Storybook adventure comes to the tabletop as you and up to five other players compete to build houses before the wolf comes along to blow them down.
|The Three Little Pigs||IELLO||Board Game|
In The Box
The lovely packaging for The Three Little Pigs recalls a fancy bound storybook, sitting on your shelf to be read as a bedtime story. You’ll even find a little booklet inside the box with a retelling of the original story, which is a great touch. Other components include a spinner showing the wolf’s face against a backdrop of each building material, complete with a pink spinning arrow. A set of five pink dice are neatly packed in and show either a wolf’s face or some building element like a door, window, or roof.
Most of the action in the game happens around a set of 36 cardboard tiles showing either a door, window, or roof segment of some pig’s house. As you might imagine, house parts come in brick, wood, or straw materials and the tile art reflects this. There are also some design elements on the tiles like flowerpots that seem at first like decoration but come back later during final scoring rounds. Each building tile also shows a different number of pig faces, to reflect their value at the end of the game, and help differentiate them as you build.
How It Plays
The recommended age of 7 is good for this game but perhaps even generous; the basic mechanics of matching dice symbols to building parts is extremely simple to understand. Each round of play involves rolling the dice up to three times in an effort to make matches that allow you to purchase building materials. Especially when playing with younger children, parents can help by suggesting when to stop or which dice to roll again. Better combinations with more matches entitles you to buy better materials, or you can combine matches to purchase more of the lower-quality materials.
The highlight of the game for kids will be when two wolf dice are rolled. The stops the flow of play and brings the spinner into play. The person who rolled the wolf essentially becomes the wolf and picks a player whose house will be affected by the spin. Blowing down houses is simple enough: Whatever material the spinner ends on gets blown out of the game, depriving that player of points in the scoring round and potentially knocking down an entire house.
Once enough of the building materials are used up, the game ends and players score their houses. Both during the game and at this point, awards for building the tallest house or the most houses are handed out and contribute to the final score. Elements like the flowerpots also end up contributing. Plays can win with just a few brick elements, or by building more houses of straw and wood, but even one blow from the wolf can be very disruptive. Most games felt like they were over too soon, but that’s always a better approach for younger games who can easily lose interest when playtimes run long.
The style of play perfectly matches the story’s theme, and The Three Little Pigs would be a great game even without the story. This combination of design and the quality packaging and components will easily make this a favorite game for younger players.
The dice rolling reminded me of Zombie Dice or DiceAFARI, with the way you do multiple dice rolls and decide which to keep. There’s a lot of luck involved and it doesn’t take much strategy, so it’s great for little kids.