In this edition of Mini Meeple Reviews, we look at three games for pre-schoolers from Getta1Games. They are Doggy Bags, Piggy Pile-Up, and Don’t Drop the Donut.
Designer: None listed
Player Count: 2
Ages: 3+ (We recommend Preschool and Kindergarten)
Skills Taught: Fine motor skills, Hand-eye coordination, Tactile learning
Doggy Bags rules are so simple, that they are actually printed on the back of the box instead of a rule sheet. Both players get a cloth doggy bag with the same plastic food toys in each bag. Place the Franky tile in the middle of the table (that is the dog tile) and then shuffle the food tiles. Turns are simultaneous, someone flips over a food tile and both players rush to pull the item out of the bag (without looking in the bag) and be the first player to place the piece of food on top of Franky the Dog.
Parents take: This game has taken our house by storm. Not only does our preschooler want to constantly play it, but the older kids want to square off too, to see who is the fastest. It is a constant cheering and giggles fest. That said, while older kids may enjoy it now and then – this is a preschooler to kindergarten age game. It’s easy enough to understand that the kids can play without mom and dads help as well. Doggy Bags is small enough to play on a small side table and portable enough to play at a restaurant or even play in the car (if your children are with you waiting in the car somewhere). While at the moment I can beat my preschooler every time, that doesn’t mean it will always be that way. Doggy Bags is a game where the children can improve their skills and with a little practice, get faster as time goes on. For many of these reasons, we are awarding Doggy Bags our Young Meeple award.
Olivia Meeple’s (Preschooler) take: There is a dog in it and I love dogs. I like picking food out of the bag like peppers really fast to put on the dog. It’s funny when someone picks the wrong food out. I give it 45,922 thumbs up. We need to play that one a lot.
Designer: None listed
Player Count: 1-4
Ages: 3+ (We recommend preschool age)
Skills Taught: Fine motor skills and Hand-eye coordination
In Piggy Pile-Up players will take oversized wooden pigs cut in different shapes and try to be the first to stack all of their pigs. Players will take turns stacking one pig at a time, either on the cardboard base or on top of other pigs, but watch out because if you cause pigs to fall on your turn, you take all the newly fallen porkers into your play pile. First to get rid of all their pigs wins.
Parents take: We think Piggy Pile-Up could be a good first stop to stacking games like Animal Upon Animal, but due to the thickness of the wooden pieces – it is a little too easy for adults to stack. However, to be fair, it’s a stacking game for 3-year-olds, and so that age needs to be able to stack them. This is a better game if you have multiple preschoolers playing against each other. Piggy Pile-Up is probably best for the 3 to 4-year-old crowd before they are ready to move on to stacking games with smaller pieces and more challenge. However, there are two really nice things about this game. The first is the toy factor – the quality of these wooden pigs is top notch, the art is great and you may find your children playing with the pigs and even giving names to them (my preschooler has now named them all already, one of which is “Sausage”). The second is this game can be played solo, which may come as a relief to some parents after being asked to play it for the 5th time that day.
Olivia Meeple’s (Preschooler) take: What I love about Piggy Pile-Up is the little piggies, some look like dalmatians. I love the art. I like naming the pigs and stacking the pigs. I like playing with others, but also playing it by myself.
Don’t Drop the Donut
Designer: None listed
Player Count: 2-4
Ages: 3+ (We recommend ages 3-7, though may need adult help setting up)
Skills Taught: Builds fine motor skills, Hand-eye coordination, Cause and effect thinking, Color recognition skills
In Don’t Drop the Donuts, players will take a handful of colored sticks and put them through a ring, making the ring stand up with the sticks poking out. Each color stick is a different thickness and worth a different amount of points. Players roll a die take out a stick of the corresponding color without causing the donut to hit the table/floor. Once the donut finally does hit the table, players count up their points and see who has the highest score to win.
Parents take: Moms and Dads may instantly see this game and think of the HABA game – Zitternix/Keep It Steady – and they are correct. There are a few rule differences and this is a simplified version. I did ask the publisher if this is a re-themed Zitternix, and they said it’s based off a public domain game. With that out of the way – how is the gameplay? It can be an enjoyable game, but it has a few issues. One thing to note is the game is best to be set up on either on carpet or on a tablecloth. Also, set up isn’t something that the young kids can set up on their own, it’s a bit tricky at first to learn to twist the sticks to stand in the donut, so they may need adult help. The game only last 5 minutes if that, and if played multiple times in a row – means multiple times an adult has to set it up. Another issue is because whoever causes the donut to fall is not out of the scoring phase (like in Zitternix) – if I know I am ahead because I have more blues which are 15 points, I can cause the donut to collapse on purpose. This could be house ruled though, if you find this to be an issue. However, the kids seem to have a good time playing it and that is what counts and it can be fun to feel the anxiousness in the room when a player picks a seemingly unstable stick out of the donut.
Olivia Meeple’s (Preschooler) take: I love there is a donut because it is yummy. I love there are pink sticks and pink icing on the donut because I like the color pink. Pulling the stick out of the donut is funny and exciting because you don’t know if the donut is going to fall.
Mini Meeple-Sized Summary:
Doggy Bags was the clear winner, though the kids did enjoy the other two. We did ask our preschooler to rank all three Getta1Games, here is her order:
In first place is Doggy Bags (which is no surprise, she is addicted to this game),
In second place is Piggy Pile-Up
In third place is Don’t Drop the Donut
Thanks to Getta1Games for sending us all three games as review copies, in return for honest reviews.