Gimme Gimme Guinea Pigs is the first original offering from the new game publisher Flying Meeple. I reviewed their reboot of Eleminis in a previous post (great game!). Gimme Gimme, by Bryan Takenaka, is a fast-paced card game for the very youngest of players.
Guinea pigs, bunnies, cats, dogs, hedgehogs, and mice. These are the types of pet animal cards each player has to collect to win. Setup for the game is dealing everyone seven cards and spreading the rest face-down in a random pile. The youngest player tells everyone to begin, and players all go at once. Play involves taking one card from your hand and placing it face-up on the pile in front of everyone. Then pick up any card and put it in your hand. Everyone decides (secretly) on one type of pet they will collect during the game. If they can collect seven of one pet, they shout “Got ’em!” and win.
The only time play stops is if someone puts down a “Paws” card. Everyone freezes and politely (that’s the exact wording in the game–love it!) passes three cards from their hand to their right. Once this is done, the player that called the card restarts basic play. A player is out of the game if they have more than seven cards in their hand at any time, or if they call “Got ’em!” but don’t actually have seven of one type of pet.
Why Gimme Gimme Works for Young Players
As a teacher of young children, I know pets are a favorite subject. This game is all about collecting pets (no allergy shots needed!). The art by Dann May is colorful, cute, and distinguishable. Setup and explanation of rules is easy and fast. There is no need to be neat–the play area is supposed to be a messy pile. Everyone plays at once, so patience is not needed. There is no reading required. Counting is up to seven, but this can be adjusted to be whatever number is the highest your child can count (wonderful flexibility there).
Why You Won’t Lose Your Mind Playing This Game
It’s fast. Five minutes, maaaaybe ten if you have to help a very young one keep track of counting. This means you can satisfy a younger sibling with a game they like (and can win) before or after playing a game for the older siblings. Everyone playing at once means no one has to wait for a slower player. I certainly didn’t win every time when I play-tested it with my niece. She picked it up quickly and knows I don’t let her win when we game together, so it was fun for both of us. Cute graphics. I’ll admit, I kept choosing the bunnies because I always wanted bunnies as pets as a little girl. Sigh…
Gimme Gimme Guinea Pigs is a perfect introduction to gaming for pre-readers that is fun for older siblings and parents too. Recommended for ages three and up.
GeekMom received a copy for review purposes.