Thursday, August 16, 2018

Do cute pigs make up for limited choices?

While going through the game closet with our four-year-old, I came across what I am pretty sure is the most mindless game I can enjoy, Pass the Pigs. 

Take the ancient pub game of Pig and replace the two dice with two rubbery toy pigs. Roll the pigs until you either decide to stop and bank your points or bust. Get to a hundred points and you win.

And since you’re rolling pigs, you’re not counting pips. Landing on their backs or feet or balanced on their nose and ears, that’s the sort of thing that earns you the points. However, if one pig lands on their left side and the other on its right (which has a dot on it), then you just and lose all the points you got it on that turn.

And let’s make no mistake. The whole reason that you play the game is play with the adorable little pigs. The toy factor is like 75% of the game. And, honestly, that’s enough for Pass the Pigs to stay in my collection.

However, with only two dice or pigs, the amount of control and decision making power you have is incredibly limited. On top of that, since they are pigs, it’s much harder to figure out the odds of busting, although landing on a side is the most common way for a pig to land.

Pass the Pigs’ day in my playing was so long ago, it was before I recorded plays. It spent some time as a super portable game I could take anywhere and teach anyone. Basically coffee shops.

However, other games quickly took its place. Farkle and Cosmic Wimpout and, in particular, Cinq-O all offered more interesting choices while taking up about the same pocket space and playing time. Until I decided to revisit Pass the Pigs, I hadn’t played it in years.

Frankly, despite the pigs, our son grew bored with the game more quickly than I did but he’s also not yet into push your luck games. Will he change his mind when he gets older or continue to pass on Pass the Pigs?

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