There’s still a little time before February 2 to get your hand on a copy of Groundhog Day The Game from Funko, especially if February 2 lasts a very long time. If you are a fan of the Bill Murray classic movie then I really think you should. Go ahead, I’ll sit and listen to Sonny and Cher while you run to your local game store.
The 1993 movie Groundhog Day is a family favorite of ours, and a classic comedy movie. Bill Murray stars as the dejected weatherman Phil Connors, forced to relive the same day of his life again and again until the narcissism and sarcasm have been beaten out of him and he has his perfect day. Estimates put the movie at eight years, eight months and 16 days of his life, so about as long as March to December in 2020. Groundhog Day The Game sees your team in the role of Phil, playing cards and trying to get the perfect day, and hopefully not make the next day suck more than the last before you do.
“This is pitiful. A thousand people freezing their butts off waiting to worship a rat. What a hype. Groundhog Day used to mean something in this town. They used to pull the hog out, and they used to eat it. You’re hypocrites, all of you!”
“Come on, all the long distance lines are down? What about the satellite? Is it snowing in space? Don’t you have some kind of a line that you keep open for emergencies or for celebrities? I’m both. I’m a celebrity in an emergency.”
60 Cards (12 Selfish Cards, 12 Wild Cards, 12 Nice Cards, 12 Learning Cards, 12 Perfect Cards
1 Alarm Clock Tile
1 Groundhog Mover
26 Score Tokens
1 Sand Timer
1 Game Board
In lieu of using the sand timer to count each round you can download the free app and use it’s polka-themed musical countdown instead. It’s not necessary but it sure is fun.
“Well I don’t know if all that’s true
Cause you got me, and baby I got you”
The game board needs to be set up in the middle of your playing surface, where everyone can reach quickly but with enough space for up to eight rows of cards to line up underneath it. There are three difficulty levels of play that simply involve starting on a different space on the game board. Starting on the 24 space is the easiest, then the 22 space, then if you are feeling particularly gifted you can start on the 20 space.
The six Perfect cards (they have black numbers instead of red) should be removed from the deck and placed next to the corresponding spots above the game board. The remaining six perfect cards are shuffled into the deck.
The Alarm Clock, timer, and Score tokens should be placed close to the dealer, who is of course the person with the birthday closest to February 2nd.
How Do You Play Groundhog Day The Game?
“You want a prediction about the weather? You’re asking the wrong Phil. I’m going to give you a prediction about this winter? It’s going to be cold, it’s going to be dark, and it’s going to last you for the rest of your lives!”
In each round the dealer must hand out the number of cards corresponding to the placement of the Groundhog, who moves to the next number at the end of each round. Dealing of cards is not even and some players will receive more cards than others. Cards are to be kept hidden. Once you have looked at your cards you signal you are ready for the round by touching the Alarm Clock. When all players have done this, the timer can be started and the day begins.
There are no turns in this game, you need to learn to read the signals of your teammates to determine who is playing the next card, communication is not allowed. Cards are played one at a time from left to right. The numbers do not need to be sequential but they must be ascending.
Any cards that you can no longer play, need to be played face up in front of you so that your teammates know how many playable cards are left in your hand. If you have a 1 and the line of cards is up to 3, then you must place your 1 face up as you cannot use it this round.
When the timer stops the day is over, count up the score (the number of hearts) to determine if you won, lost or get to play another round. If you get to play another round then you need to reset your cards for a new day.
The cards played on previous days remain below the game board. The score of your day is marked to the right of the day cards. The groundhog needs to move to the next number space before all unused cards and any unlocked cards are shuffled together and dealt out based on the new groundhog number.
“I’m a god — I’m not the God, I don’t think.”
There are 12 Perfect cards in the game, six of which are immediately in the deck to be dealt, and six of which are placed above the board to be unlocked. You need to play seven Perfect cards in one day in order to win. These are things such as sculpting Rita or playing in the band. To unlock the Perfect Cards you need to play a Learning Card. Once you have Learned something, the card will tell you which Perfect Card you have unlocked.
The other cards, Selfish, Wild, and Nice all either aid your score or hinder it depending on which day you are on. Selfish cards don’t add to your points which helps out early on in the game. Since Phil Connors is equal parts Selfish, Nice, and Wild over the course of the movie, there are equal numbers of all the cards.
Winning the Game
“Don’t mess with me, pork chop. What day is this?”
If you played seven Perfect cards on this day (round) then you have lived the perfect day and won the game.
At the end of the round if any of the following has happened then just lose:
- You did not play seven cards before the time ran out.
- Your score for the day was less than the score of the previous day.
- You played six Perfect cards, and one regular, so have no chance of getting a perfect day in a future round.
The instructions manual contains some great tips on how to play the game to win, and you will get better every time you play as you get used to the mechanics.
Should You Buy Groundhog Day The Game
“There is no way that this winter is ever going to end as long as this groundhog keeps seeing his shadow. I don’t see any other way out. He’s got to be stopped. And I have to stop him.”
If you like the movie, or simply like to have themed games for holidays then yes absolutely. This game has a dynamic that is intriguing, fun, and gets easier each time you play. It has the same energy as Five Minute Dungeon and so if you like the pace of that game, you will enjoy this one. Groundhog Day The Game has thus far been fun every time we have played it. The box, game pieces, and instructions are beautifully put together. The artwork is especially amazing, almost Andy Warhol like with thick black lines and deep coloring.
Groundhog Day The Game can be really hard to win, but it really helps you hone your team skills for other cooperative games. Usually we can play games like this as a family; we play Castle Panic and Forbidden Island with our five year old. Groundhog Day The Game however becomes exceptionally frustrating if you try to play below the recommended age of ten and you will absolutely lose every time. When playing just adults and our eleven year old however, we had a fantastic time win or lose. Without exception you will want to watch the movie immediately after playing, though you may not want to play it every day for eight years.
GeekMom received a copy of Groundhog Day The Game for review purposes.