Designer: Kuraki Mura
Time: 30-45 min.
Sssssuuuuuuuuueeeeeey! Pigs are cute, right? Sure, they are dirty and fat but still cute. Let’s not forget how tasty they are…mmmmmmm….bacon!
In Happy Pigs, you take the role of being a pig farmer raising, breeding, immunizing and feeding pigs until they are ripe for the selling. This is a straight economy based game, so who ever has the most money at the end of the game is the winner.
At the start of the game, everyone receives some money, one pig field and in turn order can buy up to 5 things with their money. The game is then ready to play!
You have just 4 years to run your pig farm. Each year has 4 seasons, spring, summer, fall and winter. Each of these seasons are considered a round. At the beginning of the round the first thing you do is turn over the season card of that type. This card will give you some information, such as how many times an action can be taken that round and a special event that happens during that round.
After the season card is revealed the players then choose the action they want to take. These actions are go to the market, feed, breed or sell pigs. Which one you choose and the other farmers choose will determine how many times you can activate that action based on the season. For instance, the season card says if you choose the feeding your pigs action you can do that 7 times. BUT, if someone else chooses that action you have to split those actions. First player will get to do it 4 times and the other player gets to do it 3. When multiple people choose that action, you may be stuck only activating it one or two times.
When you go to the market you can buy many different things to assist you in your pig raising. Food for them to eat and grow, vaccinations to cure them, hearts to breed larger pigs, new pigs and more fields are all there for the taking. You NEED vaccinations. Every time you add a new pig to your fields they become sick. At any time during the round you can vaccinate your pigs. If they are not vaccinated they will die at the end of the season.
That is pretty much the game Happy Pigs. This is a great game for kids that teaches basic fundamentals of business…..buy low, sell high! There is a lot of strategy for older players but the theme and art is fantastic for younger players. This game is pretty spot on with the age requirement. 8 year olds can handle this game easily while 5-6 year olds will struggle. They will be able to buy and sell pigs but will struggle with the strategies involved. All in all, Happy Pigs is a great family game that will develop more deeply as the kids grow.
Until next time….don’t forget to vaccinate!