Kaleidos Board Game Overview

Kaleidos Board Game Overview

Disclosure

When I was much younger, one of my favorite things about the comic section of the newspaper was the “Find the Difference” challenge. Usually there were six differences between the two almost-identical drawings and I could certainly find five of them right away. That sixth one always took me much longer and I wouldn’t always discover it on my own. But I still tried every day!

I eventually graduated on to trying to find Waldo (remember, this was the late 70’s/early 80’s – it didn’t take much to keep us occupied). It seemed everywhere you turned people were talking about this new type of ‘game’ where you frantically search for a guy wearing a red and white striped shirt and perfectly round glasses. He might be at the beach, in a castle or at a carnival. Oddly, all the other people looked the same to me!

I've never been great at finding small clues in larger pictures, and Kaleidos by Cool Mini or Not requires that as a skill! I'm doomed... - SahmReviews.com

So when I came across Kaleidos by Cool Mini or Not, I assumed it was another “find the tiny item in this big picture” type of game based upon the box artwork. And it is…but it also isn’t at the same time. There’s quite a bit more to this game than meets the eye.

The first thing you’ll probably notice is the ten beautiful composite drawings done by Elena Prette. She has a unique style, reminding us a lot of the movies by Tim Burton. I studied her drawings in Kaleidos and was amazed at not only the level of detail, but the many hidden items that are easily overlooked. She was the perfect choice for this type of game.

Kaleidos works a lot like Boggle in that you are trying to create a list of words different from that of your opponents. Each player (or team of players) receives a cardboard easel and five double-sided cards depicting the artwork of Elena Prette. Players agree on which illustration to use on each round and a random card is drawn from the included deck, revealing a letter of the alphabet.

I've never been great at finding small clues in larger pictures, and Kaleidos by Cool Mini or Not requires that as a skill! I'm doomed... - SahmReviews.com

This card and the included sand timer are flipped at the same time and everyone rushes to find items in the drawing that begin with the letter matching the one revealed on the card. The trick is that many (if not most) objects can have different names and all are valid. For instance, you might see a bird. But others might call it by its proper name – cardinal. You can also use it for “beak”, “feathers”, “wings” and so on. The only requirement is that you be able to point it out on your drawing card when questioned, so remember where you got it from!

I've never been great at finding small clues in larger pictures, and Kaleidos by Cool Mini or Not requires that as a skill! I'm doomed... - SahmReviews.com

When the sand timer runs out, players compare their lists. You receive 3 points for any word that no other player wrote down and one point for a word that at least one other person also discovered.  Rounds can be easy with common letters like “S” or “M” and very difficult for lesser-used consonants like “W” and “K”. Because these letters are drawn randomly, you’d better brush up on your vocabulary!

I've never been great at finding small clues in larger pictures, and Kaleidos by Cool Mini or Not requires that as a skill! I'm doomed... - SahmReviews.com

It is suggested a game of Kaleidos should last 10 rounds, utilizing each of Elena’s drawings once. You can certainly agree to run shorter or longer games depending on the mood and attention span of the players involved. Each round’s total is tallied on a score sheet and the player/team with the highest score at the end of ten rounds is the winner!

I've never been great at finding small clues in larger pictures, and Kaleidos by Cool Mini or Not requires that as a skill! I'm doomed... - SahmReviews.com

While the box recommends Kaleidos for ages 10+, this is another case of product testing limiting the suggested age ranges. Kaleidos can certainly be enjoyed by children much younger and I would even go as far as suggesting it would be a great word association tool for toddlers just beginning to match words with objects. Maybe not so much as a game in that sense, but challenging them to point out as many items that start with a certain letter. Either way, the sweet spot should be ages 7+ and any advantage you think you have as an adult with a stronger vocabulary will instantly be squashed by the sheer speed of your kids’ recognition skills.

Right now you can find Kaleidos on Amazon for around $26 – a huge discount off the normal MSRP of $40. 2017 is lining up to be a great year for Cool Mini or Not, so make sure you’re following them on Twitter and Facebook as they have quite a few amazing Kickstarter campaigns in the works!

What was your favorite part of the newspaper comic section?

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Scott

About Scott

A former manufacturing executive, Scott now balances his family life with ownership and backend administration of websites such as SahmReviews.com, GiftCardCollector.com and a number of other online properties. He also is an occasional writer and full-time board game fanatic.

10 comments on «Kaleidos Board Game Overview»

  1. This game looks so fun. I used to love family game night as a kid. Now they have so many more board games its crazy!

  2. Joely Smith says:

    I have always loved games like these! I still do! This looks like a great way to get the kids brains working and maybe us adults as well. I always enjoy your game reviews! Games are such a wholesome family activity.

  3. That sounds pretty cool and reminds me of my niece’s artwork. In college she was given an assignment to take 10 ordinary items like a pair of boots or an umbrella and incorporate it into a larger drawing. At first is was all pencil sketching but then evolved into painting. It turns out she was pretty good at it and continues to thid day creating those “Where’s Waldo” type of paintings.

  4. i love board games!!this really sounds like something I would totally play with my friends and also with my parents to have fun. the colors and the design of the game are so nice.

  5. Laurie Albanos says:

    I’m always looking for family games that can span the ages of my three children. I’ll have to check this one out. It looks fun and engaging.

  6. Kelly says:

    This game looks like it would be fun. I like that children and adults can play and the game relies more on skill than luck with drawing a card or rolling the dice. It’d be interesting to figure out what wins more often: the larger vocabulary or the faster speed at recognition.

  7. Emma says:

    This looks like a great fun game for all the family. Great for spelling, puzzle solving and interaction. And enjoyable too!

  8. Sauumye says:

    Board games are always amazing . They are so engaging & can be played easily with the family. I stillprefer them over Console gaming.

  9. katrina gehman says:

    i love all the games you review. i haven’t heard of this one, but i am def going to check it out. my kids have been asking for new games to play with.

  10. Charlene says:

    This sounds like a fun game. We always enjoyed all of the “Where In The __________ is Waldo”. I’m going to keep my eyes open for a used one.

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