I’m fresh off a memorable weekend of tent camping at Kohler-Andrae State Park in Wisconsin, on the sandy shore of Lake Michigan, with a large group of friends and acquaintances. It was a weekend filled with adventure, play, laughter, learning, food and fun.
I was introduced to a clever colloquial word game our first night there, as ten adults and a passel of children huddled around a picnic table in one small screened tent to shelter from the pouring rain outside. The game–it lacks a formal name–is played with nothing more than your imagination. Structurally it’s a bit vague and open-ended, but it has a solid core that, with a little effort, could be formalized into a marketable party game. The game play is difficult to describe, but as an easy analogy you could call it “Word Zendo.”
I plan to take a stab at developing this game a bit further, and we’ll see what comes of it.
It’s after hours at the zoo and the animals are ready to cut loose and party! To do so, they must cooperate to rearrange their enclosures and follow The Plan…
It’s pandAntics!, a cooperative party game of limited communication [think UGG-TECT, the caveman construction game, but cooperative. With zoo animals].
Each round has a specific puzzle card with a goal to be met. One animal is nominated to be the ring leader; only she sees the goal card, and she must direct all other animal’s actions to complete it. [The puzzles should be challenging, but also generate laughter and fun.]
But it wouldn’t be fun if it were that simple and straightforward! Each round, players are dealt an animal role card that dictates their means of communication and modes of action. Some examples: The Elephant may make an ‘arm-trunk’ to pick up certain blocks, but can only ‘speak’ in trumpeting sounds. The Rhinoceros makes no sounds, but can push any block in a straight line. The Horse doesn’t speak, but can nod ‘yes’ or shake his head for ‘no.’ The Snake may only hiss and point at things with a snakey arm, etc.
Can you bridge the inter-special communication gap?