I found a copy of Penguin Pile-Up at one of our local thrift stores today. It’s a cool dexterity game published by Ravensburger. It’s a stacking game where you try and get rid of your flock of penguins by stacking them on top of this rather unstable iceflow. If you make some of the other penguins fall in your attempt to place your own, then you have to take all the penguins that fell. I think the maximun number of penguins you could take in that circumstance should be limited, so we will play with some house rules. I figure my wife and I should have to take up to eight or so, while my five-year-old should only take half that at least.
Penguin Pile-Up was published in 1996 and takes about 20 minutes to complete. The game plays from 1 to 6 players from ages 5 and up, although I wouldn’t recommend a solo game of this for anyone over six. The components are really well done, and it’s a nice game to play with your kids, or with other adults while consuming adult-type beverages. A couple of glasses of wine makes getting that penguin to stay on one of those little outcroppings pretty damn tough.
Penguin Pile-Up was awarded the Children’s Game of the Year for 1996 in both Finland (Vuoden Lastenpeli) and Denmark (Årets Børnespil). How does something like this end up on a shelf at a thrift store? It’s in perfect condition. It doesn’t appear to have been played at all.
What’s funny is that we almost picked up a copy of Mini Penguin Pile-Up the last time we were at the coast visiting the aquarium. You just never know what you will find.