Pigs in Pants review
Review by Amelia (7), Charlie (4) and Claire Paye, for What To Do With The Kids
Pigs in Pants is a fun game which is very quick to set up and easy to understand, once you’ve worked out the rules the first time. It is easy enough for a four year old to follow, but has just enough potential strategy for older children – and their parents – to enjoy. This would be a good game to take on holiday, as it is simply a compact box with some cards inside. Everyone finds the subject of pants hilarious, so there is a certain amount of tittering as we ‘pinch [your] pants’. Tee hee.
If, like me, you find the instructions deceptively simple, here are some amplified instructions. The game really is quite simple and rereading the instructions, it seems quite clear. However, I had a number of questions the first time we played it, which the lovely people at Orchard Toys answered for me, so I’d like to share the answers with you.
The idea is to end up with the most pants cards. Each person takes two cards with four cards laid down in the centre. If they can match their cards with any of the four cards in the middle, they place both the matched cards on their pig in one pile, where the pants go. If they can match either of their cards with the top card on the pile on someone else’s pig, they can pinch those as well to put on their own pig. They take the whole pile. So the game can have a nail-biting finish, and change winners up to the last moment.
If neither of your cards matches anything, you place one of them in the line in the middle. However, you don’t replenish this line if it
falls below the four cards, it is only replenished by people who can’t match any of their cards.
If you’ve managed to match both your cards, you can choose which order you place them on your pig, ie which one is on the top. If you’re very clever and a dab hand at Bridge and counting cards, you could work out which cards have gone and once four of each card has gone, there are no more to match, so you’re safe with that card on the top, for now. None of us can quite manage that so the lead changes quite often as people pinch each other’s pile to place on top of their pile, once they’ve managed to match the top card. We play the game by laying our own two cards on the table so we can all see what everyone has coming up and can try to avoid having a card on the top that someone else can match.
Another, more strategic, version is only to match one card at a time on a go.
You can’t match your cards to the ones in someone else’s hand, they have to be on the pig or in the centre, so you aren’t nicking cards before someone has had a chance to play them. Everyone replenishes their hand after they’ve had their go, so they are holding two.
As I said, it’s actually a very simple and fun game which we really enjoy playing. There is a certain amount of luck but also a smidging of skill. It keeps Reception teachers happy with the matching and colour recognition required and keeps the whole family happy with the potential for scuppering each other with a last minute pants pinching manoeuvre.
Pigs in Pants – available at many independent retailers, multiples, supermarkets and online retailers or direct at www.orchardtoys.com