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Hasbro's new Bop-It and Simon Air get wild and sloppy...and more complicated

There used to be buttons; now there are motion gestures

Sarah Tew/CNET

"Whip it!"

I flicked Bop-It in the air.

"Selfie it!"

Is that...raise it up like a camera?

The buzzer blares. I failed.

Bop-It used to be simple: three simple moves, three things to do. Bop, Twist, Pull. No more. The new Bop-It, coming this fall, looks exactly the same but adds an accelerometer. Now it understands gestures. And those get added to the game, pushing the number of things you can do up to 13.

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That's fun, but also a bit of a problem. Bop-It Action (as the new mode is called) is hard to remember, messy chaos. And motion gestures aren't nearly as precise as hitting something or twisting a knob. "Hammer it!" and "whip it!" use nearly the same gesture. So do "drink it!" and "sing it!" Sometimes the game (an early version) recognized my moves. Sometimes it didn't. Luckily, classic Bop-It modes can still be played without the gesture controls. It's more fun when you care less about the score, or have had a few drinks.

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That's a lot of moves.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Simon Air, also coming in the fall, has similar issues. It looks like a stargate, but works by waving your hands over the game's glowing ring-parts. Sometimes the game got my gestures perfectly, and sometimes it buzzed my failure even though I swore I had my hand over the right area. Sometimes old-fashioned buttons are better.

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Simon Air: Toy or interdimensional portal?

Sarah Tew/CNET

Still, as conversation starters, new Bop-It and Simon Air were pretty entertaining around the office. And really, really noisy (there are some volume controls).

Both arrive this fall and will cost $20 (equivalent to £15 or AU$26).