Think Fun Roller Coaster Challenge Review
Editor's rating:
9.0
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Reviewed by Cindy
User's rating:
4.7
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We like

Incredibly entertaining and educational toy

A combination of a board game and a building kit

Roller-coaster themed mind bending activities

Boosts logic skills, creative thinking and spatial reasoning

39 colorful tracks, 36 posts and 40 challenges included

Made of durable, high-quality components

We don’t like

Some pieces were hard to snap onto others

How it works

We’ve all wanted to ride a rollercoaster when we were kids. Some of us might’ve regretted it, while some have definitely enjoyed it. However, we can’t always take our kids to amusement parks and each kid is different so you can’t always be certain if they are prepared for the ride that lies ahead of them. How about getting them a toy that would be as exciting as an adventurous ride without worrying that they will faint from all the adrenaline? There are plenty of options on the market that might provide you with even more exciting benefits.

Have you ever imagined building your own roller coaster? Well, now you don’t have to imagine you can bring it to life! You can have your very own roller coaster with this thrill ride building game by Thinkfun with Roller Coaster Challenge. This building game is so unique that you get to play cards until you set up all of the pieces to make a roller coaster out of the conditions of these same cards. What a way to build your own roller coaster!

You don’t just build roller coasters for the sake of simply building one, this game enhances your logical abilities too, creating a coaster that suits your fancy and style (with curves, loops, dips of course). As soon as you solve the puzzle which is the ultimate challenge; you get to have the roller coaster that you’ve always dreamed of.

Design

Design

The manufacturers at ThinkFun truly outdid themselves this time because somehow they managed to fit everything children love into a one versatile gaming experience. By combining a puzzle, a marble maze, and a roller coaster they’ve come up with an incredibly well-designed problem-solving board game. Parents are going to love this as well since it’s much cheaper than actually visiting an amusement park and they don’t have to worry if their child vomits at the end of the ride. In fact, they will appreciate all the educational benefits their children will be getting once they start with this whimsical journey.

From the moment you open the box, you are in for a colorful treat! There are 39 tracks as well as 36 posts and 40 mind-bending cards that each present an individual challenge for the little builders. The cards are part of the board-gaming, puzzle-solving experience which would help children develop their spatial reasoning as they elevate from beginner to medium and expert level.

There is a base for the roller coaster, presented as a grid, on which children will get the opportunity to place each piece and develop their own roller coaster design or follow the instructions from the cards. A tiny adorable roller coaster car is added as a cherry on top, which is the ultimate element of validation and achievement and would simulate the actual ride once the construction has been created.

The box comes with instructions which are pretty easy to follow and children should figure out in no time, especially those from the targeted age range which is from 6 years and up. Younger kids might have difficulty in understanding the rules, though they might have fun building it with their parents. However, it is strongly advised to avoid having a younger sibling around, especially toddlers who tend to taste everything they see, as the smaller components could represent a choking hazard. Everyone else, just open the box, follow the guidelines and prepare to enjoy the magical ThinkFun Roller Coaster Challenge.
Logic Skills

Logic Skills

You might be aware of how marble mazes and building kits are created in order for children to discover and connect different shapes and forms by practicing their logic skills. This ThinkFun Roller Coaster Challenge is no exception. In fact, by showing you how to start with the set-up of each individual project, yet never showing you the completed version, players are expected to figure it out themselves by trying different pieces and practicing their problem-solving abilities.

Each challenge will tell you the number of pieces which are required to finish the design however it is up to you as the architect to place the correct forms in order for the roller coaster car to get to the finish point through an effortless glide. This is where you need to focus and use your logic so your project can come to life and you can continue to the next level. By recognizing each shape and how the components snap onto each other, you will be able to see the bigger picture and advance to a harder level in no time.
Creativity

Creativity

Building kits and construction sets come in many shapes and forms, so children can truly unleash their imagination and visualize a whole new miniature world with the components they’ve been provided. If your children have grown tired of playing with LEGO or marble mazes, yet they enjoy the building experience, this might be the toy that can inspire them to continue practicing their creative skills. I mean who isn’t motivated by knowing that the ultimate reward would be having your own roller-coaster?

While the game has a great number of cards with instructions and even solutions on the back, kids will begin to understand the symbolism and master the craft of connecting the pieces in no time, so they will feel confident enough to experiment with their own ideas. They will be eager to try out new courses and manipulate the ride, so soon before you know it, they will start designing instead of just following the card patterns.

