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A few years ago I was at a bit of a loss for what to buy my little brother for Christmas, he was 5 at the time and had everything a 5 year old could want, so after wondering around Birmingham for hours I finally stumbled upon Doh Nutters. I remembered seeing the advert on TV for it and thought it should be fun.
Christmas morning came and a very excited James opened up his present, at first he looked confused, but then I told him that it was the game off the TV where they wear elephant masks and collect doughnuts on the trunks and he remembered and asked if we could play it when he'd finished opening the rest of Santa's presents.
The idea of Doh Nutters is that players wear a very amusing elephant mask and must use the trunk on the mask to pick up 3 doughnuts of their colour from the game board. There can be no hands used to collect your doughnuts, just the trunk on the mask.
In the Doh Nutters box you will find 4 sets of coloured doughnuts, 4 elephant masks, a game board and some instructions. The instructions are written in English and are easy to follow, although you probably wont need to use them as the rules of the game are really simple.
Setting up Doh Nutters is easy, you simply place the coloured doughnuts on the game board which looks like a dining table with a red chequered table cloth and a large plate on it. You can either place the doughnuts in colour groups to make it a little easier, or you can mix the doughnuts up. When we first played we found it was better to put them into colour groups until we'd had some practice, then we mixed them up and let the chaotic fun begin!
After putting the doughnuts out each player must then choose a elephant mask. The mask's are all the same apart from the colour of the glasses that the elephant is wearing. This colour represents the colour of the doughnuts that you must collect.
The masks are made from a thick plastic, they are quite tough, but they are also quite heavy. I usually wear glasses but I needed to remove them to play this game as the mask doesn't fit over the top of them very well. For the length of a game the masks are ok, but they can get a bit uncomfortable if you are playing a few games in a row.
Once the game is set up and everyone is wearing their masks and have finished laughing at each other the game begins. According to the instructions the youngest player must shout 'start' but we just play it as once everyone is ready someone randomly shouts 'start'.
The first time we played Doh Nutters we had the game board on the floor and sat on our hands and knees. We managed to get my mum to join in the fun too, admittedly after a morning sherry she found the elephant masks very amusing and couldn't take the game seriously! James shouted 'start' and with our hands firmly placed on the floor we all nose, or rather trunk dived into the playing board for our doughnuts. The doughnuts are quite hard to pick up as your trunk is on an upwards angle and you must tip your head right down to get level with the doughnut, it is the a case of getting your trunk on the right angle to flick the doughnut onto it. The first doughnut isn't so bad, but I found I had a lot of trouble with the second one as the first one kept sliding towards the end and knocking it back off my trunk. My mum took advantage of the fact that the masks restrict your vision and me and James couldn't see that she used her hands! James really struggled to get his doughnuts on at all and he got quite frustrated by the whole thing and decided to also use his hands. The first game we played took around 5 minutes before we all got too frustrated to play properly.
The game ends when a player manages to get all 3 of their doughnuts onto their trunk. Depending on the ability and patience of the players this can take anything from a matter of seconds to easily 5 or even 10 minutes, although we found that the longer the game takes the more it looses its fun appeal. To make things a little easier for James we tend to scrap the rule of picking up only doughnuts of a certain colour and just go for any 3 doughnuts. This does actually make the game more exciting as everyone is diving everywhere and going for the same doughnuts so there is kind of a doughnut war created!
We have found it is a lot easier to play the game on a raised surface such as a coffee table, but with this comes the challenge of keeping the doughnuts from falling off the table! A dining table didn't really work for us as James cannot reach properly and the doughnuts tend to get knocked out of reach to easily.
Doh Nutters requires no batteries and is very quick and simple to set up. I have never timed it, but I would say it is around 1 - 2 minutes at the most. The game can also be over very fast, however this isn't such a bad thing as we have found that the quicker the games are the more competitive they are and we don't get so bored. Another good point of faster games is that you can take the mask off and give your ears and nose a quick recovery if they are feeling a little uncomfortable from the plastic of the mask.
I think that although Doh Nutters can be frustrating it is still great! I think at 5 years old my brother may have been a little young to play it properly, but with little adaptations to the rules he learnt to enjoy it and eventually progress to playing it properly as well. James is 8 now and he does like to play Doh Nutters. It isn't his favourite game but he does get it out probably around once every couple of months and asks if anyone will play with him.
Doh Nutters is a game for 2 to 4 players and I personally find it is better if you do manage to have the 4 players as it is a little more chaotic which add's to the fun. We have played this game at parties with adults and children and in general once people are over the frustration we find that everyone seems to enjoy it.
The age rating for the game is 4+, I would say this is about right if you don't mind changing the rules a little while the younger players get used to how it works.
Doh Nutters is available from most toy shops, I recently saw it in the Entertainer in Birmingham for the same £10 price tag which I paid 3 years ago.
Highly entertaining and highly recommended
Thanks for reading! :)
Doh Nutters is a childrens game made by Drumond Park. This game has been around for years, I never actually owned it but I remember playing it with my cousins when we were kids in the early 90's. So when my daughter received it for a present last Christmas it brought back lots of nostalgic memories!
The game consists of a thin cardboard 'playing board', 12 plastic coloured rings (or 'doughnuts') and 4 elephant masks.
The game is very easy to set up - just put the playing board down on a flat surface (such as floor or table), put the doughnuts on to the playing board and choose an elephant mask. Each elephant mask has a different coloured pair of glasses (blue, yellow, green, red) - the colour of the doughnuts you must collect will depend on the colour of the elephant mask that you choose. All masks have an adjustable elastic strap to fit around your head.
**How To Play**
The rules of the game are really simple. Use your elephant mask to pick up the doughnuts - the first person to get all 3 of their coloured doughnuts on to their trunk is the winner (there are 3 doughnuts of each colour). Hands are not permitted!
Initially we were all quite eager to play this game but it soon became clear that my memories of it were significantly more exciting than the reality! The idea behind the game is good but the trunks have been designed in a way that it's impossible to pick the doughnuts up. Even I find it hard to pick a single doughnut up, so my 4 year old stands no chance! Whenever we get the game out she has no choice but to use her hands, which isn't really much of a challenge. On the rare occassion that you do manage to get 1 or 2 doughnuts on your trunk, it's then impossible to get the last one on to your trunk as they all fall off again!
The other problem is that the masks are quite heavy and the 'adjustable' strap is too big for my daughters head, even when stretched to the very last piece of velcro. This is quite a silly flaw considering the game is designed for children 4+. I think most young children would find this a problem (I even find the mask a bit too heavy for me). My daughter usually has to use her hands from stopping her mask slide down - so that's one hand to hold the mask on and the other hand to 'encourage' the doughnuts on to the trunk!
One more problem is that the play board is too small. We all end up bumping heads and pushing each other out of the way, before pushing the doughnuts off the board and all over the floor/table...
The game is designed for 2-4 players. Two good points are that it isn't a loud game and it doesn't require batteries. Another good point is that the masks are hilarious - I can't help but laugh when I see anybody wearing them (particularly adults), they're ridiculously funny!
The game comes packaged in a colourful cardboard box. The box is rather disappointingly flimsy and is hard to fit the pieces inside. A minor downside I suppose, but still a downside.
It can be found in most toy shops/stores that sell toys (Argos, Toys R Us, The Entertainer, Tesco etc) and can retail anywhere between £8.99 - £16.99.
Overall, a fun idea but with a few too many design flaws.