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Search Party: Chaos At The Park Board Game Review

WBG Score: 8

Player Count: 1-4

You’ll like this if you like: Micro Macro

Published by: What Do You Meme

This is a free review copy. See our review policy here.

Search Party takes the essence of what Micro Macro offers and presents it in a more family-friendly context. It eliminates themes of murder and adultery, replacing them with elements like clowns and balloons. Additionally, it introduces colour to the game, departing from the previous black and white drawings. The board itself is of a reasonable size, allowing it to fit comfortably on a regular table. As it is not made of paper, there's no issue with it sticking or needing to be folded into numerous pieces. Furthermore, the cases in Search Party are generally easier to solve, catering to a family-oriented gameplay experience. The addition of three significant pop-up features further enhances the game's appeal. Overall, it appears to be a significant improvement for a family setting on Micro Macro, if that is what you are after. Let's bring it to the table and see how it plays.

Search Party: Chaos At The Park Board Game Review

How To Set Up Search Party: Chaos At The Park

Unfold the board. The pops ups are huge and a little delicate but open well, but do be careful when you fold it back up. Make sure you do it the correct way Then draw the first case file and begin. That was easy!

How To Play Search Party: Chaos At The Park

One person will read allowed the introduction to the scenario you are playing on card one. This will end with a question on the top of card two that you need to answer by finding something or someone, hidden on the board. The board looks like a Where's Wally/Waldo style environment, set amongst a busy and chaotic amusement park.

Search Party: Chaos At The Park Board Game Review

Once you find the first person or object, you proceed to flip the next card and read the subsequent part of the story. This guides you to the next item or person you need to search for. This sequence continues through several more cards until you successfully complete the mission and solve the specific mystery or problem at hand.

The game mechanics are similar to Micro Macro, where certain individuals or objects appear on the board at different points in their timeline. This allows you to trace events backward or forward, track the movements of characters through the park, and uncover mysteries by discovering their origins or destinations. By piecing together these details, you can unravel why certain events unfolded as they did.

There is no scoring system or time limit in the game. The primary objective is to have fun while searching for the various objects or people. The enjoyment comes from the process of observation and discovery, immersing yourself in the engaging world of the game.

Search Party: Chaos At The Park Board Game Review

There are 15 missions to complete. Each one takes around 5-15 minutes to complete. There is also colour booklet with 300 individual things to find that you can check off as you do. This is separate to the 15 main missions and works as a side mission you can dip in and out of on it's own.

Search Party: Chaos At The Park Board Game Review

Search Party: Chaos At The Park Board Game Review: Is It Fun?

First, let's talk about the board. It looks amazing and will draw a crowd for sure. My children instantly wanted to play this, just from looking at the board. It really does look very impressive.

Search Party: Chaos At The Park Board Game Review

Now, let's discuss the accessibility of this game. Learning the rules, setting up the game, and getting started can be accomplished within a few minutes as you read through the instructions. Additionally, the first mission can typically be solved in just a few minutes, allowing children to experience the satisfaction of successfully completing a game early on. This quick reward and sense of accomplishment are likely to make children happy and eager to play again. In terms of targeting a younger audience, I believe the game developers have succeeded in creating an engaging and accessible experience.

Moreover, the visual appeal of the game is captivating. The intricate details and hidden objects tucked away behind, on, or above certain parts of the board generate a thrilling sense of discovery. The board itself is brimming with secrets waiting to be unlocked, and the process of unveiling them is immensely enjoyable.

Search Party: Chaos At The Park Board Game Review

The game includes a small magnifying glass to assist with finding smaller objects, but let's be honest, it's not a particularly effective magnifying glass. Furthermore, it's not truly necessary for children with good eyesight. The main reason for this to be included in the game is to have fun and engage in imaginative play as detectives, and I wholeheartedly embrace that concept!

If you ever find yourself stuck, there's an option to flip the card for the item you're searching for. It will provide a grid reference to help you locate the next item and also display a picture of the object to give you a gentle nudge in the right direction. Throughout all the missions, I found the need to flip the card early on only three times. This was mainly to help my children quickly find the items, prevent them from losing interest, and then gently guide them towards the correct area to continue the search.

Search Party: Chaos At The Park Board Game Review

We managed to complete all the missions in just one afternoon, and I must say, it was the most engrossed I've ever seen my children in a game. There are still plenty of items left to discover and tick off in the search-and-find guidebook, which provides ample replayability. However, I must admit that it does feel somewhat like a "one and done" experience. When playing the game again, it becomes more of a casual exercise or pointing things out since the excitement of the search diminishes once you already know where everything is located. Over time, some details may be forgotten, but I believe that won't be the case for most items or people.

Nevertheless, with 15 missions and 300 objects to find, there is plenty of gameplay to satisfy me. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with this game and will continue to do so until we've uncovered every single item in the guidebook.

Search Party: Chaos At The Park Board Game Review

The utilisation of 3D elements in this game is truly excellent. The experience of finding items on top of, behind, or placed onto specific pop-up features on the board is clever and adds a sense of significance to the gameplay. Discovering something hidden in such a way feels more magical and exciting compared to simply locating objects within a busy scene. The pop-up elements create a lifelike landscape with hidden nooks and crannies to explore. Players will find themselves standing up, rotating the board, and peering into small crevices in their search. Finding things in this manner is immensely enjoyable and adds a deeper sense of meaning to the game.

I highly recommend this game for families with children aged between 5-10. It is the perfect experience for both children and adults to enjoy together. It is likely to be one of the quickest family games to complete, but in that short span of time, you will create wonderful memories and have a tremendous amount of fun. Now, where on earth is that pesky spider web hiding?

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