Product Type: other board games
Newest Review: ... there is a tube the centre is covered with holes in where you poke loads of plastic straws, you then drop a load of marbles on top of the... more
A game to make your balls drop!
Member Name: karalouk
Advantages: Nostalgic, Fun, Tense
Disadvantages: Too much setting up (and short playing time), Not quite as fun as I remember...
Kerplunk is a game made by Hasbro. It has been around for years and I have fond memories of playing it with my friends as family as a child (as I'm sure most people in my age group do), so when my daughter recently received it as a gift I was very pleased indeed!
The game comes packaged in a cardboard box and the instructions are printed on the box (instead of paper instructions). The box also states the game is recommended for ages 5+, suitable for 2-4 players and each game lasts 15 minutes (which is a lie!).
You have to assemble the game each time you wish to play it. Assembling the game is a fairly simple process for adults (a little more confusing for young children) but actually setting up the game is very tedious. There are 6 separate pieces of plastic and assembling it basically involves clipping the 'slide' together, fixing it to the base and putting the 'bowl' on top. Setting up the game involves poking a large number of small coloured sticks (like thin straws) through the bowl (through one side and out the other side, so the straws make a trap inside the bowl), which takes absolutely ages. My daughter tries to help but it's too fiddly and she tends to be more of a hindrance, therefore it's better if I set it up by myself. However by the time I've finished setting it up, she (and I) has usually lost interest! The plastic parts of the game seem quite tough and durable, however the sticks aren't the best quality and bend easily. If the sticks get bent, they don't go straight again and this makes getting the sticks through the holes become even more tricky and tiresome!
Once all of the straws are inserted (there are about 30 of them) you then place the marbles in the bowl (there are about 20 marbles) - if any marbles fall through the trap and down the slide, just put them back in the bowl until they stay in there. You also need to be careful when playing the game that you don't knock it, otherwise the marbles can fall through the trap and down the slide. Also beware, this game has lots of bits and pieces to get lost!
The aim of the game is to take turns removing sticks from the bowl without letting any marbles drop through the trap and down the slide. When you do drop marbles, you must put them in the plastic tray nearest to you. The game ends when all of the marbles have dropped and the winner is the player with the least amount of marbles in their tray. The rules are pretty simple and the game is easy enough for my 5 year old to grasp. If you have older children you can use the 'special' golden (yellow actually!) marble to add or subtract 5 points to whomever gets the golden marble in their tray - we currently use the golden marble as a normal marble as the adding and subtracting is a bit advanced for my daughter. Sometimes we change the game rules by getting each player to choose a colour stick and they can only remove those colour sticks, this makes the game a little more tricky. The front of the box describes the game as 'a nerve wracking game of skill' which is slightly true but slightly untrue also! You can peek in to the bowl and then make a decision as to which stick will be the best to pull (I usually go for the bottom ones first), but most of the time you can't tell which stick will cause the marbles to drop, so it becomes a game of luck rather than skill.
Well, my daughter likes the game and we have enjoyed playing it as a family. I love the way it's completely silent as we take turns pulling out sticks and then there's a big noise (and groan!) as the marbles drop through and come spiralling down the slide and shooting out the bottom. It's fun and tense. However it's not quite as exciting as I remember it being and I feel like the game just isn't long enough (we are usually finished in a minute or so), especially for the long amount of time it takes to set up. It comes out of the cupboard every now and again, but a game which takes less time to set up and offers more exciting playing time is usually favoured. I am split in the middle when it comes to this game - I wouldn't say avoid it but I can't honestly recommend it either...
You can buy Kerplunk from almost all toy shops and it generally costs around the £10.00 mark.
Summary: Not bad but not amazing.