Family Board Game Review: Zingo

Family Board Game Review: Zingo

Zingo is a bingo game with a few twists by Thinkfun.  The game is for players ages four and up and can play two to six players, and game play is quick and a game take 15-20 minutes.

Contents

  • 72 double sided Zingo Tiles (same image on both sides, 3 of each image)
  • 6 Two-sided Zingo Cards  (red, more competitive, and green, less competitive)
  • Zinger (Zingo Tile distributer)
  • Instruction Manual and Parent’s Guide

Gameplay

  • One player manages the dealer roll.  The dealer slides the Zinger forward and back to reveal two tiles.  
  • When a player sees a tile that matches an image on their card, they call out the image’s name and then take the tile. If two or more players call out the tile it goes to the person who called it first. Players put the tile on their board over the matching tile.
  • The dealer returns any unused tiles to the Zinger through a slot in the top.
  • The winner is the first player to cover all nine squares on their card. 

Family Game Assessment

Zingo is a great game for young players.  Each of the tiles includes both a word and a cute image representing that word. This makes the game playable for kids that are still early (or non-) readers. The cards are also great for building reading vocabulary with word recognition of the common items on the tiles (such as cat, foot, kite, etc).  The extremely simple rules can be learned in minutes even by young players.  

The game is recommended for ages four and up and that is a good assessment of the appropriate age range.  Zingo could also scale slightly younger based on the high picture support, especially when played with an older child or adult.  The random distribution of the tiles makes it anyone’s game, and the Zinger is a fun way to distribute the tiles. The Zingo boards are also two levels of competition so the game is easier to scale up or down depending on the age and competitiveness of the players.  The Instruction Manual and Parent’s Guide includes game variants.

Conclusion


Zingo is a great game to have for young players.  Thinkfun has also created  multiple versions of ZIngo published by Thinkfun. They include: Zingo 1-2-3, Zingo Sight Words, Zingo Time-Telling, and Zingo Word Builder.  These can be great ways to develop beginning reading and math skills, and for preschool and primary students the Zingo variations are a great fit.  The random nature of the game allow for play with the whole family.  

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