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Nobody gets the parrot this time

October 23, 2014

Miss B came home from school with a game that she had bought at a bring & buy stall set up to raise money for plants to grow on the school grounds. She had bought it with her own money, so it was only fair to play it with her.

Despite Miss B still wearing her costume from Victorian Day at school, I don't think this is an authentic Victorian game.

Despite Miss B still wearing her costume from Victorian Day at school, I don’t think this is an authentic Victorian game.

The game is Sshh! Don’t Wake Dad!, and it is a basic roll-the-dice, move-the-dobber game with a gimmick. The gimmick is a model of “Dad” asleep in a bed, making snoring noises thanks to a bit of electronics, and at various times you have to press the alarm clock button next to him a number of times. If this makes him sit up, you have to go back to bed (back to the start).

If I were to describe this from the standpoint of a gamer, I would not be complimentary. There are actually no decisions to be made, so at some level this is the same as Snakes & Ladders; you just help the game play itself. However, there is actually real tension as you press the button, hoping that Dad won’t wake up, each player has a hand of cards making them immune to certain hazards (but if you fall foul of a hazard you claim the matching card, so you will be safe from it next time), and two of the faces of the die have a star which moves you to one space ahead of the leader, thus helping to move the game towards a conclusion.

I’m never going to chose to play this one, but it was surprisingly good fun to play with Miss B, so if she requests it, then no problem. And she loves it for what it is, and recognises that it is definitely a game for kids.

The verdict from Miss B (aged 7¾): “It was really fun and it’s a bit of a shock when Dad wakes up because he just sits up suddenly. I’d give it ten out of ten because it’s probably the best kids’ game I’ve come across.”

The game: Sshh! Don’t Wake Dad! (Tomy), 2 to 4 players aged 4+.

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