Friday, 12 August 2016

Don't Rock The Boat Family Game Review (age 5+)

Don't Rock The Boat is a fairly classic game and was one of our favourites when our older children were younger. Pieces went missing years ago, so I was delighted when I was given the chance to review the new version from University Games featuring Pirate Penguins!


Suitable for 2-4 players aged 5 and up, there are several ways to play Don't Rock The Boat, with varying difficulty. This makes it an excellent game for playing with younger children, teaching turn-taking and winning and losing, and is brilliant for promoting fine motor skills, hand-eye co-ordination and simply being careful...


Set up is super simple. There is a 2 part stand on which the boat rocks, and the boat itself has 3 masts which you need to slot into the top. It takes seconds, any child 5+ is perfectly capable of doing it, and disassembly is easy, with the boat and other pieces fitting nicely back into the box after play. 


The other part to the game is the penguins!  There are 16 pirate penguins, and the aim of the game is to put them onto the boat very carefully without rocking it. The penguins have specially shaped bandanas which will hook onto the edges of the boat and masts, and are made from a rubbery plastic material which has great friction and doesn't slip much on the boat deck.


For basic gameplay split the penguins equally between the players and take turns to place them on the boat. When the boat rocks, any penguins that fall off are taken by the player who rocked it. The winner is the first person who has no penguins in their pile.

To adapt to a 'sudden death' match, the first player to knock off any penguins is out. This game is quicker and sometimes only lasts 2 or 3 minutes depending on the cautious nature of the players.


Our 6 year old is particularly fond of this game, and has played it a lot with anyone who'll accept his challenge. He has a disadvantage because he isn't very precise and he rushes his moves, but he's learning...


Don't Rock The Boat is a classic, and a great game for multi-generational play. There are lots of laughs, and the inevitable howls when the pirate penguins fall off. Set up is almost instant, a game lasts only a few minutes and it's easy to put away.

The rules are easily understood by anyone, and can be adapted for a trickier game if you wish. Don't Rock The Boat is altogether uncomplicated, cheap and cheerful. A fantastic game when you have a spare 20 minutes, or when the Grandparents come to visit.

Don't Rock The Boat from University Games is available to buy now, rrp £14.99, at Amazon, Toys R Us, Tesco, Smyths and Argos.


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