Of multi-coloured snakes and the cutest rubber duckies ever

In recent weeks, K and I had the opportunity to explore and bond over two games – “Hisss!” and “Duck! Duck! GO!”, as generously loaned by Pam.


Presenting…. Hisss!
K really enjoyed “Hisss!” which is a simple game of matching with a little twist – the cards had to be joined as they form the snake’s body, rather than lined up side to side.

Picking a card from the pile 

First, all the cards are turned face down, and players take turns to turn over a card, and see if it fits, colour-wise, to any other card already on the ground.  If not, it is still played to form a “new snake”.

Considering where to place this piece

Usually more than one option

There are some “head” and “tail” pieces, so the person to complete a snake has to shout “Hisss!”, after which the snake “belongs” to them.  Aim of the game is to collect as many snakes as possible – person with the most snake segments wins!

How our game ended – some really long colourful completed snakes!

K would specifically request to play this, and so we did, on the living room floor, in the study, on our bed… overall, this was a game that was easy to pick up, and can probably be played by those 2.5 years and above.

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Presenting “duck! duck! GO!”

The next game we got to explore was “Duck! Duck! GO!”

How cute are these ducks?! Every box comes with 4 different random duckies and a duck dressed as a dog (or a dog dressed as a duck – that has a BirdDog function – like a Sheepdog, for advanced level play).

Another Safari edition exists, according to the box

Additional tokens for Advanced Level play

We kept it at the simple beginners level

The aim of the game is to collect coloured “buoy” tokens and move according to the card’s pattern map (choose to play one out of the three you have on hand at every turn), and try to move “home” to the drain (in the middle) first. The lifebuoys are “magic” such that you can teleport to any other lifebuoy.

Trying to make our duckies hit the buoys and avoid the drain till last

It was a tad complex for K, so the first time we played, she said “It’s not fun, Mummy.”  We stopped playing but I figured that she’d enjoy it if I dumbed down the rules, or created my own. Guess that’s the beauty of a board game!  It gives space for creativity, unlike say an iPad app, huh?

A week or so later, I asked her if she’d like to play it again, this time with more duckies.  So I allowed each player to manipulate two ducks, and made following the patterns on the cards a lot easier, and improvised rules as we went along too!  She laughed when instead of having to turn around after hitting another duck we could bonk that duck forward, or sit on that duck before leapfrogging. : )  And serendipitously, she ended up with cards that allowed her to reach “home” (the drain) first! So when I asked her “Is it fun today?”  She said “Yes!”  Haha, I’m sure winning never turned anyone off a game.

All in all, I liked the game, in part for its cute little duckies, and also for the pattern recognition skills the cards develop (translating the patterns into board movements).  The box says that the game is for those aged 8 and above, but with some creativity in altering the rules, I think anyone around 4 years of age can play and have fun with it!

  2 comments for “Of multi-coloured snakes and the cutest rubber duckies ever

  1. November 23, 2012 at 3:56 am

    I have altered rules when playing with my younger son too. A simple game sometimes makes for more fun for younger kids 🙂 It must move fast too. They don’t have long attention spans and I prefer it too.

    • November 24, 2012 at 7:36 am

      Yup It’s the good quality materials and pieces that are more impt in a board game – how to play can be tampered with haha.

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