I recently mentioned being on the look out for more games to play with my 3yr old and the lovely people at University Games sent me two to review. Last week we reviewed Bunny Jump, which was fantastic, and this week we tried out Don’t Rock The Boat.
The game itself is really simple to put together and take apart, which is a must when you have young children wanting to hurry up and get playing, and takes less than a minute to set up.
The boat is balanced on top of a wave and the slightest touch makes it tip and sway. The object of the game is to take it in turns placing one of the really cute pirate penguins onto the boat without it tipping over and knocking all the penguins off. As soon as a penguin falls overboard the game is over and whoever placed the last one successfully is the winner.
The penguins can be placed anywhere on the boat, including the crows nest, and you can even hang them by their bandanas, which L thought was really cool.
The basic concept of this game is great but I’m not sure the execution works if I’m honest. For us, I found the boat rocked and tipped far too easily and we never made it past three penguins. L found it extremely funny but was bored after about 15 minutes as the result was the same every single time.
The box says it’s suitable for children aged 5+ so it could just be L is too young at 3. However, I did try it again on my own and never got further than 5 penguins and later played it with my 8yr old who also couldn’t get the hang of balancing it and again we didn’t get past 3.
I have read other reviews that sing this game’s praises so it could just be that we’re not very good at it 😉
While I was writing this review it occurred to me that the game would be better if the point the boat balances on was a little wider so that it didn’t tip quite so easily. It also occurred to me that I could try modifying it with a bit of blutac. So I had a play.
It worked a charm. Too much blutac made the game far too easy which would also get boring so I experimented with different amounts and found it worked best with just a very thin covering of blutac stretched over the tip. The boat still rocked and swayed and it was still difficult to keep the penguins from tipping over, but you could at least get a few more on which made it fun rather than frustrating.
Balancing games like this are great for helping kids develop their hand-eye coordination skills but if it’s too hard from the start they may just get bored and give up. Using the blutac for younger players may just help build up their skills and you can always reduce it or remove it altogether as everyone gets better.
Disclaimer – I was gifted this game in exchange for an honest review but all thoughts and opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links in accordance with my disclosure policy.