Pig Pile Review
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Players: 3-6 (ages 7+)
Playing Time: 30 minutes or more

When faced with a pile of new games to try out, my niece and nephew instantly reached for Pig Pile. And—I’ll admit it—I did, too. I just couldn’t resist playing a game that comes complete with a package full of little plastic pigs. (Really…can you blame me?)

As it turns out, though, the pigs don’t come into play until much later—because Pig Pile is really a card game…not a little plastic pig game.

Players start the game with six cards (either numbered 1-11 or wild) on the table in front of them—three face-up and three face-down—and four cards in their hand.

Once you’ve got the hang of it, game play is pretty simple. The first player plays any card from his or her hand and finishes the turn by drawing another card from the draw pile.

When it’s your turn, you have to play a card that’s numbered higher than the card played by the last player. If you have two of the same card, you can play both at the same time. If you don’t have a higher card in your hand, you pick up the entire discard pile, and play moves to the next player.

Once you discard all of the cards in your hand, you play with the cards on the table—starting with the face-up cards. The challenge then comes with the last three cards—the face-down cards. When it’s your turn, you play a card at random. If it’s higher than the last card played, play continues to the next player. If it’s lower than the last card played, however, you have to pick up all of the discarded cards before play continues.

The first player to get rid of all of his or her cards wins three of the little plastic pigs. The second player then gets two pigs. Then everyone else (except for the player with the most cards left) gets one pig.

Play continues either for a set number of rounds or until all of the pigs are gone—and the player with the most pigs is declared the winner.

Though the instruction book for Pig Pile starts with “Quick & Easy Pig Pile Rules in 8 Steps,” it’s really not all that quick or easy to learn. In fact, there are a lot of rules and a lot of instructions to figure out—and, at first, it’s all pretty intimidating (since there are five more pages of explanation following those initial eight steps).

Fortunately, though, once you figure everything out, it’s a snap to play—even for younger players (like my six-year-old niece, who had no problem playing on her own). It’s fun, too—and players of all ages will love the quirky pig-themed deck of cards.

While younger players will catch on rather quickly, though, they’ll also lose interest quickly. Each round can go on for quite a while—and after the first round that I played, the younger players had had enough. Not only that, but they were disappointed that the little plastic pig pieces weren’t used for more than scoring pieces.

So despite the cute pig theme, Pig Pile isn’t really a game for young players. For older players, though—those with a wacky sense of humor and a longer attention span—it’s a fun and fast-paced game that’s sure to keep you laughing until the, er, pigs come home.

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