Peaceable Kingdom Edition: It’s An Animal Party!

Peaceable Kingdom Edition: It’s An Animal Party!

March 29, 2019 0 By Ryan Sanders

In this edition of Mini Meeple Reviews, we look at 2 food/drink games (Lemonade Shake Up! and Blue Plate Scramble) , and 2 animal games ( Pick Me Up, Piggy! and Catch!) – all co-op from Peaceable Kingdom. We look at a game for age 3+, 4+, 5+ and 6+  so readers are sure to find something that fits your young meeples age.


Pick Me Up, Piggy!

Published By: Peaceable Kingdoms

Ages: 3+

Player Count: 2-4

Designers: Kim Vandenbroucke

Game Type: Co-Op, Memory

Skills Learned: Memory, Storytelling, Working Together

Note: MindWare sent us a review copy for an honest opinion. Mindware is the parent company of Peaceable Kingdom. 

Overview: Pick up Piggy’s four barnyard friends at various places in town before running out of gas.

Rules: In this game, there are four cardboard buildings, four barnyard animals and a farmhouse truck. At the start of the game, players place a barnyard animal (mouse, hen, horse, and cow)  one by one into a building (one animal per building). There are slots in the 4 pre-made card stock quality buildings, that come in the game, in which players can slip the flat animal tokens into, much like a piggy bank. Players tell a story about why the character is going to this building (bookstore, paint store, pizza parlor, and the dentist). Then, players draw a card from the deck and follow the indicated action. The cards either take up gas from your gas gauge, fill the gas back up or have one of the four animals on it. If it has one of the four animals on it, the player must drive Piggy to the building they think the animal is dwelling. If they are right, they place the animal in the wooden car with Piggy. If they are wrong, they lose a gas point and try again. You either win by getting all four animals in the truck or lose by running out of gas.

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Parent’s Take: I think Pick Me Up, Piggy! may be a little too easy for my preschooler who is soon turning 5. Though Olivia still seems to enjoy it. The memory aspect is very easy, and you’re really at the whims of the cards. Parents may want to make a rule that the children do the actual memory part when the card is drawn, as it is too easy to remember as an adult the four animals in the four places. When we lost it was only because of the order of the cards. That said, I wish this game was around 2 years ago when Olivia was 3-years old, it is a good game for that age group. If you have a child that is turning 3, we suggest looking into Pick Me Up, Piggy!

Olivia Meeple’s (Preschooler) Take: I like the great artwork of the animals. I like you can drive around the town and it isn’t just one space at time like most games, and that the car can hold the people (animals). I love this game, because it is fun to play it. I never want to get rid of the game, ever, ever, everrrrrr!


Lemonade Shake Up!

Published By: Peaceable Kingdoms

Ages: 4+

Player Count: 2-4

Designers: Shanon Lyon

Game Type: Co-Op, Dice Game, Push Your Luck

Skills Learned: Working Together, Making Decisions, Money (quarters), Counting, Taking Risks

Note: MindWare sent us a review copy for an honest opinion. Mindware is the parent company of Peaceable Kingdom. 

Overview: Players using a Yahtzee-like mechanic, try to collect twelve quarters before they earn four sour lemon tokens.

Rules: Players work together to fulfill drink orders by rolling dice to make lemonade, strawberry lemonade or limeade. The first fulfilled order pays you 1 quarter, the 2nd 2quarters and the final 3 quarters. However, if you cannot fulfill an order (or there are no more customers wanting that drink) within the three given dice rolls on your turn, you place a sour lemon on a customer card. Players can choose to try to take off a sour lemon on their next turn, instead of making a drink, by rolling three sugars, but that is easier said than done (there are only five dice and sugar shows up only once per die).  If you fail to roll three sugars, you take an additional sour lemon. If you get four sour lemons, you lose. If you can get 12 quarters in your money jar, you win.

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Parent’s Take: Lemonade Shake Up! Is designed by Shanon Lyon who designed Outfoxed! (the #4 Children’s game on BGG) and has done a great job with the Yahtzee dice mechanic, I have enjoyed this game. It’s simple enough for a 4-year-old to play, but the parents can enjoy playing along as well. Do we go for the lemonade and make 1 quarter at a time, or push our luck with limeade, whose customers give us 3 quarters? If we have 3 sour lemons, do we try to get rid of a sour lemon – but if we fail, we will gain the fourth lemon and lose (which is how we lost the first two games)?

This is one of the best uses of Yahtzee roll-up-to-three times that I have come across in a kids game. Though I will say the rules could be a little clearer on removing the Sour Lemon Token, it makes it sound like you have to decide and announce you are choosing to do that BEFORE you ever roll, however, I am not sure that is what is actually meant. Rules also don’t say if you can reroll previously locked dice (say on your last turn, die you locked your first). That said, you can always house rule the way you play. I recommend this if you are looking for a dice-roller to play with your younger children. Probably best for children around the ages of 4-6 (maybe 3 1/2 ). This one isn’t a children game that adults are most likely enjoy as a filler with no kids around, however, adults may find when playing with kids they have more of a sweeter time than sour with this one. Oh and just for readers FYI there are actual recipes to make the three drinks found in the game at the back of the rulebook.

