Hasbro High on Everybody's Wish List

Article excerpt

High on the wish lists of kids of all ages are the family fun games from Hasbro, Pawtucket, R.I. A great way to bring siblings, friends, and entire families together, this year's lineup appeals to both children and adults and even features a few games that can be enjoyed solo.

We've long been fans of the fast-paced card game Scrabble Slam, so we couldn't wait to try the new Scrabble Turbo Slam ($14.99). Borrowing elements from the classic crossword game, this version adds an electronic timer and four action cards to the mix. Players start with a four-letter word and then simultaneously try to change that word one letter at a time. As there are no "turns" the action is frenzied. Anyone who can make a word just calls it out and puts down the replacement card. For example, h-o-m-e becomes c-o-m-e then s-o-m-e then s-a-m-e then s-a-t-e, etc. When the turbo sounds, the first to hit the slam button gets an action card for an extra advantage. The Scrabble Turbo Slam unit features a built-in storage draw for the cards and is designed for two to four players, ages eight and older.

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The classic, Yahtzee, has been updated with "Wonder-link" technology to give this dice rolling game a whole new spin. Electronic Yahtzee Flash ($29.99) is made up of five electronic "dice" tiles that players roll by pressing the button on each. Wonder-link lets the tiles communicate with each other and keep score. They know what you've rolled, which ones you keep, and which to roll again. With four unique games, players can en joy Yahtzee Poker by successfully rolling different poker combinations; while Yahtzee Max allows three rolls to get as many ones, twos, threes, fours, fives, or sixes as possible; Yahtzee Wild challenges rollers to get three Yahtzees in the least amount of time; and Yahtzee Pass has competitors racing time to roll Yahtzee and be the last one standing. For one or more players, age eight and up, Yahtzee Rash includes a carrying case for easy travel and game play on the go.

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Using the same Wonder-link technology, Scrabble Flash ($29.99) employs five electronic letter tiles as players race to create as many three- to five-letter words as possible in 75 seconds. After lining up the tiles and pressing the button on one, the letters will appear and players begin by rearranging the interactive tiles to form words. They will flash and beep when points are awarded and automatically keep track of the score. Other options include Five-Letter Rash, where players must come up with words using all five tiles, and Pass Flash, where competitors take turns forming five-letter words before time is up. Scrabble Flash, for one or more players, ages eight and up, includes five electronic tiles and a storage box.

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Evoking flashbacks from the 1980s, Simon Flash ($29.99) uses four colored tiles to bring a high-tech twist to the legendary game. With four unique games in one, Simon Classic challenges players to successfully repeat the growing sequence of colored lights; Simon Shuffle displays and then shuffles a pattern of lights that must be put beck to the original pattern; Simon Lights Off gives 90 seconds for all cubes to be put in the correct order to make the lights turn off; and Simon Secret Color has players rearranging the cubes until they all light up as the same color. …