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FRIENDS   is a boardgame for 2-6 players who are in the toddler stage of life (3-6) and have an adult available to enjoy the fun with them. The Rules take about 2 minutes to understand and Games take less than 15 minutes to play, so it is just the sort of game for younger players, although my personal opinion is that perhaps 3 years is a little too young unless the kids are exceptionally bright. Talking of exceptionally bright, the game features brightly coloured, heavy-duty, die-cut tile pieces and a similarly colourful lightweight wooden die.

  

Each player has control of one of the plushy characters, sadly these are of heavy-duty tile where soft toys would have been more fun. If you have the soft toys (TY Beanies for example) available at home then have them sitting in the gallery (alongside of the board, from where they can be collected as necessary). Players are given a board of a single colour that has shaped spaces removed from it - the tiles from these spaces are the Plushy pix.

There is a tile of Peanut the Elephant which sits on a plastic stand to allow ease of movement. This is moved round the board clockwise by the roll of the die. The board has various shaped spaces on it around the edge and it is these spaces Peanut moves on. The Plushy tile Pieces have already been mixed face down on the table; if you have very young players it is an idea to keep the tiles face down but line them up into their respective types, so all triangles together, all stars together etc.

When Peanut lands on a space that isn't a star the player selects one of the tiles shaped the same as the space Peanut is on. They reveal the tile and if it is one they want for their collection - ie it is the same colour as their board and the same shape as one of the cut out spaces on their board, then they collect it. If it isn't a tile they want then it is returned face down and the next player rolls the die and moves Peanut around the board.

If Peanut lands on a Star then the player can look at any shaped piece, collecting it or returning it as necessary. 

The Green and Turquoiuse player boards are quite similar in colour under normal home lighting so it is good the designers have put character pictures and names on each board:
Rocco the Racoon (Purple), Coconut the Monkey (Yellow),  Duke the Puppydog (Dark Blue), Wishful the multi-coloured Unicorn (Red), Twigs the Giraffe (Green) and Waddles the Penguin (Turquoise).

  

The players are trying to be the first to fill their boards with the correct tiles, colour and shape. This is an ideal game to help youngsters learn their colours, shapes and also how to play a competitive game in a friendly manner. Make sure all players have had an equal number of turns before ending the game. If more than one player has filled their board by the game end then they all win !!!

This is more of an old fashioned English style family/children's boardgame, rolling a die and moving a piece round the board, though I am sure that other Europeans who were brought up on different boardgame styles will appreciate its family qualities.

TY FRIENDS from TACTIC has everything required for a young games playing family.

  

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015