I have the genie!
One of those games you find in the cupboard at holiday cottages and in many homes, Frustration! is just a branded version of Ludo or Parcheesi and I figure is best viewed as a gateway drug for backgammon, which is one of my favourite traditional games. Our version has been sitting on the shelf for some time after picking it up for cheap at a supermarket, but now Miss B asked to give it a try.
One of the attractions of this game is that the dice are enclosed in a special popper (in this case with paddles at the side which you whack to roll the dice) and there are holes to stick the men in so they don’t get knocked off the board all the time (a constant hazard when playing with a young child). Well, it turns out that when an enthusiastic five-year-old whacks the paddles, the men have a tendency to pop out of their holes anyway, so it is important to hold the board down firmly when dice are getting rolled.
Overall the game went pretty well, but with the run of luck that we had we might just as well have been playing snakes and ladders for all the interaction between us. With a couple more players, however, things would have got a lot more manic, and a lot more fun would have been had. I think I’ll keep this off the “live” pile when it’s just the two of us, though.
The verdict from Miss B (aged 5¼) : “I liked it because I kept getting the sixes.”
The game: Frustration! (Hasbro), 2 to 4 players aged 6+