball, once the outer piece is removed, however the positive/negative symbols are easy to read. Installation is relatively easy...once the batteries are installed, the removable section is replaced over the batteries, and the two phillips head screws are screwed back into place.
Easy to Operate
This ball really doesn't require any instruction. The section of ball that covers the batteries also contains the on/off switch. This switch also doubles as the game-mode switch. One button...it doesn't get any easier than that. Once you turn on the game, it will ask you to identify players. You can pick the number of players, and each player chooses a color. The ball then tells you to pass the ball to each of the players. As the ball moves from player to player it will identify the color they are wearing. Once each player is identified, the ball should be returned to the first player, which will indicate to the game that all players are "in." In this manner, you don't have to program the number of players, regardless of the number, once the ball identifies a color it has already identified, it "reads" that as all players being selected. The ball will then ask which game you want to play. There are four options...Fast Pass, Code Challenge, Add One and You're Out.
Fast Pass is a game where all players are trying to beat the game. The ball will start with one player and call out another player's color. Once the ball is passed to the next player, the ball will call out another random color. Players continue passing the ball until the ball is passed to the wrong player, or is not passed within the required time. The time you are allowed to pass increases as the game goes along, which is indicated by a "ticking" bleep inside the ball. This game gets fun as the time frame gets shorter for passing. It would be a great ice-breaking game for early teens. You beat the game if you manage to make 99 passes without passing to the wrong player, or surpassing the time limit on any pass. Every time you make a mistake, you have to start over. The game will keep track of your high score.
Code Challenge is a revised version of the old Simon Sez game. Although the game doesn't give you the sequence. The players have to remember the sequence, and each time you hit a new level, you have to guess the next color. In effect, the first player passes to each of the other players until the ball indicates a correct pass. When this happens the second player has to figure out who to pass the ball to. Once you make an error, you have to start at the beginning again. So, you are initially breaking the code, while remembering the passes you make for each time the game starts over. The game will remember which level you are on, for the next time you play.
Add-One is a sequencing game much like Code Challenge. However, in this game, the players decide the sequence instead of cracking a code. This game isn't as fun as the others, but is still a fun way to pass the time.
You're Out is an updated take on the old Hot Potato game. In this game, you pass the pall to the color indicated. As the ball passes from color to color, the ticking sound inside increases. Finally, the ball will "explode" and the last player to have touched it is out. The game knows the players by color, and automatically eliminates that color from the game choices. The game continues with the colors that are left until everyone is eliminated except the winner. This game is fun and fast-paced. It is also a lot shorter than the other games.
The parts to this game are fairly simple. The ball is typical Nerf material, which means it is durable and soft. For this type of game play, I would expect the ball to last a long time. The player bands come with a clip to keep them together when you are not playing. The clip is hard plastic. The bands are made with hard plastic game pieces and an elastic band. I would imagine that the elastic band is the weak point in the construction of this game, although I have not experienced any problem with that yet. Additionally, the game will work even if the bands were to snap. This game, if used properly, should stand up to a decent amount of abuse.
We had a blast playing with this game the last couple of days. It is not a game that you can play over and over again (as an adult). However, it is definitely one that will be popular at parties, where younger children and even teenagers are gathered and looking for some entertainment. The game is simple to learn, and fast paced. It requires teamwork, so it is also good for team-building skills. I would highly recommend this game as an item to keep in your "toy box." It will provide youngsters and oldsters hours of fun. I would rate the Hasbro Cosmic Catch Nerf Ball Five stars out of five.