Every once in a while you are at a party or a game night and someone brings a game that is so simple and so silly that everyone wants a turn. A game that even if you are just sitting across the room, you can’t help but stop and stare. The first one of these for me was Happy Salmon. It is loud and boisterous and ridiculously infectious.
So what’s this game about anyway?
Well, as the name suggests this game is about poses. Think solo Twister, but played against other players. The rules are very simple.
On your turn, you draw a card and do what it says. That’s it. You must continue to obey the card for the rest of the game. If ever you can no longer do what the card tells you to, you’re out. Each turn you draw a new card and add that to the silly poses that you are already trying to maintain. More and more until, finally, you cannot maintain the poses and are force to lose. You will bend yourself into crazy positions and have cards all over and you will look very ridiculous. But don’t despair, everyone else will be looking silly as well.
The game comes with 54 different cards and 2 card holders. There are 2 types of cards, Orange and Green. The Orange cards force you to keep a card touching a certain part of your body, which must stay there for the rest of the game. The Green cards force you into a crazy pose that must be maintained for the rest of the game. The card holders are there so that the cards can be positioned so that everyone has access to the cards on their turn. If ever you fail to obey any of your cards, or cannot physically draw a new card, you’re out. Play continues until only 1 player is left looking silly.
Like I said, it’s a very simple concept, but it is a whole lot of fun.
This game is very simple to teach, and takes less than 1 minute to explain and get set up. It accommodates up to 10 people, but that is only because any more and you would probably run out of cards before someone won the game. We played it with 3 players, and then later with 7 and 8 (more is definately better). The game box says ages 8+, but when we played with a group of kids at my library’s Game Day, we had kids as young as 6 and 7 joining in. As long as they can read, they can play. The artwork does a decent job of illustrating what you are supposed to do, but it to is ridiculosuness, so reading is really a must.
Games are relatively short, usually lasting no more than 10 -15 minutes, so once you are out, you won’t have to wait too long before the next game starts. And there will be more games. This is not the kind of game that you unpack, play once, and then pack up again. Standard for us was about 3 or 4 games each time we brought it out. Players changed up as new people wanted to try it out, and there was little or no down time since they picked it up just by watching.
So what makes it so fun?
The fun is in the silliness. Having to contort yourself into crazy poses and hold them while watching other people do the same is hilarious. It is rare that you will draw 2 or 3 cards in a row that are easy to maintain, almost impossible to get to 5 or 6. So the games escalate to hilarity pretty quickly.
Often, when I would lose it was because I was laughing so hard at someone else that I forgot to maintain one of my cards or poses. This in turn would cause another round of raucous laughter at my misfortune. Some of the most memorable moments came when someone was simply trying to draw the next card. Some of the position combinations leave you with no way to physically draw another card. But in your mind, you are coming up with some way, because you just know that the next one is going to be something easy like “one eye closed” and you can add it on without a problem.
One game we had our youngest player (maybe 7) in such a knot that he could no longer draw a card with his hands. So…he used his foot to slide a card out of the card holder and tried to flip it upside down onto the floor so that he could read it.
It didn’t work, and he actually crumpled the card a bit, but the whole production was so funny that no one really minded. In fact we were cheering him on and giving him suggestions as to how to carry it off.
So…the fun is in the silliness. It is not in the winning. As is the case with most ridiculous party games, the fun is in the participation, and the shared experience. There is no counting up of victory points, or long term strategy goals. There is simply playing the game until you can’t play anymore, and then immediately starting another game. Losing is just as much fun as winning. Sure, there is a sense of accomplishment that comes from being the last one in, but the laughter and table talk make sure that even if you are out really quickly, you will continue to enjoy yourself until the next game starts.
We’re going to add it to our permanent party night collection. So, if you have a group of friends that don’t mind making complete fools of themselves in public, then you need this game. If not, then you might need new friends.
Party Ninja Approved.
Gigamic provided us with a copy of Yogi in exchange for an honest review, which is exactly what we provided.