Lift It! Board Game / Dexterity Game Written Review

I examined the box of Lift It! by Per Gauding and studied the pictures and write up on the back cover. Dexterity games are not my favourite genre of game, but I had received rave reviews from friends on Instagram and wanted to try this one out. I opened the box and poured out its contents onto my desk. The game was underwhelming to look at with its pieces sewn out in front of me.

Lift It! board game box talbetop game reviews AustraliaLift it! A deceiving box indeed.

Some 3D shapes and crazy cranes with headbands, for some reason I felt like it should have more in it. I read through the instructions in a matter of minutes and felt ready to run a game with my Junior School Board Game Club. At lunch time the children ran up to me as they do every week and asked what I had. I always enjoy their enthusiasm. They were a little confused by the objects lying on the table in front of them. This was not the regular style of board game we tend to play each week.

I thought the headbands were a little flimsy and did not expect them to hold up, but I was happy that I was proved wrong. The cranes were surprisingly stable and far more useful than I expected. The cranes are deceptive providing the illusion that they are easy to use, but are surprisingly challenging to work effectively. In fact, all of the components were top notch. I do recommend attaching the crane to the band before placing it on your head. This makes the process a bit fidgety, but is easier overall. The board is set out well with clear images that show exactly where everything belongs. In fact, the designers have thought out the set up and layout so well I could almost workout the rules just by looking at the game set up properly.

Lift It! tabletop game review Lift It! dexterity gameLift It! all set up! A whole lot of fun!

The premise is simple. You draw a card that depicts a construction made up of the shapes laid out in front you. Your job is to use the head band with crane to hook the shapes recreating the construction on the card. This is simple enough. Only each card also has a time limit. The time limit is what kills you by the way. Try rushing construction and shapes will swing away, spin, and fall off, or worse yet, knock over your building. Go too slow and you will get beaten by your opponent, or run out of time.

While this all seems quite complex it must be said that watching and playing this game is equally hilarious. Despite the reticence of the group, the moment the first pair began building their constructs the room was filled with laughter, “Ooo’s”, and “ah’s”. The game was not just fun, it was exciting. There were immediate requests for the game to return the following week and the other staff member who assists with the group commented that it was an instant favourite. How could I argue with results like that?

I think the thing I liked most about the game was how flexible it was with gameplay. What I mean is that we were able to set the rules that suited how we wanted to play. For some of the kids who struggled with construction we dispensed with the time limit. After a while we decided not to score points and to just duel each other. Sometimes kids would select a card that interested them and we all just tried it. We were able to set the terms of play that suited our group and this only enhanced our enjoyment of the game.

Lift It! The game contentsAll the contents of Lift It! set out!

I have often dismissed dexterity games because I feel they rely on an element of gameplay that is dependent on physical capability. I do not need hand-eye coordination to play Cosmic Encounter, just a mind capable of processing events and working to optimise outcomes based on current state of play. This is always what I liked about games, the cerebral element of play. Even with randomisers I never considered luck an inhibitor to my gameplay, but adding dexterity or any physical element resulted in me mentally categorising them as sports. In my mind dexterity games made my physical capabilities a limiting factor. Yet Lift It! has been a real treat. It taught me that dexterity is not only a fun mechanic, but one that can be used for all ages effectively. I enjoyed playing this game and felt the need to rethink my position on dexterity games.

Lift it!
1-8 Players
Play Time: 40minutes
Ages 8+

Want more, Tracy Tapped That Box a wee while back with a swift video review: