Just in time for International Women’s Day, Gibsons have released a range of products based on the popular Rebel Girls brand. The range currently includes two jigsaws and a family card game and I had the opportunity to test them all out. While the jigsaws were up to the usual Gibsons high-standard, the game unfortunately was not.
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Rebel Girls Jigsaws
There are two jigsaws in the Rebel Girls range – a 100 piece puzzle for younger children or those with dexterity issues, and a 500 piece puzzle for adults and those who like a challenge. Both jigsaws feature illustrations of many famous women who made the name across a range of areas including sports, science, leadership, and the creative arts. Some of the characters repeat across both puzzles but each one also includes unique faces so you won’t be doing the same puzzle twice if you decide to pick up both.
The quality of these puzzles was up to the usual Gibsons high standard. I did find that the larger pieces of the 100-piece puzzle were slightly more flexible which meant that they didn’t fit together quite as well as the 500-piece puzzle, but this was a very minor concern and both puzzles were still vastly better than those from many other companies.
Both jigsaws also included a printed picture of the finished design measuring slightly bigger than 22cm x 16cm. This was a really great touch as it was much easier to use this when assembling the puzzle than looking at the base of the box where the design was also printed – it also gave us an extra copy of the finished image which was useful when several people were working on the puzzle together. My one gripe about these printed sheets was the boxes for both puzzles only measure 20cm square, so the sheet is slightly bigger in one dimension forcing it to bend in order to fit. Making the sheets slightly smaller wouldn’t have really impacted its usefulness but would have kept the finished product much neater and prevented damage.
These are both great puzzles that will be ideal to construct today or at any time to keep conversations about women’s achievements flowing.
Card Game for Rebel Girls
The other part of the Gibsons Rebel Girls range is the Card Game for Rebel Girls, a fast card game for two to four players aged six and up.
- 70 Character Cards
- 26 Rebel Rewards Cards
- 12 Wild Cards
- 4 Certificate Cards (Not Used in the Game)
- Instruction Sheet
I have to say that the packaging on the Card Game for Rebel Girls wasn’t great. The cards sit within a tray that is only just big enough for them, meaning that the top cards constantly feel at risk of sliding out. There is also nowhere for the instruction sheet to go so this has to sit on top of the cards, buckling the outer slipcase. I ended up ripping the box trying to get cards out at one point when one card got stuck and from then on, one end of the box never sat back in its proper position.
The instruction sheet was also laid out badly with the gameplay steps and other information spread seemingly at random across a large, double-sided sheet and intermixed with other information about card types, making it hard to locate the information you are looking for.
You begin by splitting the cards into a Rebel Rewards deck and a Character/Wild Card deck, thoroughly shuffling both. Three Rebel Rewards cards are dealt to each player and placed face-up on the table in front of them. The remaining cards are placed face down in a pile in the middle of the play area.
The Character/Wild Card deck is then split evenly between all players so each player has a pile in front of them. Each player then takes the top five cards from their pile to form a starting hand.
The aim of Card Game for Rebel Girls is to collect and complete sets of cards in order to score points. Players select cards from their hand to play, then pass their hand to the left so that the hands move around the table – much like in Sushi Go.
Each Rebel Reward card is worth a number of points (shown at the bottom) and each player has at least three Rebel Reward cards in front of them that they are trying to complete. To complete them, players must collect Character cards with the correct symbols on them. For example, to complete this Rebel Reward card and score four points, the player who has it must collect a Warrior, Leader, Pioneer, and Champion card.
Every character card has one of five symbols on them:
Players collect cards by taking one card out of their hands and placing it face-up on top of the Rebel Reward card. All players play at once, looking through their hand to select one of the five – unless they have a Wild Card to allow them to select more than one card on that turn – and place it down. The players then draw back up to five cards from their face-down pile so that they always have five Character cards in their hand (if a Wild Card is drawn, it can either be used immediately or placed face-up in front of the player for use later). Once all players have placed a card, the hands are passed to the left and play continues.
If a player successfully completes a Rebel Reward card by placing all the Characters they need onto it, they gather up the stack of cards and put it to one side for scoring later. They then take another Rebel Rewards card from the deck and place this down in front of them to replace the completed one. This also happens if another player uses a Wild Card to steal an incomplete Rebel Rewards card from an opponent.
Gameplay continues until either all the cards in the Rebel Rewards deck have been used or all players have run out of cards on their Character/Wild Card decks.
You can also check out a How to Play video produced by Gibsons if you’re not sure about anything:
Once the game is over, all players then count up the points on their completed Rebel Reward cards. There may be Wild Cards that impact this such as some that allow for double points. The player with the most points is the winner.
Card Game for Rebel Girls Verdict
This was a very simple game that will be good for younger kids but most likely over-simplistic for regular gamers and older families as it all boils down to matching symbols and very little else. Yes, there is a small element of strategy that can be applied when deciding which Character cards to select and where to put them – the same applies to deciding when and if to use a Wild Card – but this is minimal at best.
This highly simplistic gameplay does allow the game to be very accessible (the recommended age is from six and up) and great for families with children of varying ages but I also imagine it will quickly become one that is left on the shelf as other games with a bit more to them are selected instead. However, despite its simplicity, there were several issues with the rules, and we needed to bring in several house rules when playing because of things happening that were not explained or that contradicted one another. For example, it is not clear what to do if a player is unable to place a card in one round (we assumed they had to pass) and it is also not mentioned what to do if you pick up a Wild Card at the start of the game – we assumed they were placed face-up in front of the player and replaced until everyone has a hand of five Character cards.
I was also disappointed at how little the Rebel Girls theme was actually utilized in the game. You do not need to read or even look at the people on the Character cards in order to play because you only need the symbol in the corner. The game moves at a fast pace too, so even if you wanted to read the descriptions, you probably won’t have time before you’re passing the cards on to the next player. You could, of course, sit and read the cards separately from the game, but if you’re going to do that then surely one of the Rebel Girls books would be a better choice than a card game with many repeating names? This leads me to another issue, all the Character cards repeated. I’m not arguing that figures like Harriet Tubman, Ada Lovelace, or Mary Shelley don’t deserve to be included here, but surely throughout history, there have been enough other deserving women who could have been included instead of repeating the same ones twice each?
Unfortunately, this game feels like it was thought up quickly and had the Rebel Girls branding slapped on top of it rather than bringing the theme properly into the gameplay.
GeekMom received a copy of these items for review purposes.