Thursday, May 11, 2017

Can't outrun the hippos

We knew that Hungry Hungry Hippos was inevitable. We knew that there was no way for it to not end up in our house. Every time we saw in a store, the doodle wanted it and we couldn't tear him away the time he got to play a demo copy. So, when we saw a copy at Goodwill, we gritted our teeth and bought it, telling ourselves that at least we weren't buying it at brand new prices.

Hungry Hungry Hippos, for that one guy in the back who has come out of the cave they've spent the last few decades in, is a toy or game where you use lever activated hippo heads to scoop in marbles from a shallow bowl. Whoever gets the most marbles wins. There's a variant where getting the one yellow marble wins the game.

In all honesty, I have problems thinking of Hungry Hungry Hippos as a dexterity game or even a game. The only decision in it is timing and even that might not make a difference in your gameplay. 

And, of course, the toddler loves the silly thing. He will literally bang out game after game with it. And he does play it by the rules, although there's really only one and it's a simple one. Hit them levers.  Mind you, he could follow that one rule when he was exposed to the game back when he was two.

What really drives my 'meh' factor with Hungry Hungry Hippos is that there is no learning factor in it. With games like Don't Spill the Beans or Animal Upon Animal, kids get to practice hand eye coordination. Matching games teach memory and deduction. Heck, even Tic Tac Toe teachers analytical thinking and Candyland teaches counting in colors. Hungry Hungry Hippos really gives a kid nothing to think about.

Still, the doodle does have fun with it, it is something to occupy him when he gets manic, and it teaches the all important lesson that games are fun and a great activity :P

P. S. We both had Hungry Hungry Hippos when we were tiny kids and we both agree that the newer version with the thicker but softer plastic is both more durable and quieter. So that's a real plus with this version.

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