Inspired by a conversation on Quitter, I found myself thinking about what a game involving ninja goats and pirate chickens would actually look like. The conclusion I eventually arrived at was pretty simple: Fox and Hounds, but with the addition of a treasure chest. The ninja goat wins by stealing the pirate chickens’ treasure and the pirate chickens win by capturing the ninja goat.
I quickly typed up some rules and started having far too much fun Gimping together images from Openclipart.org to make some game pieces. Of course, the real test of any game is when you start playing it, and for this I had to wait until Saturday.
It proved to be surprisingly playable. The simplicity of the game is such that a seven-year-old is able to think through various strategies with no prompting on my part. And the addition of a treasure chest added interesting quirk in that I could see Macsen actively thinking about how to defend it with the fewest possible resources. This also mitigated, somewhat, the fact that the chickens should always win.
What really surprised me, though, was the extent to which the twins were able to get involved. The simplicity of the rules was such that they could easily understand the game and the shortness of the game meant that boredom didn’t have a chance to set in.
All in all, a surprisingly successful afternoon was enjoyed by all, a conclusion that was confirmed this morning when Macsen asked me where I’d put the game.