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One of my first memories of having a friend when I was little involves playing this game. I can have only been around 4 or 5 at the time and I remember being at his house and he had this game. I had fond memories of this game so when the opportunity came for me to add it to my son’s ever increasing games collection a couple of years ago I jumped at the chance. In many ways I wish I hadn’t bothered!
Hungry Hippo’s is a Hasbro game and is produced by MB games. The age recommendation on the box is age 3+ and I think this is a good age really as the game involves playing with pretty small white marbles and younger children would be highly likely to put them in their mouth and it would pose a choking risk. Of course you could play this with younger children as long as an adult was present at all times.
The game comes in a large box and I can’t really remember what happened to our box but it is not in there now! The game is made of plastic and feels quite hard wearing. The base is red and there are four coloured hippos positioned on each side of the square base. On the hippos back there is a black lever which when pushed will cause the hippos to open and close their mouth. There is a little bit of setting up when you first get the game out in that you need to attach the hippos and their heads but once you have done this initial set up there is no more to do. The initial game assembly was straight forward and easy I thought.
There is no skill required at all for this game. In the game box you receive a number of white marbles. Unfortunately I am not sure how many as we have lost many of ours across the couple of years we have had it.
To begin the game you need to choose which colour Hippo you are going to be. The game can be played with 2-4 players but my son has been known to play it on his own on a few occasions bashing two hippo’s at once! Once you have chosen your hippo you can add the marbles to the middle of the red base. You then need to press your black lever on the hippos back repeatedly to “eat” the marbles. The player with the most marbles is the winner.
The game is very noisy and I am not that keen anymore. Like I say we lost many of our marbles despite storing them in a little cash bag for safety! It probably lasts a minute if that each game. However, my son did used to really enjoy playing this game- I guess children don’t mind the noise or the fact that there is no skill or anything involved in this game! We would probably have to play around five games in a row to fulfil what he wanted to do before he was bored and although there really is no setting up to be done with this game that is just five minutes of play and I would prefer something to last a little longer, especially if you are playing it a few times. At five he has now definitely out grown it though so it is probably only suitable for a year or two and that is if you can keep all the marbles safe!
You can purchase it from toy shops, supermarkets and online outlets too for around £12 or £13 but I would say give it a miss to be honest and spend your money on something that will last a little longer.