Chickyboom Review
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Players: 2-4 (ages 4+)
Playing Time: About 15 minutes

Parents and children alike will delight in the game Chickyboom. It’s fun, intense, and easy to play, all at the same time.

Chickyboom is essentially a game of balance. There are chickens, hay bales, and wagon wheels to stack on top of the rocking “perch” (made of a platform balanced on a base). To begin, one person places the objects any way they want on the platform, which is then balanced on the perch’s base. Players take turns removing one piece from the perch. Each piece is worth a certain number of points, based on its weight: chickens are two or three points, hay bales are three points, and wagon wheels are one point. The game ends when all pieces have been collected or when the perch topples. The person who makes the perch topple must deduct five points from his or her total. The player with the highest score wins the game.

When playing with young children, you can even opt for the basic mode of play. No points are collected; instead, the last player to collect a piece from the perch without causing it to topple wins the game.

One of the big perks of this game is that there are so many options and variations to play, which prolongs its shelf life. As your children grow, you can adjust game play to challenge them and teach them new skills. Play with the basic set of rules for younger children to introduce them to the fundamental concepts of physics and focus on the development of their hand to eye coordination and motor skills. Play with the more advanced rules to teach simple strategy and basic math skills, including counting, adding, and subtracting. Players also have the option to play cooperatively or competitively, which teaches social and teamwork skills. Vary the difficulty of the game on your own, depending on how you stack the playing pieces. In fact, adults can enjoy this game as a fun brain teaser, by creating new and challenging ways to stack pieces.

As with all Blue Orange games, the quality of the playing pieces is excellent. They’re made from wood, and the colorful paints are non-toxic. The company also promises to plant two trees for every one used in game production, which is a nice “green” side effect.

Overall, Chickyboom delivers as a teaching tool for children, while allowing everyone in the family to have fun together. The rules are easy enough for everyone to follow, the variations of play make the game new and different each time, and the short playing time allows you to incorporate family fun time into even the busiest days.

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