26608Leave it to Ravensburger to use their exceptional die cut engineering magic to fashion a 3D Doodle Jump playing surface adapting the popular app to a board game, adding significant math learning and strategy, that generates conversation and thinking out loud. Doodle Jump, now a hands-on, touch and feel experience including the bouncy, fun Power tiles– trampoline, springs, jetpack and propeller hat–has maintained the lively play of the app while integrating addition skills needed to advance up the board. Pick one of four Doodlers, roll the 6 dice, and combine and count them as needed to match a number on the the reachable pads, strategizing as  you aim for certain jumps, while taking risk with subsequent rolls.The winner is the first Doodler to reach the top of the game board. Challenges include selecting the best moves available to you by evaluating all the possible die sums, moving your Doodler to maximize future options for advancement, and knowing when to take another roll of the die to move ahead even with a chance of falling down the 8 levels. A game for 8 years and up, we were surprised by all the table talk – and there was a lot of it. Seems like the calculator sound switch in everyone’s head was  “On,” with a continuous stream of numerical calculations shared, as well as suggested Doodler moves. Added to that, there is a “Final Answer ?” / “Go for door # _ ” excitement around whether players risk another roll to move ahead, or fall way down the 8 game level boards. Kids love the option to land on fellow-Doodlers and knock them down the board, or on Power or Expert Tiles which bring fun twists-and-turns into play, including defenses and abilities to be deployed when players most need them. Language  pours out of the fun being had … one aggressive gamer yelled, “I’m gonna do it for luck,” shaking the dice near his ear, while others are anticipating aloud “I need dice that add up to a 9,” causing others to reflexively respond “2+7, 8+1, 3+3+3 …. So strange how all that addition, strategizing and evaluating seemed like such an agonizing burden at school … how come the Doodlers were having such fun doing the same thing a few hours later?

Bob Artemenko. Bob loves play and words. Poet, pilot, and ex-minor leaguer, he’s the go -to big guy on the street for throwing batting practice.