Toy ReviewsIt’s the harrowing result of impatience and gluttony, and it numbs the mind as the cold washes over. No matter how sweet the tooth, no one appreciates a brain freeze.

Brain Freeze, from Mighty Fun!, is the head-to-head guessing game with a theme that’s sure to get any kid’s sweet tooth chomping at the bit. Designed for two players ages 5 and up, Brain Freeze is basically Guess Who? meets Battleship meets Bingo. Let’s just call it a hybrid of sorts. Included in the box are two game boards, two secrecy shields, two dry erase markers, two dry erase wipe cloths, and an instruction booklet.

Before the game can begin, kids must set up their gameboard and use their secrecy shield to ensure their decisions remain under wraps. The gameboard and shield are excitingly colorful, and mouthwatering illustrations of frosty treats will make for perfect imagery on a hot summer night. After players get themselves assembled, they can select a Secret Treat Secret Square from the board and mark its location on their shield. There are ice cream sandwiches, milkshakes, cones, popsicles, and snow cones of various flavors that they can choose from. The result is 100 different game board treats that kids can choose from.

STEM games

To win Brain Freeze, a player must be the first to correctly guess which secret square their opponent chose. It could be the cherry snow cone in space A5, or it could be the bubblegum popsicle in space H7. The only way to get clues on the opponent’s secret square location is to start guessing.

In alternate turns, players must call out a secret square location by reciting its row, column, flavor/color, and symbol out loud. If any of the four variables match the variables of the opponent’s secret square location, the opponent must say “yes”. If not, they simply say “no”. Using deductive reasoning, kids can begin to eliminate variables on their game board that don’t match and circle variables that might match in an effort to locate the opponent’s secret square. Players that guess correctly win—but players that guess wrong lose.

Brain Freeze is best played in head-to-head fashion, but group play is also encouraged for kids who want a partner to help them solve their opponent’s secret square. But with a play time of about 20 minutes, kids should have no problem waiting for their chance to give someone the freeze. Through creative problem solving, Brain Freeze masks early learning and STEM skills in a sea of sweet.