Theme and What is it?
Your tribespeople are hungry. Very hungry. But the only available food source that can feed everyone is dangerous. Very dangerous. How do you kill something as large as a wooly mammoth anyway? Drop it off a cliff. Ambush it with lots of spears. Or get it stuck in a tar pit so you have an easy target. Easier said than done. Especially with all the other tribes getting excited about their hunt and spurring everyone to take more risks to hunt the limited food supply.
Each round of play, all players secretly choose a card in their hand and put it face down. Then when revealed, all players joyously rush down their paths to a mammoth on the edge of the cliff. If they get close enough, they push it off and will feed their tribe. If they end up stopped on a tar pit, the cave person goes the way of the mammoth…
Beware your choices, if you are closest to the cliff the other players might pick high numbered cards since all players move the sum of all cards chosen. If your rush gets too gutsy, WHAM! The next meal will be at the funeral for that cave person.
The prehistoric life is rough. On the bright side, when you rush headlong off the cliff, you still take the mammoth with you. Your tribe will still eat. You just wont be joining them. Oops. Each player has 4 cave people and if you lose them all, you are eliminated from Wooly Whammoth. But if you are successful in gaining 6 mammoth meat tokens, your tribe is the fittest and will be the only to survive.
This is not a particularly serious game. In fact, that is an understatement. This is a silly game. A very silly game. Provided you (or your cave people) are not a metaphorical “stick in the mud”, this will be an excellent filler game that anyone can get involved to play. There are not many games you can pull your grandparents, grandchildren, and weird homeless friends into with under a minute of explanation. Even fewer that all of these various groups will enjoy. This is one of them.
Game Build Quality
The are lots of mammoth meat tokens. 4 cave people with standee bases. And hunting paths that can get longer the more excited your tribe gets. What more could you want in a game of this type? The standees are quality, thick punchboards. Be careful attaching the bases the first time as they are quite snug and you can damage the standees if you are not careful.
Some of the cave people are actually cave animals. The overzealous hunter clinging to the mammoth as they both find themselves hanging over empty air on the cover perfectly captures the theme and experience Wooly Whammoth is going for. We also really enjoyed that the mammoth meat tokens remind us of the Flintstones.
Fun factor? YES! We got many laughs and the game came back out several days in a row by request. We found quite a few things to enjoy and might end up using Wooly Whammoth as a filler for most of the players while someone else is doing setup for the next longer game. It is the perfect length and seriousness to fill those dead moments during a game day with laughter.
Age Range & Weight
8+ is a solid rating. This is absolutely kid friendly in the lightness of the theme, silliness of the gameplay, and overall ease of rules. I should mention that we found the game was easy to find adult humor in. The cave people are overzealous in their hunt for “mammoth meat”… tokens. They collect what mammoth meat they can but occasionally cannot wait and have to eat some.
Also, each time their hunt is successful the tribe gets so excited that the board lengthens. A well played card can make it so a player that didn’t quite make it to the mammoth finds themselves being charged by their would be mammoth meat. Whammoth to the face! Ouch, that has got to hurt.
There is no overt innuendo in the game, but players in the wrong state of mind prior to playing found it really easy to make a game of just trying to take the bad innuendos as far as they can.
Like other Smirk & Dagger games, Wooly Whammoth isn’t an overly serious experience. The target market is a relatively young audience. But I think this will be even more successful with players in the right mind for some silly. Several players said they could see this being used as a drinking game. Regardless of how you choose to play it, provided you can relax and have some fun, you will get plenty of laughs out of Wooly Whammoth.