Challenge your memory in this fun brain exercising game for the whole family!

Recommended Age:8+
Play Time:15+ minutes
Our Recommended Age:6+ (Younger with help)
Awards:2019 – Parents’ Choice Gold Award winner
Contents:25 Suspect Cards, 6 Number cards, 5 Feature cards, 1 Number die, 1 Feature die, 1 Notepad, 1 Instruction book
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Kosmos Games has created three amazing games that help improve your memory. Scientifically proven to improve your memory at that! This is important for us as a homeschool family with one adult and two kids with ADHD. Not only that but this game is a lot of fun and both my kids love it! Memorize the suspects, roll the dice and see if you remember the Color of shirt, Shirt accessory or animal of the suspect number rolled. Easy at first, harder later, always fun!

As you probably know by now we love board games. Especially educational board games! The Astute Goose is, first of all a hilarious name for a game, and second a very fun game. It plays quick, has almost no setup, has no reading except the instructions, and is super fun for kids and adults alike! As a bonus it also has been specifically designed to work the memory. Scientifically proven to train parts of your memory!!

The box is not big as all that comes inside are numbered cards, reference cards and the Suspect cards along with two dice and the instructions. There is a cardboard insert inside to split them up but give them a home and you can slide the cards out on the side easily if you want to leave them in the box. It is sturdy and has a standard lift top lid.

The cards are well made, not too thin or thick, the dice are well crafted and wooden and the artwork is adorable and fun and fits the them of the game perfectly. Never trust a man with a goose.

Ages 8+ are recommended but any child could easily play and you can always simply start with one Suspect at a time to help them adjust and work on their memory.

I’ll go over how to play a three player version as that is what was played for us for this review. We have played this game with four players, two players (not cooperative) and solo as well but that would be a very long post and no one reads those so I’ll just cover the one way. You’re welcome.


Have the most cards at the end of the game.


Set out a Reference Card (they call them Feature Cards) if you need it, shuffle the Suspect Cards into a face down pile. Give the Notepad to whomever will be keeping score and decide what level you will be playing.

We played on Expert just fine, but we also play a LOT of games. The difference is the number cards will either be 1 Number Card to 1 Suspect Card on Expert OR 2 Number cards to 1 Suspect Card on Easy. This means that Number Cards 1 & 4 will have 1 Suspect, 2 & 5 will have 1 and 3 & 6 will have 1 Suspect for a total of 3 Suspects.

Once you decide on the level simply follow the instructions on how to set up the game and then flip the Suspect Cards in play over so everyone can study them. Give everyone 2 minutes or sooner if everyone feels confident. Youngest player goes first much to the delight of the Diva.


Since we set it up for Expert we had all 6 Number Cards and 6 Suspect Cards. Keep in mind that each Suspect Card will have the same guy with the same black mask and in the same pose on them.

The things that change are the Animal (Goose, rat, cat, etc), the Clothing Feature (Bow tie, scarf, key chain, etc) and Clothing Color (Green, purple, red, etc). These are things you need to remember for each Suspect in the game and what number they are! I recommend a rhyme or simply repeated the Color, Item, Animal as my kids have done, but it only helps them sometimes so if you find something better let me know.

The two dice when rolled will tell you what number suspect you have to guess for and what feature, Clothing Color is the Solid Circle, Clothing Feature is the Shirt icon, and the Animal Feature is represented by a Goose.

On your turn, roll the dice. Recall, if you can, what the Suspect rolled had based on the Feature die. If you rolled a 4 and a Shirt then you have guess what color shirt the suspect #4 was wearing. You make your guess out loud but once you have done this you peek at the card without showing to anyone else or saying what it really is. Repeat, do NOT show this card to anyone else or say what it was. We still have to remind my kids of that which brings many giggles.

If you guess correctly you put the card in front of you as a win! Yay, you. If you guess incorrectly then the person to your left can guess and if they guess incorrectly it moves around in the same directions. Whoever guesses correctly must show the card to everyone else and gets to keep in front of them so yay them. However, if no one guess correctly then the card is removed from the game.

Since this happened to us a few times, giggle fits sometimes caused it and sometimes just distractions which we call “squirrel moments” would cause it, I’ll explain what happens if someone accidentally shows the card or says what it is. Simply give it to person to the left which in our case was my Diva’s brother, the Gentleman.

No matter what happens to that card it doesn’t go back to its spot so you have to draw a new Suspect Card and put it face up where the previous card was. Everyone gets a moment or two to study it and then it flips over. THIS is where the challenge comes in. Now the player to your left gets a turn.


When you roll the die and there is not a Suspect in that spot the game ends immediately. This means that you can play once you run out of cards and even until some Suspects are no longer there. Once the game ends everyone counts their cards and whoever has the most cards wins! Record your scores to compare the results to games you play later if you want to see if you improve in time.

The Solo version they reference in the instructions is super easy as it plays the exact same way even choosing a level, however if you guess wrong it goes to one pile and correct guesses go to another. Keep your score and see if you can improve it! They also have a Cooperative version!

Neuroscientists from a University in Germany used this game as part of a Scientific Study to see what “brain functions are used or required by these games” (Instructions page 10). This game in particular used the Working memory, Fluid Intelligence, and Episodic Memory. You can read more of what that means in the Instructions and I recommend that you do.

The Diva loves this game and it might just be her new favorite choice for Family Game Night even though she didn’t win this particular time, her brother did.

My favorite games are those that are fun, educational, good for replay, and have variations and The Astute Goose is all of those and more!


Share your Challenge Scores with us! @MyGeeklings #AstuteGoose

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”
~ Fred Rogers

Author: sandyz