Note I was sent a selection of Bakugan to get started with the game.
My husband and I are massive gamers, both digital and board games, so getting kids interested in strategy games is really important to us and something we think is fun for the whole family. Bakugan is a collectible battle game that manages to combine quite a lot of different genres. First it’s a collectible game, with 100 different figures and their corresponding battle cards to collect. Second, it’s a deep strategy game, with a ton of story behind the world and the characters and important decisions to be made to make the most of it. Third, it’s an action battle game, where you defeat your opponent to win – pretty exciting!
To add to the excitement and make this game a very unique one, your battle figurines start off in a ball that rolls (you roll it like a dice) and then pops out automatically to attack. This is something you might be familiar with from the TV show, and it really makes the game feel very action driven. If you haven’t seen the TV show, it’s on Netflix and is called Bakugan: Battle Planet. Each Bakugan battle figure comes with their own card and have statistics. They have strengths you want to emphasize and you need to build your team and adjust your play to your opponents to really master the game. That sounds pretty complicated, but for younger players (it’s aimed at 6+) and beginners there are simplified beginner rules which help them get started and will make this a simpler toy battle game with room to expand on them later.
The toys are also just fun to play with without any of the rest of the game at all, and can be easily carried around in a pocket for a bit of entertainment when not at home.
Additionally there are hexagonal board pieces that are called BakuCores. These are played at the center of your play area in a grid like pattern and then you try to roll your Bakugan onto the cores that you want to activate. This gives them a boost to their statistics, which you can then use to battle the two Bakugan and decide on a winner for the round – hello maths practice! The idea is to open all your Bakugan and keep them open (if you lose a fight they curl back up into a ball) to win the whole game.
I’ve talked a bit about playing area. There is a fantastic looking arena which provides a board for this game, but we’ve been playing it without the board. You have everything you need to play in one of the starter kits, and you can add individual or limited edition Bakugan as well as you buy them. You can play on any flat surface, although the arena does give a good guide line and looks super cool. One of the good things about it from a parents point of view is that you can build it up over time and getting new Bakugan is a relatively inexpensive treat, but there are enough additions that you could also make a great birthday or Christmas gift out of it. There’s even a storage case to keep them all neat and tidy and providing an epic place to store them will help encourage the kids to put them away (hopefully).
With the beginner’s rules that make this more of a basic toy battle game and the full advanced rules that really up the strategy level, I think this is one that could stand the test of time and be fun to play and develop strategy as the kids grow. Bakugan seems like a great way to combine thinking, strategy and a bit of maths with fun to play with toys and action. We’ll definitely be building up our collection.