WBG Score: 6.5
Published by: The Op
Designed by: (Uncredited)
Lotería has been around for years. Since the fifteenth century in fact. It is Spanish for "lottery" and is a very close cousin of Bingo. It has played a huge part in the cultural history of Mexico and Italy. It has been used to help entertain the masses, teach children the language, whilst helping to represent Mexican heritage. Netflix are making a movie about the game. Google honoured the game with one of their doodles. But now, it's the big time. Hello Kitty have branded their own version of the game. Surely the highlight for this epic game! ;) Let's get it to the table and see how it plays.
Now, bear with me. This is going to take a while. Give each player a player mat and shuffle the deck of cards. Place the tokens and cards in to the centre of the table. You are now ready to play. Still with me? Tricky one isn't it!
How to Play
Now, turn over the top card and read out the name of the card and/or number. Each player will then check their own unique player board to see if they have this character on their mat. If they do, they can mark it off using one of the shared tokens. If not, they simply wait for the next card. When all players are ready, the next card is revealed. The game will continue like this until one person meets one of the various winning criteria. This is to have a run of four horizontally, vertically, in each of the four corners of the board, or in a two-by-two box. At this point they must shout "Super cute." The drawn cards are checked against their winning symbols and then if correct, they are declared the winner.
You can also play a more traditional way, where someone acts as a caller. Revealing the cards one by one. But instead of saying their name or number, they reveal a verse or riddle based on the cards appearance instead. Players need to guess as best they can which card they think the caller is referencing, and mark off as appropriate. It's a fun way to play both for the players marking off the cards as well as the caller. In fact, its my favourite way to play. I love being the caller, but my children rarely let me have the chance! They love it too.
Is it Fun?
If you have played bingo or Lotería before you will be very familiar with this game. It does not bring anything new to the table other than the Hello Kitty theme. If you have other copies of this game already, then I would suggest you would only want to consider this if you are a collector. Or a huge fan of Hello Kitty. If you don't own a copy yet and have young children then I would encourage checking this out. My seven year old daughter played this five times on the first night we received this copy and immediately declared this as her favourite game of all time! As a 42 year old man, I feel I must bow down to this opinion over mine for this game.
The player mats are nice and thick, as are the tokens. The cards however are a little flimsy which is a shame as you will be shuffling them a lot. But the art style is wonderful. For any Hello Kitty fan you are going to be in heaven. They really pop.
It is not all Hello Kitty though. The game has the usual 54 deck of cards as seen in a traditional game of Lotería. And along side the characters from Hello Kitty, the designers have included iconic images from traditional Lotería games. Many cards also have the Spanish name and description, meaning this game can be used to help teach Spanish to younger players. Just like the original games.
Marking off the pictures as you play is a great word to pictures association skill. Ideal for teaching younger players new words in either English or Spanish. As such, I would certainly recommend this game to anyone looking for a game to play with younger children. Its a great way to help young children learn a language in a game environment.
Everything in this game screams joy. It looks bright and vibrant. Every time my children play it, they sit and play with the components for ages afterwards. They have enjoyed copying some of the pictures, drawing their own versions of the characters. And making up stories about the cards in the game. To see the beauty of this game you need to see it through the eyes of a child. Thankfully I have been able to do that and it has brought us all a lot of fun.