This part of a wonderfully eclectic set of books or book-like-things produced by Giddy-Up in and around 2007. Giddy-Up is based in Ann Arbor, a lovely city that I have visited a couple of times as it is the home town of staff reviewer Al Sjoerdsma.
This magnetic game book is so far from being a regular book that Amazon actually lists it under their "Games" section. It's a fine line. The object in question is spiral bound with a thick front and back "cover" and seven "leaves" of thin shiny card which form the games. The back cover is actually fold-out and offers a few more games, plus it encloses the sheet of flat magnets that you break out from their template and subsequently store in the handily provided tin.
The whole package is 11 inches tall to the top of the spiral, and 6 inches wide.
The fourteen games on the regular pages are all solo-play games, and on first glance, they are all completely random. They all follow a similar sort of pattern. I'll describe "Save the City!" as a representative example.
In Save the City! you place some magnets to represent pumpkin bombs. Then spin the dial and follow the instructions exactly. I've uploaded the scan so you can see. It's pretty obvious that you make no actual decisions, you simply see if the spinner says you win or you lose.
The fold-out flap at the back of the book has a checkers board, as well as space for tic-tac-toe and another similar game.
Oh, in case I didn't mention it, the back flap of the book is magnetic too, so that's why the magnets stick to it, even when there are a few pages in between. I haven't broken out my magnets so I can't actually say if the magnets stick particularly well or particularly badly.
Among the magnets are a some purely decorative magnets of Spidey, Goblin, Venom, etc. These are designed to stick to indicated spots on the game page to add some extra character to the game.
As mentioned, the game outcomes are all entirely random. As a "serious" game player myself, that kind of thing is a bit of a disappointment. Is it that much harder to write a game that you "play" rather than simply "observer". Well, yes I suppose it is.
However, the actual presentation of the game, the attractiveness of the magnets, images and overall design are superb. The value for money is exceptional too, with magnets, tin, spinner and intricately constructed book all included. Well, you can't argue with a complete package like that.
Full marks for the actual product, but I just have to dock a web for the fact that the "player" is just a complete bystander in the entire process of the "game". Yes, I'm sure that there will be many young kids who will be entertained. But just imagine how much more interesting the games would be if there was actually a strategy or tactic involved.