By Contributor Pamela Chan

We opened the Pop-Up Magic Castle game with much anticipation as we knew, from the photo on the outside box, that it included a pop up castle. The graphics, pictures on the board and castle are well produced and create a three dimensional set up. The figurines are well made and have a hint of sparkle on their clothing. Other than the figurines, the only other items that the players have to look after are the 12 tokens and the spinner.

In the Box

The box contains the follow items:

  •  Game Board with pop up castle on the inside
  •  4 princess figurines (Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Belle and Ariel)
  •  12 game tokens
  •  1 spinner with numbers on it

How the Game Works

To play the game you open up the board and spread the tokens around, face down. The youngest child goes first and chooses a character. The player spins the spinner and progresses along the path. The spaces include a plain rock, jewel or villain. The player who lands on a jewel picks up one of the counters that has been placed face side down. If the counter is colour coded to go with your character the player can keep it and then move ahead six spaces. If the player lands on a villain, a move back three spaces is required. Eventually the player who arrives first at the castle wins. A player who collects three tokens goes straight to the Magic Castle and wins.

Our Alterations

To keep the tokens organized, we added in two small containers. (Recycled face cream jars.)

We added a fifth character to the game. It is a small seahorse statue by Disney that had a small Ariel attached. It fits perfectly on the spaces and broadens the scope of characters so there are more than princesses. My son likes to start off with this character and is happy to use the princess characters later. The children call it a dragon – probably as a nod to the dragon in Sleeping Beauty.

The game is called Pop-Up Magic Castle but my children call it Capture the Castle. Many of the adventure stories they read that are pitched to girls today involve adventure, bravery and some kind of mission. So this title seems to fit with the spirit that my children associate with these stories.

Additional Add-Ons

To extend the board you can purchase the Cinderella’s Coach Game and the Tangled Game boards to add on either side of the castle game. This would be a good idea as children would enjoy traveling around these parts of the boards as well.

The Product Was a Hit

This game is designed for children ages 3 and up and involves 2 – 4 players. My children are 4 1/2. Once they were shown how to play the game, they quickly developed the ability to play independently without adult assistance. Between the two of them they are able to remind themselves about the rules and negotiate if they encountered a hiccup. At this age children can develop a strong competitive spirit. Somehow they seem to negotiate with each other and decide that the person who reaches the end can go back to the beginning, choose another character and continue to go along the path. In this way they turn the game into a cooperative game.

Pamela Chan lives in the Tri Cities area near Vancouver with her husband and four year old twins. They enjoy exploring cultural events and scenic local parks. On she writes about ideas that strengthen our communities and celebrate multiculturalism in British Columbia.

Disclosure:  I received a sample of a product to facilitate this post.  All views and opinions stated on this post are 100% my own.