When I saw Chameleon Crunch in the list of games that I'd be receiving to review from Mattel, it was one that I'd never heard of so I had no idea what to expect. It's ended up being the Madhouse Mini-testers' absolute favourite game though so if you're looking for gift inspiration for kids aged about 4+, this may well be the perfect idea.
Inside the box you get a big, blue, friendly looking chameleon whose cheeky face already delighted the Madhouse Mini-testers, in particular 3-year-old Pierre. They had a good sort through the colourful bugs while I had a run around looking for the required 3 x AA batteries (because unfortunately they're not included in the box). Once I'd inserted the batteries and pushed the button on his back so that he sprang to life, they were in absolute raptures !
The chameleon walks around in a big circle, talking and making noises and opening his mouth so that you can throw in your bugs, having decided whether you're playing by colour or bug type - great practice of colour recognition and matching skills for younger players. Trying to throw in your bugs without missing and before he closes his mouth proved very entertaining and the excitement reached its peak when he opened his mouth and spat out the bugs he didn't want. Pierre was laughing so hard by now, I had to send him to the toilet urgently because I thought he'd wee himself !
You do need a large playing area, about 5 feet square, with a hard surface - lino or wood flooring is ideal, very thin carpet would be OK too but thick pile carpet would prevent it from working. A table top is another possibility if you have a big enough one or if you're careful to keep pushing the chameleon back towards the middle when he gets too close to the edge.
When he stops walking, the player with the most bugs in his mouth wins. There are four colours and four bug types so you can play with two, three or four players. If you have more kids than that, it's entertaining enough for them to watch and still have fun while waiting their turn though.
It seems pretty resistant - it's bashed into the wall several times and been knocked over by some rather over-enthusiastic bug throwing and it's not showing any signs of wear and tear yet ! If you have enough floor or table space to play it on, it's brilliant for pre-schoolers and their older siblings because it's pretty much all down to luck more than judgement so all players, whatever their age, have equal odds of winning.
star rating : 5/5
RRP : £19.99 (but only £9.99 on amazon at the moment)
Disclosure : I received a selection of games from Mattel in order to write honest reviews.
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