Wednesday, August 31, 2011

TOS Crew Review: Pig Pile!

And they're off... in this case, it is my first review for the TOS Crew for the 2011-12 Voyage.  And it's a fun one!
RnR Games
R&R Games sent out a couple of different games to reviewers.  I had the chance to review Pig Pile! with my kids.  Oh.  What.  Fun.

Intended for 3-6 players ages 7 and up, we (of course) didn't completely follow their suggestions.  Trina (age 5) has been involved in virtually every game played in the family.

Aren't the pigs absolutely adorable?

Okay, so the basic rules of the game are to play a card to the center pile that is equal or greater to what is there already.  If three of the same value are played, that is a "hogwash" and those cards get flipped to the discard pile... and you get to start fresh.  There are special cards that make you lose a turn, or do a "ewe-turn" (play switches direction) and all that kind of thing.

First person to use all their cards gets three pigs.  Next person gets two.  Then everyone but the last person gets one pig for going out.  A new hand is dealt, and the game continues, with the number of pigs being your score.

We've played the game with a number of different players.  Our conclusions (and I'm quoting/paraphrasing my kids):
  • Three players -- long and not a lot of fun, seems kind of pointless, and fairly easy for older players to consistently win because of being able to keep track of what other players have and being able to more or less predict what will happen on their turns
  • Four players -- fun, but still long and not as predictable
  • Five players -- a great game.  Very fun.  
  • Six players -- a really and truly great game, fast moving, far more element of chance
  • Seven players -- okay, we haven't actually succeeded in getting Dad to play, but we want to try it out and see if it works.  Probably with one fewer card in the original hands.
So -- our advice?  Although the game says it is for 3-6 players, it is unlikely to become a favorite if you are consistently playing with only 3-4 people.  It probably will require modification (as those pigs sit there a very long time, not being handed out).  For 5-6 people though, the game is great.

Back to who my players were:

My three oldest boys, ages 10, 12 and 14, easily grasped the rules and taught their younger siblings to play.  And their mother.

Richard, age 7, needed a little coaching in the first game, but then could easily play.

Trina, age 5, needs occasional help ("Is this a 6 or a 9?") as she plays, and after a couple dozen games, she is understanding the basic strategies.  She rarely goes out first, but she also doesn't go out last all that often.  At least not when playing with 5-6 people.  When playing with only 3 players, she loses virtually every round, doesn't get more than maybe one pig, and is frustrated.  And whiny.  It isn't pretty.  But with everyone playing, she has fun.

Available for $15.95, this is a game my family certainly recommends.  But as a Crew Blog Reader, you can get it (or any other game that R&R sells) for 20% less through the end of the year, 12/31/11, by using the coupon code CREW20.  I have my eye on Masters of Venice as a Christmas gift...  or maybe Overthrone...

You can read what other TOS Crew Members have to say about Pig Pile (and about Flea Circus too) here:


Disclaimer:  As part of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I did receive this game in exchange for my review of the product.  All opinions are my own, and receiving complimentary products does not factor in to my opinions.  For more about my take on reviews, visit my blog post here.


Cristi said...

Thank you for such a thorough review. I always appreciate knowing whether a game is fun for a smaller group of people. Sometimes we can gather three or four people to play, but more often than not we're looking for something to play with just two.

Wendy R said...

We've been having lots of fun with Flea those little cats and dogs! I've also been eying Masters of Venice; Overthrone looks good, too!

Jennifer said...

What great smiles you captured! We will have to try it with a larger group, too.