Review – Pengoloo
Designer Thierry Denoual combines cute penguins that stack on colorful eggs, dice, and memory in this 4+, kid-friendly family game.
To begin Pengoloo, each player will take an iceberg scoring, which features the numbers 1-6. Then, stack the penguins randomly on the eggs, mix them up, and you’re ready to go! On your turn, you’ll roll the 2 dice (each dice face is a color) and get 2 guesses to try and find colored eggs that match the face-up dice colors. To guess, simply pick a penguin up to reveal the colored egg beneath. The winner is the first one to 6 or the player with the most penguins after they’ve all been claimed (tiebreaker goes to the player who last claimed a penguin).
In order to keep the penguin and egg and add them to your iceberg scoresheet, you’ll need to find the eggs that match the color shown on the dice. If you find the matching eggs on both your dice, you get to go again. There are only 2 eggs of each color, so sometimes you’ll need to remember what egg colors have already been claimed by other players. You can’t steal other players’ eggs (unless you’re playing the advanced variant), but you can still count those as correctly found eggs, which means you could gain another turn.
The strategy is simple: memorize the eggs! The luck factor of having to find the egg colors shown on the dice could be frustrating for some players, but it does 2 things which enhance this kids’ game: it forces the players to look for, at most, 2 specific colors, which means younger players won’t be overwhelmed, and it levels the playing field (our 3-year-old daughter beat my wife and I and our 4-year-old during a game). Sure, observing adults will often win, but not always!
There’s not much to Pengoloo, but that’s a very good thing. The game is simple, short, and tactile enough for kids to be able and excited to play it. My 3 and almost-5-year-old really like this game, and my wife and I enjoy it too. With cute components that double as toys, I recommend Pengoloo to anyone looking to get younger kids involved in tabletop games.
Blue Orange kindly provided a review copy.
The Bottom Line
Easy setup, cute components, fast gameplay? Count me (and my kids) in.