The sun is out (well, maybe not in Melbourne) but we’re still being told that it’s safer for us to stay indoors. Whilst restrictions are slowly easing, you may like to while the time away playing these classics from Crown & Andrews and Goliath Games.
Compiled by Lisa Andrews & Michael Mastess
Food for thought
So far as outrageous games go, Pop! The Pig is as out-there as they come. An international best-seller, this easy-to-play favourite sees players roll the die, land on the appropriate colour to match a particular hamburger (yes), then pop the burger into the pig’s mouth, and press the pigs head the number of times indicated on that burger.
Once piggy has eaten too much, he’ll suddenly pop! If he pops on your turn, you’ve won. With no batteries needed and playable with between 2 and 6 players, this is an easy one to roll out for a fun gaming session.
Pop! The Pig RRP $39.95 available from Big W, K-Mart and other quality game outlets.
It’s not rummy, it’s not gin, it’s Rummikub!
Despite its unusual name, the rules of Rummikub are simple: You’ve just got to remember what you can and can’t do on a turn. Much like the card games gin, rummy and solitaire, it’s not a lack of expertise that will cause a loss, more that you might be distracted and miss opportunities that right under your nose.
Up to four players sit down and are given a batch of numbered, multi-coloured tiles, table face-down. Each player draws 14 tiles from the table, placing them on their rack; whatever is left forms the pool. On the first turn, each player will attempt to make a set of one or more groups or runs that adds up to at least 30 points.
Be the first player to go ‘rumikub’ by using all tiles in ‘runs’ or ‘groups’ and by accumulating the highest score.
You can even use one of two ‘Jokers’ but, careful here, if he is smiling on your rack at the end of the round, you’ll lose 30 points.
Each game is a different combination of moves so it’s kind of fresh each time you play.
Rummikum RRP $39.95 available from Big W, Target and other department stores and game outlets.
Drawing to conclusions
Dubbed ‘the world’s fastest drawing game’ (take that Pictionary!), Pass The Pen gives players 10 quick seconds to draw while the other players guess what the picture is. Is it a beachball? A sumo wrestler. Or a snowman? It’s actually a very good game for keeping your wits about you, allowing you to be creative while also being educational in the art of, well, creating art.
And here’s the spooky bit. The pen tip disappears as the seconds tick by. You earn points if someone guesses your picture correctly; if not, you pass the pen to the next player, and they pick up where you left off!
There are over 500 objects to draw, guaranteeing to draw plenty of laughter from everyone. Suitable for 3 or more players.
Pass The Pen RRP $29.00 available exclusively at K-Mart.
Hip to be square
When you think of 1980s games, the first thing that springs to mind is usually the Rubik’s Cube. It’s been a time-consuming favourite since forever, and has even yielded credibility status by frequently making it into Guinness World Record Books. If you’re a fan, you’ll appreciate Rubik’s 3×3 which boasts over 43 quintillion possible moves. Who knows? With practice, you may even be able to solve it in under 10 seconds.
Rubik’s 3X3 RRP $29.00 available from all good toy and game outlets.
Fun fact: Did you know there was once a cartoon series starring Rubik’s Cube? Despite the fact that the modest toy really has no narrative, personality or sentience, US network ABC commissioned a full season of an animated series about its “adventures”. To complete the madness, Latin band Menudo was enlisted to perform the title song.