The boys always love trying out new board games with me, especially Mr Z (age 5). We were recently sent a new game from University Games called Don’t Rock the Boat, and here’s what we thought of it!

Don't rock the boat

Don’t Rock the Boat is a fun balancing game involving pirate penguins! As soon as Mr Z and Mr T saw it they were both really interested in the game as they were really drawn to the boat and penguins image on the front.

To set up the game is really easy, there are just a couple of pieces to slot into the boat, then you place it on the big blue “wave” piece, and it immediately becomes obvious that it will not be so easy to balance all the penguins as the boat starts to bob around as though it is on a wavy sea.

The concept of the game is pretty simple, you place your penguins very carefully on the boat and if you make them fall off then you loose! If you can place all your penguins without knocking any off then you will be the winner. It is more challenging than it sounds, so I would say the suggested age range of 5+ is about right as there is a certain amount of co-ordination needed to play it successfully.

Mr Z is 5 years old and was able to think about where to put his penguins for a better result and try to play with a little more strategy. It did get him thinking about how to balance, by having equal weight on all sides. The boat tips fairly easily so players do need to be quite accurate.

Mr T is almost 4 so he is below the ideal age range. He was extremely enthusiastic about the boat and the penguins but he didn’t have the precision to place all the penguins and make them balance. However, if I took the wave out from underneath the boat then the game was transformed into a much easier version which was suitable for Mr T and just enabled him to take turns placing the penguins.

The game is suitable for 2-4 players and my boys found it lots of fun. The pirate penguin design is really cute and would appeal to most children. It’s a great addition to our game collection and would be ideal for practising turn taking and fine motor skills.

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