POULETTES from Blue Orange is a family game of Chickens for 2-6 players aged 7+ who have 10-15 minutes to spend and want to spend it having fun, fun and fun.
Designed by Lionel Borg and illustrated brilliantly by Cyril Bouquet. The components are cards and tokens, made of top quality cardboard and highly coloured.
The Chicken coop is filled with Hens waiting for their seweethearts to bring them their favourite food, all Hens having their own particular favourite type of worm.
There are a couple of problems though. One is that many of the worms look the same; many are the same shape and colour but have minor differences that it takes a while to spot.
The other main difference is that so many of the Hens look alike, with just a slight change in feather colour, that their beaus often get confused, and that, as every male in almost every species will tell you, is not good.
The worms are represented by tokens which are turned face down and mixed in with the sweetheart tokens and the broken heart tokens, to form a jumble which the players get to scramble through. Around these tokens 8 Hen cards are played face up for all players to see easily. On each of these cards is a picture of the chicken's favourite worm and a heart with a Victory Point score in it.
Each player is dealt a face down Sweetheart card which shows them the chicken their Rooster wants to woo. This Hen may not be in the circle this round, but it will be there at some time in another round as all Hens eventually come into play, you just have to be able to spot them.
Once the game is set up it is played over 4 rounds. One player says start and all players at the same time begin to peck at the ground using the forefinger and thumb of one hand only, picking up the tokens like a chicken picks up corn, and looking at them. They are trying to match the worms on the tokens to those shown on the current crop of face up Hens. If they think they have found one they can place it face down in front of them, though they may only ever have two tokens in front of them at any time. Once a player has found/collected two tokens they can call a halt to the round or they can keep on searching if they think they can get a better score.
When the round ends the players check that they have collected the correct tokens and take the Hen cards that match the worms, token to card. At the end of the game the scores on the Hen cards collected are totalled, if you have also located the right Hen Sweetheart then you also score another 5 points. Of course if you have collected the wrong tokens there is a negative to be introduced to the scoring. Broken Hearts lose a score card per token taken at random.
With the players making chicken noises as they peck through the worm tokens the game is hilariously silly but funny. If this doesn't bring a smile to the player's faces then I have no idea what will. Kids love seeing their older siblings and especially mummy and daddy being funny - peck peck peckity peck - and that in turn makes this simple game one to play many times, young kids will want to play it again and again and their infectious laughter will spread joy throughout the family.
Soppy, silly, daft, but really playable.