Pros: Mickey and the gang, short games, educational benefits
Cons: Might be hard to find
I bought Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Yahtzee Jr. for my daughter over a year ago. It was on sale at Target, and I asked her to choose between Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Toy Story themed Yahtzee Jr. sets. She chose Mickey Mouse.
Now, please don’t throw stones, but I’m not terribly familiar with the regular version of Yahtzee. All of my experience with Yahtzee comes from the Jr. version.
The first thing that I noticed when I opened up the box is that the game comes with five blue dice. Five blank blue dice. Apparently, the good folks at Parker Brothers expect the consumer to apply the stickers. It’s not the easiest thing to stick a tiny little sticker on each of the six sides of the little blue cube. Five dice with six sides per cube works out to THIRTY stickers. At least this only needs to be done once!
The featured characters are: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, and Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse. The Clubhouse serves as a wild card, and can be counted towards a character of your choice.
Before playing, divide up the scoring tokens among the players. Each player gets five scoring tokens of the same color. Now you’re ready to play the game! Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Yahtzee is intended for 2-4 players. The suggested age is 4+, but I’m pretty sure that I started playing the game with my daughter when she was about 3.5.
The game starts with the youngest player. The dice are placed into the (included) red plastic cup, and shaken onto the table. You must closely examine your dice. The goal is to get 5 dice with the same character’s picture. Now, it would be quite a feat to do that with one roll! Fortunately, you get three rolls.
Let’s say that on your first roll, you get 2 Mickeys, 1 Donald, 1 Goofy, and 1 Clubhouse. You’re going to want to call the Clubhouse a Mickey. Set aside the 2 Mickeys and the Clubhouse and roll the two remaining dice again.
On your second and third rolls, you are looking for more Mickey Mouse pictures. Continue to set aside any Mickey Mouse pictures. The goal is to get 5 Mickey Mouse pictures, and that is a Yahtzee!
At the end of your third roll, add up the number of Mickey Mouse pictures that you have and place a scoring token on the scoreboard. Now, it is the next player’s turn.
Of course, I only used Mickey Mouse as an example. The same applies to any of the characters, and that is where an element of strategy comes in. Only one scoring token can occupy each square on the scoreboard, so if another player has already scored a 5 in the Mickey category, then it is in your best interest to try to collect the pictures of another character. Two players can collect the same character, but the second player has to settle for the next available number; so, if the first player has already scored 5 in the Mickey category, and another player also scores 5 Mickeys, then the second player must place his scoring token on the 4 Mickeys spot.
At the end of the game, each player adds up his numbers on the scoreboard (5 Mickeys, 4 Goofys, etc). The player with the highest score is the winner!
It might sound confusing, but the game makes much more sense when you’re actually playing. We haven’t played Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Yahtzee in awhile, but my oldest daughter loved to play this game. She loved shaking the dice cup more than anything, and she loved counting up the characters and deciding which character she wanted to collect.
The game is relatively short. It takes about 30 minutes to play one game. The rules have scaled the number of turns based on the number on the number of players. A game with 4 players allows each player to have 3 turns, but a 2 player game allows each player to have 5 turns.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, I purchased Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Yahtzee Jr. at Target. This was a couple of years ago, and it does not appear that the game is still sold in stores. This means that your best bet is going to be finding this game on the secondary market. I would suggest checking consignment stores and sales, but Ebay can be a good resource as well. Please note that there is also a Mickey version of Yahtzee Jr.. While we do not own that particular version, it appears to be very similar. The main difference seems to be that it doesn’t have the Clubhouse. Clearly, this set pre-dates the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show. If you are having trouble tracking down a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse version of the game, perhaps the regular Mickey Mouse version would be an acceptable substitute.
I highly recommend Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Yahtzee Jr. As a parent, I appreciate the educational benefits that can be gained by playing Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Yahtzee Jr. While there is an element of counting, it is only counting from 1-5. The biggest benefit is the critical thinking, logic, and strategizing. Children must decide which character to go for, based on which other characters have already been scored.