Animal Upon Animal: Small and Yet Great Review
Within the realm of board gaming enthusiasts, Animal Upon Animal is highly regarded as one of the best children’s games on the market. This game still eludes me, though I did get a chance to play its mini version. Animal Upon Animal: Small and Yet Great! features tiny wooden animals in a tiny box. Besides its small footprint, this one shrinks the player count, as only two players can enjoy this game instead of three or four like the original. I can’t really provide an opinion on how the two compare, but I can tell you about how much I enjoyed this animal stacking game.
The premise is simple. Each player will receive a handful of animals, such as polar bears, ducks, kangaroos and more. During your turn, you’ll roll the die and follow its instructions. You might need to place one animal on top of the base crocodile. Or maybe two animals. Your opponent might get to choose which animal you play next. Then again, you might have the opportunity to let your opponent place the animal on the stack for you.
There is some luck involved, as the die can make or break the game at times. However, this really comes down to your ability to stack these animals. The magic of the game is that these shapes seem to miraculously fit together in ways you wouldn’t expect, as there aren’t really any matching grooves. You can get really creative in how you stack this tower, ideally in ways that will fall over on the next turn so that your opponent has to take some of them back. Play ends when the first person has run through their entire animal supply, which should take between 5-10 minutes.
For kids, this is a neat little game that they’ll certainly enjoy. As an adult, this probably isn’t going to keep you engaged for too long, but it’s definitely fun each time you pull it out. The process of stacking these animals makes for a neat challenge and a silly-looking tower.
This micro version has its strengths, but also a few setbacks. For one, I would be concerned that children would quickly lose these small pieces, which are only a bit bigger than the marshmallows in Lucky Charms cereal. It’s also disappointing that this version only supports two players. More animals to support a larger player count would have been greatly appreciated.
As a portable two-player dexterity game for kids (and kids at heart), Animal Upon Animal: Small and Yet Great! delivers the goods. The concept is so simple, yet so well executed with these great wooden animals that miraculously find a way to stand tall. Most of the time. For a kids game, it caught me by surprise how much fun I had with it. If player count is a concern, it’s probably best to skip this version and just grab the original.