Product Review: Melissa & Doug’s ‘Suspend’ Is Addictive!

Family Games Household Gadgets Toys

My family had the chance to review Melissa & Doug’s Suspend, the winner of the Best Toys Guide: Best Game of 2012. As with everything my family has ever owned by Melissa & Doug, we were not at all disappointed.

In the spirit of physics-based games such as Jenga, Suspend tests your balance skills in a different way altogether. My youngest son (age 7 1/2) can’t get enough of this game! He’s begging everyone in the family to play and is even playing by himself. He’s using words like “unbelievable,” “addictive,” “tricky” and “awesome!” He exclaimed, “Every game is so different, and ends up like a work of art!”

I can’t describe the game any better than what’s already said at Melissa & Doug’s website:

A family game of tricky hangs and steady hands! Try this hanging balance game and you’ll be hooked! Suspend comes with 24 notched, rubber-tipped wire pieces to hang from a tabletop stand. Sound easy? Try adding another piece! Each time a bar is added, the balance shifts, the difficulty changes and the incredible midair sculpture transforms. Can you add all your game pieces without making it fall? This tricky game for 1-4 players is a test of steady nerves and steady hands.

The game comes in a tall tube, which reminded me of how Tinkertoys are packaged. The plastic packaging is somewhat weak and tore at the top rather quickly. I was surprised by the poor quality of the packaging, considering many of the other Melissa & Doug products we’ve had that package up so nicely. Inside the package are 24 rubber-tipped bars (game pieces), three non-rubberized metal pieces and two pieces of wood that contribute to the base, and one multi-colored six-sided die. The single glossy sheet of paper inside the clear tube has the rules printed on it.

Assembly of the base is straightforward. We briefly misplaced one of the metal bars for the base of the game, which would have rendered the game unplayable; it’s important you keep account of all 5 parts of the base: you can’t play it otherwise!

Start by evenly dividing the game pieces among the players. Using just ONE hand, pieces are hung on the hangar base, with the only hanging rule being that no two pieces can occupy the same point. There are numerous variations on game play, from easy (simply take turns hanging pieces) to intermediate (use the die to determine what colors to use — which reminded me of Twister — and whoever runs out of metal pieces first wins) to advanced (like intermediate except a scoring system is used to tally up points for leftover game pieces, lowest score wins after several games).

Image credit: Melissa & Doug

Even though this game is recommended for ages 8+, it’s very easy for preschoolers and kids who can’t read or count to play. The die has colors on it instead of numbers of dots, which makes it easy for youngsters to participate.

If you’re looking for a great birthday gift for a kid’s friend, an easy-to-pack game for travel, or a change of pace from games that require batteries/electricity, I highly recommend Suspend.

Suspend retails for $16.99 and can be purchased at most toy stores and internet retailers such as Amazon.

A complimentary copy of this product was provided for review.

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