AD: Call the Midwife – The Board Game Review
I absolutely love Call the Midwife. It’s required Sunday evening viewing in my house and it’s one of those programmes that give you that warm comforting feeling. Like you’re being wrapped up in a handmade crochet blanket and served a cup of tea and a slice of cake whilst watching it.
When Bonn and I were at the recent Toy Fair at London’s Olympia an advert on the floor of the hall caught my attention. Who wouldn’t love a board game version of my favourite TV programme?
I managed to make time between meetings to find Rachel Lowe’s stand and talk to her about the game and was thrilled when she asked me to review it here on Penny Plays.
The aim of the game is quite simple really. Be the midwife to deliver the most babies. Sounds easy doesn’t it? But in Call the Midwife life is never that simple!
Players choose to be one of the four midwives – Nurse Trixie, Nurse Valerie, Nurse Lucille, or my personal favourite Nurse Crane – and they have to travel around Poplar delivering babies. The game board is not designed as most usually are with a clear route round them. Instead you have a plan view of poplar with various addresses and key locations marked and routes between them. It’s up to you how you travel around.
Players start off by having to travel to Nonnatus House to collect a Delivery Card telling them where they need to head for their first delivery. Delivery locations are scattered around Poplar and could be a home address or possibly even the police station or the Doctor’s surgery. Off you go, rolling the die to move around the board towards your destination. But on the way there, there is a chance they’ll be called away to deal with something else. This happens by landing on a Nonnatus House symbol which means a player has to collect a Nonnatus House card. This could mean that you instead have to head to a different location on the board before making your delivery, or it may be some slightly better news. Something along the lines of getting another turn, passing on your delivery to the player sitting next to you, or your next delivery being twins or triplets meaning you can collect two or three baby tokens instead of the usual one.
Each time you reach a delivery destination you collect a baby token and it is the number of these tokens that you manage to collect in the game that decides the winner. That’s why delivering twins or triplets can be super helpful in trying to win the game.
After each delivery the midwives need to return to Nonnatus House to find out where they need to go for their next delivery.
The end of the game is when all the baby tokens have been collected. At this point all midwives have to race back to Nonnatus House and the first one to get there gets on bonus baby token (denoted by a larger baby token). The total number of babies per midwife is counted up and the player with the most is the winner.
In the event of two midwives having made the same number of deliveries, each is given a new delivery card and the first midwife to reach their delivery is the winner.
We played Call the Midwife with my eight year old daughter who was very keen to play a game based on “Mummy’s favourite TV programme”. She picked up the rules quickly, and it also sparked some very interesting conversations with her about the move away from home births and the role of the NHS in history. She thoroughly enjoyed the game play and was rather pleased to finish the game in a very close second place.
I thought the game was excellent and great fun to play. The way that you kept darting around the board gave you a very good feel for what the midwives were actually doing – darting all over Poplar, not knowing where they would be going for their next delivery or what else they might be called away to do first. Picking up the Nonnatus House cards as you went around the board really kept you on your toes. I am inclined to agree with a bit of feedback that Rachel Lowe said she had already received about increasing the number of Nonnatus House cards in the game as we did tend to work our way through them all quite quickly.
You don’t need to be familiar with the television programme to be able to play, but I can see the game being a huge hit with fans. Personally I loved being no nonsense Nurse Crane for the evening!
Call the Midwife The Board Game is available to buy online here and is priced at £28.99.
Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of Call the Midwife The Board Game for the purposes of this review. All opinions remain my own. This post contains affiliate links.