With all this talk about melting ice caps and endangered wildlife we briefly asked ourselves if a game involving comedy penguins
and a big wobbly iceberg could be considered in poor taste. But then we had a quick game of Penguin Pile-Up and forgot what the
question was. That's because this childishly simple balancing game is so infuriatingly addictive you'll be thinking of nothing but
tumbling, bow-tie-clad birds morning, noon and night.
The premise behind Penguin Pile-Up is simple verging on infantile, but that's precisely what makes this 1-6 player game so
gloriously playable. Each player starts with an equal number of penguins. The idea is to take it in turns to carefully place them
on the various ledges of an extremely unstable iceberg.
If any penguins fall whilst it's your go you must add them to your pile. The first player to put all their penguins on the iceberg
wins. And that, to paraphrase Bruce Forsyth, is all there is to it. It's a bit like Jenga meets Pingu by way of Chilly Willy (ask a
If all this sounds easier than sliding down a slippery ramp at the zoo, believe us it isn't. The hollow iceberg sits loosely on a
single central support, making it extremely wobbly and sensitive to movement. For this reason you have to place your penguins with
surgical precision. And as the iceberg becomes increasingly crowded, finding a decent resting place for your next penguin becomes
seriously tricky. Steady hands, careful planning and a smattering of strategy are key elements to victory, but Penguin Pile-up is
perfect for all ages.
Just like Keith Harris there's something unfathomably comical about penguins, especially when they're going for a burton off an
overcrowded iceberg. And that's what makes Penguin Pile-Up a p-perfect p-party game, particularly if you're in an advanced state of
liquid refreshment. Penguin Pile-Up is the closest most of us will ever get to playing with a colony of penguins - and you don't
even have to worry about catching frostbite. So come on, p-put down a p-penguin!
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