So picture this. I’m strolling down the aisle at Walmart. It is a few days before Halloween. My brain is split between searching out cool discount decorations with which I can freak out the neighbourhood kids and finding the perfect birthday gift for my soon-to-be five year old little girl. Nothing like ghoulish vibes covered with rainbows and sparkles, right? It’s like Two-face teaming up with Rainbow Bright. Nothing is catching my eye. I’m feeling deflated. Suddenly, I spot it. The heavens open up , angels sing, doves fly and it is perfection. Unicorn Surprise, the board game. What five year old little girl doesn’t love unicorns? What five year old little girl doesn’t love crystals? What five year old little girl doesn’t love fairies? What five year old little girl doesn’t love poop? Okay…umm….maybe just mine. I mean most five year olds in general love fart jokes and poop stories but MY five year old LOVES them! This was going to be the best gift ever. Giggling to myself I hustled to my car. Once home, clutching the box to my chest and breathing deeply, very Gollum-like, I hide it in my bedroom. More secret and secure than the caves under the Misty Mountains, I waited to present the perfect gift.
A few days following a very successful Halloween (I think there may still be candy hidden to this day around my house) the birthday party was a go. The stage was set. Unicorn Surprise, wrapped nicely with a pretty bow was presented. Squeals of delight, much like I assume a hobbit soundslike upon learning it is time for Second Breakfast, escaped my five year old’s mouth. And then the giggles started. The giggles lasted the entirety of the game. Even the grown ups could not contain their amusement at making the small plastic unicorn poop out magic crystals.
The aim of the game is very simple. As a fairy your job is to collect as many magic crystals before the end of the day. Whoever has the most crystals when the Sun sets and the Moon rises, wins. The unicorn has many different coloured crystals it produces but there are 7 clear crystals. Each time a clear crystal is produced, it is placed on the game mat to indicate the passing of time. Players start with 3 cards each and these cards can allow you to collect crystals, steal crystals, gain extra cards, swap cards or even swap all crystals for another players’. Now this game may sound cute and sweet but honey, just like adorable Smeagul, this game can turn on you and leave you paralyzed, waiting for Shelob to devour you (Yes. I know. I like Lord of the Rings a lot, so what?) My five year old is a killer as soon as the game mat is laid out. No longer my sweet angel baby, she slaps down cards, stealing crystals and laughing maniacally like a Uruk-hai warrior (Meats back on the menu and it’s unicorn!). Do not be fooled by the cutesy exterior of this board game. It is brutal. Tears will be shed by young and old. As a parent you will feel a swell of pride as your child pulls a move so quick that even The Fash didn’t see it coming (Yeah, no I’m not just a one trick nerd.) Educationally this game is great for young children as it encourages basic counting and fine-gross motor skills with manipulating the crystals. It also encourages taking turns since it is a 2 to 4 player game. Each game takes roughly 15-20 minutes to play which is great for the short attention spans many younger players have. This game is another arrow in the quiver, much like Uno, towards encouraging gaming as a family. Unicorn Surprise is a fun way to end the evening as a family or during long rainy afternoons when you are stuck inside your cozy Hobbit Hole.