The most popular circus in Animal City- Circus Puppy is going to perform. There are different types of dogs such as French Bull, Corgi, Husky, Shiba Inu.
The show is about to start. However, some members get lost because of chasing the butterfly too far away. Seems like the leader Dogee has no choice but to let rookies go on the stage with the rest of the senior members. Will these stunt dogs perform a great show for you?
In this game, players draw a dog card and stack it on the stage whether low stage or high stage by turns to get the point. Whoever gets the highest points wins the game. Players have to draw a dog card and follow the instruction shown on the dog card to stack it on the stage.
Circus Puppy is an upcoming dexterity game in which players help the titular puppy performers show off their stacking skills. Light on rules and heavy on adorableness, this game fills a particular niche.
Circus Puppy follows Taiwanese designer Aza Chen’s style of ultra-light games about ultra-cute animals. This dexterity release from Renegade Game Studios puts two to five players at a canine sideshow, where they help the four-legged performers execute their stunts.
In the same vein as Chen’s Cat Tower, Circus Puppy uses cards that players fold into papercraft puppies. (Cubic canines? Boxy boxers? I can go on…) The game is packaged in a “coin bank”-type cylinder, the two halves of which form the high and low stage. The play action comes from stacking the dogs—one on top of another—on the two stages. At the start of the game, each player receives a set of six dogs, along with a score track and a score marker. The rest of the dogs are shuffled together (perhaps with some difficulty), and two random dogs are stacked on either stage. When the game is set up, it will look like this:
Each turn, the active player draws a card from their deck and performs the action listed on its underside (note: players may feel the urge to scratch the paper dogs’ bellies). The actions are based on balance and dexterity, so they include challenges like:
- Use this card to move a dog from one stack to the other, and then add it to either stack
- Work together with another player to place this card on a stack
- Draw a second card, place it on top of the first card, then add them both to a stack
- Use Dogee (a special card with a different fold pattern) to pick up this card and place it on a stack
- Add a stage card to either stack
If a player successfully adds a dog to the play area, she scores points equal to the height of its stack (e.g. if she placed the fifth dog in a stack, she would score five points). If there is a stage card somewhere in the stack, she only counts the height from that card up. Should the dog be placed directly on a stage card, she scores the number of points indicated on it.
If part or all of the tower falls, the current player draws two puppies from the deck and places them face-up in front of herself. On future turns, she may play one of these cards instead of drawing.
The first player to thirty points wins.
Circus Puppy is a nice idea, but it’s not my favorite dexterity game. The rules do a decent job outlining how to play, but they would have benefitted from a bit more specificity. The symbology can be a bit confusing at first, but players should pick up on it after a couple of turns.
From a gameplay perspective, stacking the cards is pretty fun; it reminds me of Rhino Hero. Circus Puppy is super-light (obviously), but I can see it going over well with families or social/community game groups; it would make a great “coffee shop game.” I guarantee that, if played in a public setting, it will draw the eyes and inquiries of passersby.
The game’s production is nice. Its stylized aesthetic adds to the family-friendliness. Though an unusual shape, its packaging is compact and functional, and the use of the box as a game component is a cool touch.
I don’t have much else to say about Circus Puppy. Even though it didn’t do it for me, I still recommend trying it out, especially with kids. With a play time of fifteen minutes, it is a great title to demo at your local game store.
A review copy was provided by Renegade Game Studios.
+ Great art and production
+ Stacking the dogs is really fun
- Rules could have used further clarification
- Components will likely wear quickly