With MY vacation over it’s time to get back to reviewing some fun games! (For those who are curious, yes, it was filled with all things important: beautiful scenery, leisure, games, good food, and nice people.)
I played Picture Carousel a few times before I took some time off, and found it to be quite a delightful children’s game! While Picture Carousel isn’t exactly a new game, it is probably not well known by many people here in the US because it comes from Tactic, a Finnish company. Marketed in Europe as “Trivoli,” it has been a favorite in Tactic’s line since 2010 and includes a Winnie the Pooh licensed version overseas. It just came to the states this year, so while we don’t have a licensed version of the game, I think the classic animal version is just fine.
Upon opening the box you’ll see that the game needs to be assembled, but it snaps together rather quickly so don’t let that deter you from playing it right away. The game consists of a stacked centerpiece (the “carousel”) that has 5 levels, a bunch of large circles with animals, a bunch of small circles that are scoring chips, and a large die. The carousel is two sided and there are game variations listed in the box so there’s a bit of stuff, but you don’t use it all at once.
The basic game is super easy to get. First pick which side of the carousel you are going to play and place that face-up in the center of the table. Then take the corresponding large animal circles, place them face-down, mix them up and let everyone draw one. Keep your animal a secret. Now one player spins each of the three levels to get the carousel ready, and it’s the youngest player’s turn first. The goal is to get the head, body and feet of the animal on your token to line up. They get to move any one level one space either direction. The next player also gets to turn a level, just not the same level that was turned by the player before them. If your animal is ever aligned – even on someone else’s turn – you yell out and take a small token. Everyone returns their animal circle, they’re mixed up and a new one is drawn. The first player to collect three tokens is the winner.
Picture Carousel is simple but there’s some nice strategy in trying to figure out what your opponent has. The rounds are quick and by the end it’s amazing how often you feel “so close” which adds to everyone’s enjoyment. Like I said earlier, there are a few variations in the instructions including one where you spin the game and one where you deal extra animal circles to make the rounds go faster. It’s pretty easy to find some rules that will fit you and your family without having to make up your own.
Picture Carousel Stats:
~$13 Amazon and your local game store
2-6 players (didn’t try out 5 or 6 players with this game, kind of liked it best with 3)