TinkerLab Approved: Obstacles Game by eeBoo

Obstacles: A Game of Imaginative Solutions by eeBoo is  one of my family’s very favorite games, and I’ve been planning this review for some time. In this game, players take a journey along a path that’s riddled with wild obstacles (blizzard, waterfall, cave, etc.) and must overcome them from an array of unusual tools (siren, jack-in-the-box, propeller hat, etc.). The solutions are often unexpected as this game pushes players to come up with innovative and creative solutions.

Obstacles Game Review | TinkerLab Approved

As a collaborative game, it’s designed so that everyone can work together to come up with the best possible solution. Alternatively, players can work individually on their own ways to overcome the obstacles.

This game encourages team work, imagination-building, and creative thinking. Awesome, right?

The game is officially designed for children ages five – eight, although we got it when my older daughter was four, and have since introduced it to our three-year old. Younger children won’t play at the same pace, but they can still get a lot out of this game. Better yet, adults will are equally engaged by this game making it fun for the entire family.

Obstacles Game Review | TinkerLab Approved

How to play Obstacles

This game is for 2-5 players.

There are two types of cards in the Obstacles game: the large Obstacle cards and the small Tool cards. The Obstacle cards connect together to make a path.  As you can see in our photos, my kids like to make a big pile of cards instead of a path. Some of the obstacles include blizzard, wind, desert, tacks that cover the path, an ogre, a traffic jam, and poison ivy.

The goal is figure out how to best overcome an obstacle from a set of tools. Players can work independently or as a team, making this a cooperative game.

Obstacles Game Review | TinkerLab Approved

While the game comes with suggestions on how to play it, the open-ended nature of it allows you to make up “rules” that fit your child’s style. Here’s how we usually play:

  1. Each player gets five tool cards.
  2. Flip over an obstacle card.
  3. The first player chooses the best possible tool card to overcome the obstacle and provides an explanation for their reasoning.
  4. Other players can chime in to help if it proves too tricky.
  5. The play then moves to the next player who flips over the next obstacle card.
  6. And so on.

Obstacles Game Review | TinkerLab Approved

One of my favorite parts of this game is hearing the imaginative and often hilarious reasons given for why certain tools will help overcome an obstacle:

  • distract the ogre with the plate of cookies
  • jump over the border crossing with a  trampoline
  • scare away bees with a horn
  • pull the fabric off the cushion to make leg coverings and then walk through the poison ivy.

So much fun!

As an advocate for creative and critical thinking skills, I especially appreciate how this game encourages children to provide evidence for their solutions. It’s not enough to place a tool card on an obstacle and then pass your turn. Rather, each placed tool is accompanied by reasoning and explanation.

Obstacles Game Review | TinkerLab Approved

More Fun eeBoo Stuff

  • eeBoo was founded by Mia Galison and her husband Saxton Freymann, then parents of three  children under the age of three.
  • eeBoo is a family owned and operated business
  • To get an inside peek into this creative toy company’s work space, you can take a virtual tour of the eeBoo office in NYC. It’s situated in an old converted ballroom.
  • Some of our other favorite eeBoo games are the Fairytale Spinner Game and Tell Me a Story card decks, (Amazon affiliate links)
  • The game is eco-friendly as it’s made from 90% recycled grey board and soy-based inks

Where to find Obstacles, the game

  • eeBoo can be found in toy stores and Museum shops. If they don’t carry it, many toy stores will order the game for you.
  • You can also find the game on Amazon (affiliate link)
  • Directly from the eeBoo site

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