My kids, ages 8 and 5, had seen the ad for Pop the Pig by Goliath at least a half dozen times before Christmas. Thinking that it would be an entertaining family game for the four of us, I picked it up at Toys ‘R Us for about $20.00 (that’s not cheap, either, in my book) and gave it to them before the holidays even came around. The kids were excited to play it and as we opened up the baggie of little plastic hamburgers, we all exclaimed, “Awwww!” because they were so cute. We were off to a good start. I consulted the directions to make sure we were setting things up correctly and we began a game.
How The Game Works
Here is how the game is supposed to work: with each turn, players roll the die, feed the pig a burger and then press down on his chef’s hat the number of times shown on the bottom of the selected burger. The pig’s stomach (which actually has a balloon-type device underneath it) is supposed to get bigger and bigger with each press of his hat, until he finally “pops,” causing his belt to open. My kids thought this concept was hysterical and could not wait to see the pig “pop.”
“Popping” The Pig
Unfortunately, there were a few problems with getting the pig to pop, the first of which is that his hat is very difficult to press down, especially for my little one. But with two hands, he was finally able to do this. I can’t imagine any child younger than 5 is strong enough to pull this off. The second problem is that the growth of the pig’s stomach is so negligible that it is hardly noticeable at all. We kept peering and peering at Pig’s stomach, thinking we may have detected a slight change, only to wonder if we were just imagining it! Eventually, we were able to get Pig’s belt to pop open but the stomach never really got big at all. “Are you guys sure the belly is supposed to get big?” I asked. “Look at the picture,” they said. And sure enough, the image on the front of the box shows good ole Pig with a big, inflated stomach. “This game is stupid,” my daughter said. “It’s junk,” my son said. Obviously, neither of my kids have a tendency to mince words.
What Others Are Saying
“Maybe ours is defective,” I said, opening up my laptop to check the reviews on Amazon. While some reviews were positive, many echoed our same concerns. The average rating was 2 ½ stars out of 5 (with 73 customer reviews). Some said the hat was too hard for their children to push down (we agree). Others said the stomach never grew (yup). One pointed out that the big explosion their child was waiting for was first just the belt opening with a click (our experience too) and that after a few games the “explosion” became reduced to clicks only with no belt popping at all. I guess we should be happy that our belt does manage to pop open. The bottom line? This game is nothing like what it looks like on the television commercial and while the concept is charming, Pop the Pig fails to deliver “pops” or laughs.
Have you played this game? What has been your experience?