|Play Time:||30-60 minutes|
|Our Recommended Age:||6+ (with a bit of help)|
What is a Chickapig you ask? Rightly so! It is literally a Chicken/Pig hybrid. Also, a fun game involving strategy, luck, chickapigs, cows and poo. Normally I don’t like games that use poo as a gimmick but in this case it makes sense and adds a bit of hilarity to the game without being too much. This is one of those games that you cannot help but get a kick out of and want to play again and again.
Chickapig was thought up by Brian Calhoun while driving and it turned into a sort of hobby for him. He was already enjoying making guitars for musicians. Good ones and for musicians whom you may know, like Dave Matthews? Who also happens to be a partner with Brian in the making of Chickapig. Music and gaming just go together as do gaming and large crowds…well maybe that is a stretch if it isn’t a convention but I like to think of large groups of people all getting together and playing board games. Which Brian did as well and used to put that exact thing together but he did it concerts!
He likes to keep things closer to home in both guitar making and Chickapig and have been heavily involved with outreach programs, including Autistic centers, Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brother Big Sister, and special needs camps. I LOVE companies that give back to communities or just help in general. They have also been shipping boards to schools all over the country and over 60 schools currently use the game. “In addition to just being fun, Chickapig has received great feedback from teachers and parents as a game that is good for children’s critical thinking and for their social skills.”
“Chickapig is better for kids than chess because it introduces chess-like thinking, but in a fun light-hearted way” – Judah Brownstein, former 12th grade National Chess Champion.
I love it for homeschool lessons (yes we use games) because it does introduce chess-like thinking. Developing strategy, critical thinking and planning ahead are things I want my kids to learn and this is one of the games we play that help with those. It is recommended for ages 8+ but I’d say a 6 year old or any younger seasoned gamer could play. The 2 player version in the instructions actually is a good way to help beginners understand the mechanics and is a quick play through. If you need to you can always leave out the poo and daisy cards for a game or two in order to get the basics down.You can read the story of how Chickapig came to be on their website and it is an interesting read so you should check it out. They went through quite a bit of variations for the pieces all of which were hand made. In the end they decided that handmade was the best way and so they get weekly deliveries of Chickapigs and Brian’s mom makes all of the cows! As a fan of DIY I love this idea!
Our particular game (I think it is a first edition) has wooden pieces. Not the average wooden pieces though. These feel..rough but not splintery and look hand painted. It gives it a sort of farm, rustic I think is the term, homemade feel that I haven’t encountered in a game as of yet but I like it. The pieces fit the theme of the game very well.
The cards are standard card types and mostly have words. Daisy cards are good, Poo cards are bad…cause duh..poo. The die feels embossed or etched, whatever you call it, but has cute prints on it. I like the daisies.
The kids love it and to be honest it is a fun and silly game. You probably want to know how to play now though so let’s begin! I’ll try not to confuse you too much.
Get all of your Chickapigs to the other side of the board…and avoid poo…and the cow.
First choose your color. Then setup the board so the Chickapigs are at the opposite side of their pasture fence. You have 6 and you set them up one space away from each other with one each next to the opposite color fence. It is best to look at the diagram in the instructions for how to set it up. The Cow and its fence go in the center and I won’t even try to explain the hay bales. Just check the instructions. Trust me. Now roll to see who goes first.
On your turn, roll the die. The number shown is how many moves you get for that turn. Not spaces to move just moves total. See you can move a Chickapig, your Hay Bales, or the Cow in any order you want. You do HAVE to move the amount of the times as was on the dice. There are, of course, a few rules you have to follow. If you move a Hay Bale you can only move it one space at a time and NOT diagonally. One space equals one move. If you move a Chickapig though…it gets fun.
Chickapigs can move in a straight line but only forward, backward or sideways. Again NOT diagonally. Once you choose to move one it goes in that direction until it runs into something. A Chickapig, a Hay Bale, the sides of goals, the edge of the board, the Cow or fence (but poo doesn’t stop it). You can only move your own color Chickapig and you cannot move them in another player’s goal.
Now if you roll a 1 and choose to you can place the Cow in any open space on the board. The first time the Cow moves the fence is removed for the remainder of the game and every time the Cow moves this way it will poo where it lands. You can also move the Cow like a Hay Bale (one space in any direction) but it will only poo when it moves from rolling a 1. Cows have standards of pooing you know.
Put the poo under the Cow and when it moves again the poo remains…of course. When a Chickapig goes over the poo remove it from the board and take a poo card. Read it out loud and at the end of your turn do what it says and then reshuffle it into the poo deck. No one wants to step in poo so all of these cards are bad things…just FYI. Also, only the Cow poos and nothing happens to it if it goes over its own poo. However, it cannot poo twice in one space. What self-respecting Cow would poo twice in one place!
Now the Daisy cards are good…cause flowers smell nice…I guess. If you roll a 2 you can take a Daisy card instead of using your 2 moves. Keep the card a secret and at any point during your turn you can play it. You can only have one Daisy card at a time though and you cannot play it the same turn you pick it up. Again, once played shuffle it back in the deck.
Try to plan ahead to guide your Chickapigs to their goal but you can also block other players with your Hay Bales or the Cow…or even poo. You just cannot block their goal completely. Maybe at first you’ll want to focus on getting your own Chickapigs there but then you can start to play defensively as well. My kids of course have no mercy and already did that…their dad still won but they did try to block him. I think they enjoy that part of the game. None of us is very seriously competitive when it comes to games but we aren’t going to just let people win either hehe.
You win if you manage to get all of your Chickapigs into your goal first. ALL OF THEM. This actually can happen pretty quickly but sometimes, if people take too long of turns, it can take longer. This is one of those games where a bit of luck can mean even I can win…which I did this time when we were taking pics for this post. It was glorious! If you have been reading my posts you know I don’t win. Hardly ever. This time, however, I won! Woo hoo!!
My kids were in shock. I think my husband was as well hehe. I mean it doesn’t happen often so yeah it was shocking but turns out I was lucky or really good at this sort of thing. Just not chess…ha!
In case you are wondering what sound a Chickapig makes…well we are too but we have decided it sounds, and I’ll do my best to type it here, “Bok Bok Bok BacOink!” but that oink you have to make the snort oink sound. I am not sure what sound the company has decided it makes though…I like ours anyway. The kids, and sometimes my husband, make the noise when they get a Chickapig to their fence. It adds a lot of hilarity to the game and yes the Cow makes a noise when it moves as well.
Chickapig has been a lot of fun and the kids have been asking to play every day. We can’t always play due to adulting but we try and it is always in the selection of our Family Game Night game list. I highly recommend this game for kids as it will help them learn strategy and planning similar to chess but I also recommend it for teens and adults. Teens are harder to find games to play but this one should be one they will enjoy and I know adults will love it.
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