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We recently featured the children's 'snap'-type game Polar Panic on Board's Eye View. Flip-Pix! is similarly designed by Martin Nedergaard Andersen and published by Cheatwell Games. It too uses a deck of circular cards but it's a step up from Polar Panic and is aimed at slightly older children and families. It can be played and enjoyed by adults too as a fast, fun party game.

The 56 circular cards in Flix-Pix! all have four pictures on one side and three letters on the other. Some cards have one or more of the letters printed in red. The 2-6 players have the cards divvied up between them. A card is played initially picture side up in the centre of the table. As the central card is flipped to it letter side, players flick through the cards in their hand for a picture of an object that starts with one of the letters on the card. The first to call out an object from one of their cards gets to discard that card, playing it to the centre of the table letter side up so that those letters become the new target for players to match up with.

If a player makes a mistake they have to add a card to their hand as a forfeit. If they successfully match up an object and word with a letter printed in red they get to discard an extra card.

That's all there is to the game but it makes for a fast and furious party game that players of all ages can enjoy; the only pre-requisite being that children need to know what letters words begin with - hence our view that Flip-Pix! is for older kids. It's educational because players may well need to be creative in naming their objects so that they match one of the displayed letters. For example, if your card has a picture of an eye on it, you can obviously play it to match up with an E for eye but you might also play it as I for iris or P for pupil. The illustrations mostly make it possible to match up several different letters. Gamers may throw up their hands in horror that the six-sided die shown on one of the cards visibly displays a six and both three and four pip sides but at least it offers a range of words: D for dice, S for six, T for three, F for four and P for pips...

As a game Flip-Pix! has the advantage of incorporating a built-in catch-up mechanism because the better you do at the game the fewer cards you'll have left with illustrations to match up with letters. Despite this, we never found games with four or more players running any longer than 15-20 minutes. With two or three players, the game can run longer because each player has a larger starting 'hand' to plough through. The rules for Flip-Pix! indicate it's for up to six players but you can take the player count up to seven or eight. And if anyone in the family is learning a foreign language, you can easily press Flip-Pix! into use as a game that tests and reinforces vocabulary in that language.

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