Board Games are toys normally dressed up in fancy mechanisms and adult themes, but sometimes they don’t hide their toy roots and show to the world that they just want to played with. Stomp The Plank is one of those games that screams ‘look at me’ I am an awesome toy, but the question is does it also meet the criteria to be a good game as well? Please read on to find out.
There are two ways of winning Stomp the Plank. The first is to be the last elephant standing whilst all others are swimming in the sea, the second is to push your luck and be brave by turning over six different icons on cards in a row without any repetition. Sounds simple doesn’t it, but what it doesn’t describe is the pure fun and enjoyment you will have whilst playing.
A Trunk Full Of Fun
To start the game empty everything out of the box and then turn the box over as the bottom forms the pirate ship you will be playing with. There are four planks that are placed on the highlighted sections of the box and these are slightly magnetized and will hold the planks in place (for now).
Now each player chooses an elephant (how adorable are they by the way) and places them at the start of the planks. The first player then turns over a card and places it at the beginning of the card track. You will note there are six spaces on this track and each card you reveal goes in the next space. If you decide to stop revealing cards (and you haven’t busted) you look above the card you last placed to see how many weights each other player must place on the end of their plank.
The weights are a great component although I wish they were coloured or had stickers to represent something related to pirate life.
Placing too many weights on the end of your plank will cause your elephant to go overboard and you will be eliminated from the game.
When pushing your luck if ever you repeat an icon already revealed on the card track you bust. Your go is immediately over, no other players receive weights, and instead you must move your elephant one space forward on the plank. This can cause your plank to plummet and eliminate you from the game, especially if you already have a sizable amount of weights sitting menacingly on the end just waiting for you to make a mistake.
Going For The Win
The cards contain seven icons which makes going for the outright win of revealing six different icons in a row a tough proposition, but because the game is so fast, light and funny it is always worth going for it, especially at the beginning of the game when the penalty for repetition is just moving slightly further forward.
Stomp the Plank is a very funny and light game that will often be played as a palette cleanser in-between two more ‘heavy’ games, however it is always the game that people are still talking about long after the dust has settled.
Turns are super quick and although you only have one decision to make, to turn over a new card or not, there is more here than you would expect. Watching other players slowly move along their plank as they try for the instant win really encourages you to start to send as many weights to their plank as possible.
The components are beyond amazing. The elephants are super cute and weighted in such a way that they are stable for just long enough before diving into the sea. I really like games that use the box as the component and Stomp the Plank does this with style. The magnetic grip the box has on the planks feels perfectly tested so that you can be super brave whilst knowing it could collapse at any point.
This is a game perfectly suited to families and serious gamers alike. I have played this with hardcore euro fans as well as family members with ages ranging from 8 to 80.
The only slightly negative to the game is it is best played at three or four players to get the most enjoyment out of it. At two players it is fine but the excitement really builds the more players you add.
Stomp the Plank has, for me, replaced all of my other light push your luck games. Every time I introduce it to a new player there is always laughter and fun followed by a request to play it again and again.
It’s an Elephant Pirate Life for me.