ToysBulletin.com reviews a fantastic game experience from Iello Games.
Have you ever wanted to see what it is like to be a real farmer? Well, it is possible now by playing “Happy Pigs” from Iello Games. The game allows players to compete by buying, feeding, breeding and selling pigs for profit. “Happy Pigs” is suggested for 2-6 players ages 10 years old and up, and a game can easily be completed in less than an hour.
The game contents include 20 field boards to house your pigs, a market board to track product availability and pricing, 196 pig tiles (4 sizes from piglets to big pigs), lots of money (coins and bills), 24 action tiles (6 colors of 4 each), 24 season cards (6 each of spring, summer, fall and winter), 75 item tiles (vaccines, dietary supplements and amulets of life) and a first player token.
To set things up, each player takes 4 action tiles of the same color, 1 field board and $45 in cash. The rest of the game pieces are sorted and placed near the market board which is positioned in the center of the table. Before actual game play, each player is allowed to make up to 5 purchases from the market board, including pigs, any of the 3 types of items or additional field boards. Any pigs purchased must fit within the boundaries of a player’s field board(s).
To begin play, the first player turns over the first season card, which determines the actions that can be taken during a round. All players then secretly choose one of their 4 action tiles and turns that tile face down in front of them. The 4 choices are feed (fatten up your pigs), buy (take a trip to the market board and make a purchase), mate (add a piglet) or sell (take a trip to the market board to sell a pig). Next, all action tiles are turned face up. Players then perform the action shown on their action tile, but if more than one player has chosen that action, they must share the action equally with that other player. For example, if a season card indicates that players may feed their pigs 6 times and two players choose that action, they each can only feed their pigs 3 times. If only one player chooses the feed action tile, the player could feed his pigs 6 times during that round. Players must also watch for the special effect that is applied based on the season tile that was turned up. This can be surprisingly helpful during game play.
The 3 item tiles that can be purchased at the market board can also provide some benefits as the game progresses. The vaccine will allow a player to keep a pig from season to season (unvaccinated pigs are lost after each change of season), while the dietary supplement gives a pig a boost in weight, allowing a pig to jump an extra size and the amulet of life allows pigs to mate a bit faster.
The game continues with players paying money out when making purchases and receiving money when selling pigs. The game ends when all 24 of the season cards have been turned over, and the player with the most money is declared the winner.
Wow! The Toys Bulletin staff loved playing “Happy Pigs.” The game was a blast from start to finish, and the replay value is very high. Families will also enjoy this one, with the “cute” graphics and easy to follow rules.
“Happy Pigs” retails for $34.99 and can be purchased from the Iello Games website.