Without exception, the first reaction of every parent who saw Chain Letters was “Oh, its just like Barrel of Monkeys!” There is no denying the connection but Patch has added an educational twist whereby the length of your chain is only good if you pull a complete, properly spelled word from the pile. Parents found this ingenious. What a great way to encourage and practice spelling. The focus appears to all be on the manipulation of the monkeys and the chain but while planning their next move kids are actively thinking about words and their spelling. While it is a competitive game we were delighted to see how cooperative players were, pointing out “free” letters for others to pick up. This lent itself to a fun experience and invariably led to requests to play again!