Monday, April 10, 2017

Game Review: Animal Upon Animal (HABA)

Animal Upon Animal published by HABA

When it comes to board games for the under three years old crowd, there's hardly any. One exception is Animal Upon Animal, a stacking game published by HABA. The recommended age is two and up, making it perfect for our toddler. As one might guess from the name, the object is to stack animals on top of each other.

Stacking animals upon animals

The mechanic is very simple, which is necessary for a non-reading, barely rational player. The player chooses a sunshine disk, flips it over, finds out the next animal, and adds to a stack.

Big cardboard disks identifying the various animals

The big, chunky, mostly-easy-to-stack animals

My son enjoys building the stacks and knocking them down. He's also learning some very basic rules and how to take turns (an important skill to acquire at this age).

He draws the dog disk

The dog stacked on the bunny on the cow on the chicken (probably won't work in real life)

The game comes with nine animal figures, so when we play he always winds up with one extra animal on his stack since he insists on going first.

Trying to stack them all

The game comes with other rules and some other components. A six-sided die has symbols for the sunshine, a clover patch, and a flower patch. Clover and flower pads are included as stacking surfaces. One variant has the player role the die then have to stack an animal on the specific pad or the player's choice when rolling a sunshine. We haven't worked our way up to this version yet.

More components

The game includes rules for other ways. The components are very sturdy and have enough challenge in stacking to make the game fun. My son is a bit of an evil genius, though, and came up with a way to stack the animals very easily...

The rules don't forbid stacking this way, so I guess it's legal

The game is a bit expensive but is a lot of fun for this age and is a good start down the road of gaming. Recommended!

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