This is the second of five game reviews I’ll be doing this year of Christian games made by Bible Games Central this year. In my first review, I looked at “Mission: Ends of the Earth,” but in this game review, I’ll look at “Bible Animals: Click Clack Match.”
As always, some disclaimers: I am not being paid for this review nor am I an affiliate of Bible Games Central. Their owner, Alvin Gan, is a contributing author to this website, but that does not impact my evaluation. The review below is my honest opinion, given as objectively as I can.
Bible Animals: Click Clack Match is a matching game using cards and dice. The goal is to earn the most points by collecting cards, which players collect by matching all the pictures on the card with the pictures on the dice. According to the packaging, a single game should last approximately 15 minutes.
In this game review, I’ll outline three areas: materials and design, overall gameplay, weaknesses, and then offer my final thoughts and recommendations.
Materials, Design, and Construction
Bible Animals, like other boxed games by Bible Games Central, comes in a sturdy box that should last a long time, especially compared to the cheap, flimsy boxes I’ve seen some game manufacturers use. Inside the box is a plastic storage tray that, unlike Mission (read my review), actually keeps all the cards and dice in their respective slots when the box is turned on its side or flipped upside down.
The dice are a lightweight wood rather than the standard plastic or resin often used for dice. As such, young kids with small hands will find it easy to handle and roll the dice. However, because wood is not always as hard as resin, the dice may start to wear down after many uses, although I suspect they will last many years.
The cards are about the size and thickness of standard playing cards (e.g., Bicycle brand game cards), they lack the texturing often found on playing cards. Nevertheless, they are relatively thick, well laminated, and made to last.
The game comes with pre-scored, foldable instructions printed on card stock and laminated for durability. The game uses attractive colors that are not gaudy, focusing on a blue and green color scheme.
The design and construction are overall high quality. However, I do have two gripes. First, on some dice, the pictures are not centered, causing the animal’s image to touch the very edge. Second, the choices for animals don’t really feel like “Bible animals” because they are very common today, such as sheep, cows, and doves. Thus, it feels less like Bible animals and more like farm animals.
Click each photograph below to see full size.
The way to play Bible Animals seems fairly straightforward: roll dice, match the pictures to ones on cards, gather cards, earn points, and the first player to reach fifty points wins. Bible Animals is designed for two the six players and, as already noted, each game should last up to about 15 minutes.
Players begin by placing three cards face up. A player rolls five dice, selects one card, and places all the dice that match animal pictures depicted on the selected card will place the die (or dice) on that one card; only one card can be played at a time. Once all matches are placed, the next player does the same thing. Once a player fills up a single card, that player wins that card; the dice are removed, the player takes the won card, and then a new card takes its place. This continues until a player earns fifty points (each card has a designated point value).
There are however, more than just animals on the dice: it contains sad faces. If a player rolls three sad faces, that player’s turn is over.
An interesting twist is each player has two options once they have matched all the dice rolled: they can either keep playing until they roll three sad faces or they can allow the next player to have a turn before rolling three sad faces.
Weaknesses of the Game
As I looked over Bible Animals: Click Clack Match, I found three shortcomings, all three related to gameplay.
First, while I think young children will enjoy the matching aspect and the idea of collecting cards, older kids, teens, and adults, I believe, might find the overall gameplay of Bible Animals unexciting and boring due to its simplicity, lack of any risk or danger, an it’s repetitive nature (roll dice, match images, repeat).
Second, the amount of time needed to play the game is relatively short for a card game: 15 minutes or less. While this might be a benefit in today’s culture of very short attention spans, it could lead to feeling unsatisfied because the game came to a rapid end.
Third, the ability to “continue your turn” until you gather three sad faces could make the other players get bored very quickly waiting on their turns. If a player chooses to end his or her turn, then the sad faces become moot because you start off with zero sad faces on your next turn, making it difficult and unlikely to get three sad faces. I recommend altering the gameplay so that after player places the dice, all unused dice are returned to dice tray except for the sad faces, which players gather cumulatively. Once a player rolls their third sad face, his or her turn immediately ends without the ability to place any dice on a card. This alternation to the rules keeps the sad faces meaningful while preventing a player from playing for a long period of time while others must sit and wait.
Final Thoughts and Recommendations
Bible Animals: Click Clack Match is an interesting variation on the traditional card or dice game. It reminds me somewhat of Canasta meets Yahtzee, but with animals. The game pieces and container are well constructed and the design of the artwork is thoughtful and attractive. However, the gameplay lacks excitement or risk, opens the door to a single player winning the game without another player having a turn, and may not garner interest from anyone except the youngest of players.
I believe Bible Animals is an ideal game for families with young kids (some reviews have mentioned as young as two years old or four years old), especially those who love matching activities, and works best as a rainy-day activity.