Hot Potato Review
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Players: 2-6 (ages 5+)
Playing Time: 5-10 minutes

Games like Hot Potato have been a staple at kids’ birthday parties for years. It’s a simple game that’s easy to play—making it nearly foolproof fun. So this electronic version of the old favorite kids’ game keeps the same simple rules. But while, as my five-year-old niece pointed out, you could probably play the game with just a regular potato, this version features a stuffed potato that, conveniently, plays its own music.

To begin the game, players sit or stand in a circle. One player starts the game by taking the big stuffed potato and squeezing the center. When the potato starts playing music, the players start passing (or tossing) it to other players. You can toss it to the player next to you, or you can toss it to someone across from you, but you’ve got to toss it quickly—because when the music stops, the last player to touch the potato gets a Potato Chip. Once you get three chips, you’re out of the game. Play continues until only one player is left—and the remaining player is the winner.

If your kid can play catch, he or she can play Hot Potato—and while the manufacturer may say that it’s suitable for kids ages five and up, I have a feeling that younger kids would enjoy it, too. It’s a pretty basic game, but the music and the fast pace make it more fun than the usual game of catch. The potato looks silly, and the music is fun—and it’s pretty much guaranteed to induce fits of giggles as soon as the music starts.

Since it’s so simple, though, older kids may lose interest after a while—and when they do, beware. The stuffed potato may be nicely padded, but there are still solid plastic parts inside—and a bored older sibling with a good pitching arm and even better aim can still do some damage with a blow to the ol’ noggin.

For younger kids, though, Hot Potato is lots of fun. It’s quick and easy to play, and—since the only pieces required fit neatly into the potato’s Velcro pocket—it’s portable, too. Thanks to this silly-looking musical potato, the favorite kids’ game doesn’t have to be just for birthday parties anymore.

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