The family that plays together, stays together!
That’s why we have a big closet in our living room full of puzzles and games, from classics like Monopoly, checkers, and Candyland, to newer games like Sneaky Snacky Squirrels and Settlers of Catan. We’re always up for discovering new games, and today I want to tell you about a unique interactive family game that blends toy with tech using Augmented Reality technology. Originally funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign, our latest addition to family game night is Beasts of Balance.
The first thing I noticed when we opened up the box was the artistry of the beautifully shaped and colourful plastic play pieces. Each stylized and geometric beast is designed for stacking as well as to represent the essence of each beast. (Though I have to admit it took me a few seconds to recognize the toucan because I started out holding it upside down. What’s this? A boat? A shoe? Ohhh. *blushes*)
The Beasts of Balance: Core Edition game comes with 6 beasts – bear, warthog, octopus, shark, eagle, and toucan – 10 elemental artefacts, 3 “cross” artefacts, 3 “migrate” artefacts, and 2 “miracle” artefacts. The goal is to build a tower, balancing each play piece on top of each other. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? But stacking all the oddly shaped pieces, keeping the beasts from going extinct, and beating your high score is definitely a challenge for all ages.
You start by connecting the game with the Beasts of Balance app (iOS or Android) on your phone or tablet. The play plinth connects to your device using Bluetooth, and the app bring the pieces to virtual life and keeps score.
Touch the glyph on each artefact to the glyph on the plinth to introduce your beasts to the Land, a colourful fantasy world. You can feed them and evolve them, but be careful not to knock them over!
Topple the tower and you’ll have seven seconds to rebuild before the volcano erupts! Trust me when I say that seven seconds is even less time than it sounds when one kid is anxiously yelling, “Put it back! Put it back!” and the other one is cheering for the volcano to explode.
Transform your original beasts into new ones by adding artefacts that crossbreed or migrate the animals into new environments.
There are over a hundred fantastical hybrids to find. Keep track of them in the Bestiary accessible from the home screen.
Special “miracle” artefacts add to the challenge. The curved Distraction artefact requires players to do certain tasks at the same time as they take their turn. The knot-shaped Haste artefact adds a time limit. More difficulty means more points, so play these early!
Beasts of Balance can be played by one or more players cooperatively and encourages fine motor control, focus, strategy, and teamwork. We’ve had our set for close to a month and it’s never been close to the back of games closet yet. Everyone who sees it wants to give it a try!
The kids have been playing Beasts of Balance over and over, not just to score more points, but also to collect the new hybrid beasts. On family game nights we play on the TV for a more immersive experience. You can use an Apple TV, a Fire TV Box, or mirror your smart phone or tablet via an app. Check out this video for more game play!
Win Beasts of Balance
One of my readers will win their own Beasts of Balance game for family game night! Enter in the giveaway widget below. This giveaway is open to residents of Canada, 18+. All the winner’s entries will be verified.
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Disclosure: I received a sample to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are completely honest and my own, based on my personal experience. Your experience may differ. This post contains affiliate links. This West Coast Mommy is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. I will receive a small commission if you purchase through my link, at no additional cost to you. This income helps pay for the operating costs of my website – thank you for your support!