Olivia Meeple’s (Preschooler) Take: I like that you can roll the dice out of the cup and that the cup isn’t for actual lemonade, but a part of the game.I like rolling the dice to try to get the pink (strawberry) lemonade. I don’t like when we lose because of the sour lemons but it makes sense because some lemons are sour. This game is not my favorite game but sometimes is a good game.


Blue Plate Scramble

Published By: Peaceable Kingdoms

Ages: 5+

Player Count: 2-4

Designers: Kim Vandenbroucke

Game Type: Co-Op, Memory, Real-time

Skills Learned: Memory, Working Together

Note: MindWare sent us a review copy for an honest opinion. Mindware is the parent company of Peaceable Kingdom. 

Overview: Players work together have 30 seconds to remember customers crazy orders and then another 30 seconds to fulfill them. If you don’t or get them wrong, you get an angry customer. Can you survive three rounds before you make 5 customers angry?

Rules: Players will make 5 (or more if you want to play on a  harder setting) plates and have 30 seconds to remember them. A single plate is made up of two different food tiles. Once the sand timer is up, players turn over each plate. They now have 30 seconds to work together to make it through the facedown cards picturing the different food and placing the two cards on each plate that they think matches. Any mistakes or unfilled orders get you an angry customer, 5 angry customers and you lose. However, if you can go 3 rounds without 5 angry customers, you will.

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Parent’s Take: Blue Plate Scramble may have 5+ on the box, but I consider this one more of a family game than a children’s one in that it isn’t just for young children and will be outgrown someday, instead all ages can enjoy this one. We’ve had a great time with this one as a family and it’s one that is being upgraded from being on Olivia’s children game shelf to a family game shelf. Even if you have children in the double digits, you can still have a blast with this one, just add more orders to make it harder. However, be warned in the 30 seconds of chaos you have to fill the orders, it can get pretty rowdy. Not only is this a great use of a memory mechanic, but this may be the best Peaceable Kingdoms game I’ve ever played.

Olivia Meeple’s (Preschooler) Take: I like this one. I like there are foods because food is yummy. Some of the food together is silly like lobster and donuts going together, that is kind of weird. My favorite part of the game is there food I like to eat. It is tough to race again the timer but it’s fun too. Also, the game can be a little bit tough. It’s so crazy when everyone playing together flipping all the food cards, everyone is trying to find the food real quick. I like the craziness of the game.


Catch!

Published By: Peaceable Kingdoms

Ages: 6+

Player Count: 2-4

Designers: Markus Hagenauer

Game Type: Co-Op,

Skills Learned: Working Together

Note: MindWare sent us a review copy for an honest opinion. Mindware is the parent company of Peaceable Kingdom. 

Overview:  Players work together as 4 cats trying to catch a mouse before it gets away.

Rules: In the middle of the board is a mouse, this mouse which is a die controlled AI is trying to get to one of the color fences that surround the board. Players are cats, there are 4 in total that starts off at each corner of the board. On a turn, a player will roll 2 dice. One dice tells you how the mouse moves and the second one how many spaces up to you can move a single cat (unless you roll the one side that lets you move all 4 cats on space each). Neither the cat or the mouse more diagonally, and the object is to surround the mouse in all 4 orthogonal spaces next to it before the mouse escapes

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Parent’s Take: Catch!, well, never caught on with us. It fell flat. The gameplay feels outdated (like something that come out almost 2 decades ago) and we just didn’t find it fun to move a cat 1 to 3 spaces across the 225 spaces (15×15 grid) on the board to catch a mouse. As far as the age range goes,  6+ is probably right one the money. The game didn’t really click with Olivia who is about to turn 5, despite being raised with board games (one of her older brothers, who did understand the game did play multiple games with us). I will say, one positive about the gameplay in that the programmed moment die for the mouse does work well, and that mouse can be sneaky at getting out being blocked in sometimes. This is one we may be giving away to a family member who doesn’t have a lot of board games, maybe they will enjoy it more.

Olivia Meeple’s (Preschooler) Take: I like that it makes sense that the cats are chasing the mouse. Even though it was kind of boring, I still liked it anyways. That’s all I have to say.


Mini Meeple-Sized Summary

We asked Olivia to rank the games from her favorite to her least favorite of the 4. Though I am a little confused by the ranking (after she called Catch boring) but that is preschoolers for you, here her rankings:

1st place was Pick Me Up, Piggy!

2nd Place was Catch!

3rd Place was Lemonade Shake Up!

4th Place was Blue Plate Scramble

As the parent who played all these games with her multiple times, my ranking would be Blue Plate Scramble, Lemonade Shake Up!, Pick Me Up, Piggy! , and then Catch! 

Blue Plate Scramble is a fun real-time memory family game. Lemonade Shake Up! is one of the better dice games for young meeples. Pick Me Up, Piggy is great for the 3-year-old crowd. Catch! just wasn’t for us or wasn’t for the adults. Hopefully, this helps you as you look into these games for your young meeples.