The very first thing that drew me into Flashlights & Fireflies was the ambiance! I could just picture myself as a little kid running around in the dark with the neighborhood kids playing night games. I think that’s a major reason why my kids are so obsessed with this game right now.
Essentially, you play as a boy or girl trying to sneak home without getting caught by another player which freezes your progression for a round. To catch another player you need to capture fireflies to light up your awesome firefly-powered flashlight (I want a real one!). Look out for those pesky mosquitos, though! They are almost as annoying to run into as they are in real life…but not quite. The more fireflies you capture, the more you can search for other players to freeze their progression. But then come the raccoons, opossums, and bats (my son’s favorite!). If you find one of these during your search in the woods, you get chased away for good that round!
Whenever our kids play a sport or a game, we drill into them these three things: being a good sport, trying hard, and having fun. We remind them of these three principles beforehand and ask how they did afterwards. Flashlights & Fireflies is a great game to teach these principles, especially being a good sport. There are absolutely setbacks that are a direct result of another player’s actions (e.g., when they choose to search for you over others and when they find you and freeze you for that round), but that’s a good thing! The first game we played, my son started to get huffy when his sister froze him, so we had a great conversation about what being a good sport means.
The future advantage given to players who get frozen saved me in this game. When hiding in the woods, most tiles you have are empty woods spaces, some may be a pest, and one is your player. If you get frozen, you get to draw an additional woods tile as a better “defense,” if you will, against future searches (meaning the odds of finding you are decreased with each additional tile you receive). This balances out the game a bit to prevent guaranteed losses when all players target Dad!
We have really enjoyed playing this with our young ones. It keeps them fully engaged and interested the entire game (about 15 minutes). The artwork is adorable. The theme is awesome. And it even teaches them certain skills and principles like persistence, trade-offs, patience, and how to catch fireflies (kidding on that last one). Overall, this is a fun, light, engaging game for the entire family.
Disclaimer: I received this game for free in exchange for my review, but believe me, I post authentic reviews every time and will be brazenly blunt if needs be.