|Players:||4 or More|
PlaSmart makes some pretty fantastic games and toys and Morphology is one of our favorites! A game that has you use your imagination to morph objects into something that represents a word. For the guessers you have to use your imagination to figure out what they are trying to show! I love creative games like this.
Morphology comes with a LOT of items to use in your morphing. A lot. There are 2 Black Circles, 1 Long String, 1 Square Piece of Green Felt, 6 Wood Rectangle Shaped Blocks, 4 Wooden People things, 9 Glass Beads (marbles that are flat on the bottom) and 18 Little Cubes with 3 each of the colors Blue, Red, Yellow, Green, Black and White. Those items are JUST for the morphing! It also comes with 4 colored (Pink, Purple, Green and Blue) frogs for the game, a Board of course, a Timer and 1 Die. The Rule Book comes with it too…obviously.
The Wooden pieces are that nice smooth wood that’s light so no splinters. The Beads are glass and small so watch for kids putting them in their mouth…or nose. I think they could fit in a nose….just be careful. The Cubes are small and plastic and feel like dice without the pips on it…which is neat and weird at the same time. The String reminds me of a shoelace and the Circles are rubber but not stretchy or rubber-band-like. The felt is just regular felt…but green.
The Timer is your standard game timer and the Die is like any other but the Frogs are plastic but not the flimsy plastic like they look. The Game Board is one of the smallest ones I have seen as it’s only a square with no folding or of any kind. It is basically the size of the box but decently made. Over all the pieces are very well made and as a bonus has my favorite Board Game Box feature. Everything has its very own place inside! Although getting the pieces out is kind of a hassle but really just for the Cubes.
My ONE complaint is that to get the Cubes out you have to dig or dump the contents, which is easier. Other than the game is well organized and very well made and of course the most important feature in a game, it’s fun! My son is going to be 6 and just getting into this type of imaginative free play and I LOVE it! My daughter is only 3 but she tries to make things. Mostly she just guesses right now.
We don’t really adjust the game for my son except one of us reads him the word and the other guesses. It’s a little tricky when everyone plays but we just make sure he understands that if a 2, 4, or 5 are rolled the adult is the Morphologist and if the a 1, 3, or 6 are rolled he can be the Morphologist. It’s fair and the other adult can still read the cards to him if need be. I really wish they had a Junior version with pictures but like pictures of things using basic shapes…that would be GREAT for the Diva.
Hopefully they will make something like that soon but in the mean time we will still enjoy Morphology. My Diva can’t play except to guess and then she builds for fun to learn. Her Cat doesn’t exactly resemble…anything really but she can sure build a table! She’s learning. It’s a process. Now let me show you how to play along with the modifications, small though they may be, I made for the Gentleman.
Guess correctly to be the first to reach the You Win! Lily Pad!
Not really a lot of setup here. Put the board in the middle of everyone and decide who is on what team. You need teams in this game. If playing with younger kids make sure one person can read on a team. Select your Frog and place them on the Start. Decide if you will use the Hints on the cards, which we always do and then shuffle cards. Of course put all the Morph pieces in a spot where everyone can see and reach them.
Let me explain the Dice and Lily Pads really quick. Each Lily Pad has either Free Play or Roll except the last one before the Win. On Roll you simply roll a die and each number means a different thing. Let me know try to explain.
Free Play: You can build using all the pieces. My son builds during Free Plays.
Roll: Roll the Die and do what the number says. Those are as follows:
1 – Free Play – You can build using all the pieces. My son builds during Free Plays.
2 – Everybody Plays – Free play but everyone can guess, including the other team. When playing with my kids the adult is the builder.
3 – Morph! – The person who is building, the Morphologist, gets to be a piece in the game! Basically if it says jump YOU can jump up and down! My son builds during this one.
4 – Interception – If your team can’t guess in time then the other team gets to guess. The adult should build here when playing with younger kids.
5 – Pick 5 – This one is tricky and means you can ONLY use 5 pieces. You can choose after looking at the card though so that’s somewhat helpful. Adults should build on this one or pretend it is a Free Play.
6 – Ribbit Ribbit! – This one is fun because it means the Morphologist can make noise to help their team mate. They are not a piece though just allowed to make noise. My son builds on this roll too.
All that explaining pretty much explains how to play the game too but I will clarify.
On Free Play Lily Pads you can your child can take turns or you can let them build all the time. Decide first and have them choose a card. In our case someone who can read on the other team tells my son what the word is if he doesn’t know it. He is just learning to read.
Now you are supposed to flip the timer once the Morphologist reads the hint out loud and starts building. In the case of my (I love but he is super slow) son we start the timer after he is done building. He likes to finish what he builds too and it is great practice. If you want to make it a bit more challenging you can not peek while they build.
For my daughter (the always a guesser) we use the timer for the builder since it is an adult and then give her 5 chances to guess. We will move it down to 3 guesses after she gets better at guessing…not everything is a Tower. For all older kids who can read…standard rules apply. No cheating.
If you guess correctly in the time frame given you get to move your Frog forward one Lily Pad, if not you simply don’t move. The last Lily Pad has to be guessed is the 5+1 and is a little different than anything else. It is similar to Free Play except someone from the other team picks 5 unique pieces for you to use without looking at the card first! These pieces have to be different which means you can’t just pick all cubes.
After the pieces are chosen the Morphologist looks at the word and reads the hint then picks ONE more piece to use in their building. If their team guesses correctly they win! If not…they have to try again on their next turn.
If you are on this Lily Pad and the other team has an Interception turn you CANNOT win by guessing correctly. You can still guess but you can’t move forward. You only win by guessing correctly from the 5+1 Pad.
During turns the Die is always passed to the left, the Morphologist cannot speak, cannot spell out words with the pieces (or make them into symbols) and cannot pretend to be a piece unless your roll says to do so.
You can add more to your game by picking ONE item from around your house to include in the game. We haven’t done this yet because I want them to get used to building with what the game gives us but it might be fun for an adult game night. You can also simply challenge yourself or your kids to build certain things. Flip a card and build! It’s a lot of fun! Here is the Gentleman as the Morphologist!
This is actually how I started getting my son used to playing the game. We simply read a card and took turns trying to build it. He does ok for the most part but in the beginning it was interesting..then again it was pretty interesting when I started too.
Can you guess what was built here? Leave a guess in the comments! (Just for fun!) Two were made by the Gentleman and one by the Mad Hatter.
If you are looking for a great creative game to play with your family, Morphology is the one for you. You COULD play with kids just starting to read but this game is perfect for the age it recommends which is 8+. Tweens, Teens and adults will have a lot of fun trying to make a Yawn, Yell, or Ski Hill on the Advanced side of the card although Escalator, Tie, and Turtle Neck aren’t exactly easy like it says.