Guest Author - Lynn Little
It has one of the catchiest theme song commercials and has made a big comeback in recent years. Hungry Hungry Hippos is a fun board game that is both fast and simple.
The game is for 2 -4 players and since it contains small parts, it is not recommended for children under three. The recommended age group is children four years and up. Each player controls one of the four hippos. The 20 plastic marbles are placed in the launching area. Then players take turns releasing one of their five plastic marbles until the arena. After a marble is released, players then try to gobble it up. Play continues until there are no more marbles. The player who gobbled up the most wins.
For more advanced play, have players release all of their marbles at the same time. Players then use their hippo to try to eat as many marbles as they can. Each hippo has a plastic lever that opens and moves the hippo's mouth toward the center of the playing area. Players then release the level so that the mouth gobbles up the plastic marbles. The player who gobbles up the most marbles wins the game.
Alternatively, you could keep score and play different rules. Play until the first player collects 50 marbles or 100 marbles for a longer game. But knowing small children, it might be best to keep the number on the low side. Interest in playing might start to sway after a few rounds.
There is no reading required and the most difficult part of the game is putting it together. The plastic is not as sturdy as some may remember from the original game. So for older children and adults who might play will want to take special care with it.
Hungry Hungry Hippos is a great game for the whole family to enjoy. It's a fun one for family game night for young children. Plus it can be a good learning tool for children to practice counting.