One of the favorite games children often play among themselves is making up play-pretend scenarios where they embark on other roles such as their favorite characters from the movies or act like adults, by imitating their responsibilities in an adorable, light-hearted manner. We are quite certain that during the building activity, they will dream of being a famous engineer or architect who saves the day by creating the fastest, safest and most powerful roller coaster in the world. They will enjoy showing it to their friends or even pretending they are colleagues and assistants working together on a secret project. The creative possibilities are truly fun and endless.
Education

Education

Let’s face it! The only lesson you’ve learned from any experience with roller coasters is that you should’ve listened to your mom when she told you to go easy on those corn dogs before going to ride. There’s really nothing educational about riding roller coasters. The ride is supposed to be fun and give your body an adrenaline boost. However, building a roller coaster is completely different, even when it’s not an actual, real machine. This game will truly give you a glimpse to the science behind gravity, cause, and effect, as well as spatial reasoning. This is an excellent introduction to the laws of physics as well as architecture.

The game’s intent is to provoke children to visualize a two-dimensional pattern and transform it into a 3D model that actually works. This method is quite helpful for learning since you can experience the whole process and monitor all the factors that contribute to getting the roller coaster car from the starting till the finish point. During the observation, children will get an opportunity to inspect the obstacles that might occur if they choose the wrong path as well as learn from their mistakes. Since the game comes with solutions provided on the back of each card, the educational journey is frustration free in order for the little learners to stay motivated into exploring all the possibilities.
Entertainment Value

Entertainment Value

The whole nature of this game is to feel as excited as if you are actually on a roller-coaster while gaining knowledge about subjects that are often distant to children at a younger age. The STEM fields are unfairly judged either as too serious or boring. With STEM-related toys, children are offered the same entertainment value of a regular toy, and they get to experience the true joy of discovering meaningful lessons through the play process.

Kids love puzzles and feeling challenged by a game. It keeps their attention longer and solving a certain problem when presented through a colorful activity. And while building a whole construction is fun, the real excitement comes when you place the roller coaster car on top of the starting point and successfully greet it at the end. Your little ones will feel immense pride in their effort and share these adventures with their friends. The whole quest is a lovely bonding adventure among buddies, schoolmates, siblings and relatives.

At the end of the day, how can a roller coaster be boring? Roller coasters are everything but plain and dull. Their whole creation is meant to fill your belly with butterflies from exhilaration. Even just watching the roller coaster somehow always seems fun. The anticipation of waiting for something to happen feels your mind with enthusiasm whether you are riding it, building it and just watching it glide faster than the wind itself. Therefore, it is truly hard to stay indifferent to this building kit and almost anyone would be more than happy to try it out.
Age Range

Age Range

This set is most suitable for children who are 6 years old or above this age group. After all, they have to be able to read the instructions or at least show enough interest in the puzzles. While the building process can be done by a child who is below this age range, with, of course, additional helping hand from adults, some of the puzzles might seem too complicated. Toddler siblings will definitely enjoy watching the roller coaster car slide, however, keep them away from the tiny components to avoid an unfortunate chocking accident.

Older children even adults will truly enjoy this kit since it has puzzles at a higher level that might be challenging and intriguing enough to hold their attention. Grandparents at family reunions would be thrilled to join their nephews and practice their dexterity while at it. Overall it is one of those board game building sets that the whole family can participate in, without acting interested and feeling forced to a boring childish game. It does stimulate your critical thinking and evokes curiosity in each player mind no matter the age or gender.

Conclusion

There are undoubtedly a lot of roller coaster themed toys on the market that are quite breathtaking, but what makes this particular kit so amazing is the fact that the fun doesn’t stop once you build the actual roller coaster. With so many tunnels, slides and challenges included, you get the opportunity to solve a different puzzle every time you play. Even when you pass all the levels, from beginner to expert, your brain is already familiar with the process so you are prepared to continue to journey by yourself, experimenting and trying new options.

This would be a lovely gift any child, regardless if they are girls or boys, or if they are into STEM. It can be quite hard to guess the individual need of children sometimes so we end up with the same cliché presents such as a doll or an action figure. If you are looking for something unconventional yet truly captivating, this building kit by ThinkFun is unlike anything they’ve made. It’s really almost impossible to disappoint any child with this set.

After all, everyone’s into roller-coasters. They look like mighty dragons embarking on a furious flight which you can be a part of. Even if you are afraid to ride them, you will definitely be excited to build them. And who knows, maybe this amusing kit is actually a stepping stone for discovering that your child is a tiny genius in the making and will indeed one day build a real roller coaster. If not, your child will still end up with better brain capacity, fun memories and hopefully a fun family trip to the amusement park in the future.
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