Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

Balancing Birds On A Boat

The PopCult Toybox

Well, penguins are birds, so the headline stands. Today we have another cool kids game just reissued by the folks at PlayMonster. Don’t Rock The Boat is a classic balancing game, in the spirit of the 1960s game, Tip-it, but with a fun nautical spin. Basically you have to keep your Pirate ship upright as players take turns placing the penguin crew aboard the tipsy vessal.

This game looks deceptively simple, but it actually requires quite a bit of skill to master, and there’s still more fun to be had as players grow more bold and start making riskier moves. In the box you get a Pirate ship (minor assembly required), a wave-shaped base, 16 playing pieces, including 10 Pirate Penguins and other cool pirate booty, and the rules.

After everything is assembled and the Pirate ship is balancing on the wave-base, the players (2 to 4) divide up the playing pieces and begin taking turns placing them on the ship. The pieces can go anywhere on the ship–forward, aft, starboard, port, in the crow’s nest–and the game proceeds until somebody puts something in the wrong place, and the whole shebang capsizes.

It’s a load of fun, and it’s way trickier than you would think. The ship is precariously balanced, and one wrong move sends all your Pirate penguins down to Davy Jones’ locker. This is a great game for kids, but it also requires enough skill to be challenging for some adults.

It’s not really the intended target audience, but I think it’d be hilarious to watch drunk people try to play this game. I have a feeling that the entertainment factor would go up as the level of manual dexterity goes down. A bottle of rum might just make beating this game the hardest thing in the world.

Back to its more innocent audience, kids will love Don’t Rock The Boat. It’s a game with a gimmick, but it requires enough skill to remain engaging enough for hours of repeat play. You can find Don’t Rock The Boat at most retailers that carry games for around twenty bucks (less if they happen to be going through liquidation), or you can order it directly from PlayMonster.

In case you’re wondering what it looks like in action, here’s a quick commercial.

1 Comment

  1. Janis Van Tine

    AWESOME review, love this game and great article!

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