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A to Z Jr.

A to Z Jr. is pretty much the same game as the Major FUN Award-winning A to Z. The only significant difference is the category cards. Which turns out to be significant enough to make it Major FUN Award-worthy in its own right.

Though A to Z Jr. uses easier categories, the game is just challenging enough to keep adults interested. Which makes it just about the prefect family game. You take turns rolling a die. The die determines what question you have to answer. The object is to fill your board, from A to Z, with responses to questions like "Things you can buy in a Supermarket." Every correct answer allows you to cover the corresponding letter with a red, transparent chip. As your board gets filled up, the game gets more and more difficult, because there are fewer correct choices. The delicious "vengeance is mine" rule that allows you to remove chips from your opponent's board keeps the game in balance, and adds greatly to the fun and anguish of it all.

Of course, depending on your children's resilience, it might be necessary to adjust the challenge here and there. The fact that it's so easy to make the game easier (or more challenging) is key to its success as a family game. If your child feels that she doesn't know the names of baseball teams or different seafood, she can roll again or choose a different card (perhaps while the timer's still running).

Both games (Junior and non-Junior) have been updated and repackaged. A new electronic timer (2 AAA batteries, not included - tiny Phillips screwdriver needed) graces both games. The 30 second timer ticks away with increasing speed as the time elapses, and a satisfyingly unthreatening male voice lets you know when time's up.

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