ThinkFun Zingo Game

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Zingo - Preschool Bingo

May 25, 2009
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Sliding tile dispenser

Cons:Boring, still just Bingo

The Bottom Line: Zingo is Bingo for preschoolers, and it is hard to make Bingo fun or exciting, although Zingo tries.

My son received several games for his fourth birthday. Zingo, a preschool version of Bingo was one of them.

The Game
Instead of having letters and numbers, Zingo cards have 9 pictures with the corresponding word written below it. There is a sliding plastic dispenser that shows two tiles at a time. If a player has a match on their card to either tile they call out the name of the object. The first player to call out the object gets to place it on their card. Play continues with players racing for the tiles they need until someone fills their card. Zingo is for 2-8 players ages 4-8. Games take less than 10 minutes to play.

Our Experience
Zingo is a reasonably fun game, but not the best one we have, nor is it even the best my son received for his birthday. Bingo simply isn't all that fun game, although Thinkfun attempted to improve upon it. First they definitely made Zingo appealing to preschoolers by using familiar objects, like a hat, kite and apple. Unfortunately, at least in this house, those pictures make this game too "babyish" for Five and Seven to want to play.

The competition for the tiles makes game more interesting as well. However, Four does not like losing out on a tile he needs when an opponent is a little faster. As he gets older that will be less of an issue, although by that time he will likely have outgrown the game. The game does have two levels depending on which side of the card you are playing. The easy side has fewer repeats between cards, reducing the competition for tiles. The opposite side has many more repeats among players, which increases the competition between players.

The best part of Zingo is the sliding tile dispenser. My son loves to slide it forward and back to reveal the next pair of tiles. Although the instructions suggest an adult or older child should operate the dispenser, my son has no trouble sliding it. Surprisingly it never gets jammed. You do need to make sure that the tiles are loaded correctly with the pictures face up.

No matter what they did to dress by Zingo, it is still just Bingo. You are covering squares on a card in an attempt to make some sort of pattern (in this case fill the card.) Matching is the big skill Zingo has to offer, and there are plenty of other games that do that.

Final Thoughts
Zingo is a cute preschool game but not one of our favorites. So long as my son gets first pick of the tiles he is happy, right now he does not like the competition aspect of Zingo. Although supposedly geared for children through early elementary school, my two older girls call Zingo boring. Zingo is also available with cards that have one side in English and the other in  Spanish, French or Hebrew.

Recommend this product? No

Amount Paid (US$): gift

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