Publishers Brain Games have carved out a niche for themselves in producing family games that are easy to learn, fun to play and are distinguished by eye-catching standout components. And Pigasus fits right into the Brain Games line up.
After the success of Ice Cool, it seemed for a while as though cute penguins were going to be de rigeur in all Brain Games productions but, in Pigasus, tho' there's a menagerie of creatures, there's not a penguin to be seen.
Essentially, Pigasus is a variant of the children's card game Snap. Designers Urtis Sulinskas, Martynas Balciunas and Dimitrij Makovejev have tweaked the idea so that instead of spotting identical matches, players are looking for the animal pairs among cards all displaying different chimera. Nine distinct animal species have all been combined with each other to create a deck of 72 different cards where an animal has the body shape of one species combined with the head and skin of another. Cards are flipped to a tableau until a player spots a 'pair' (ie: the two chimera that share the same two component animals). This is therefore a speed game that demands much more cognition than the simple identical pattern recognition of Snap!
Of course, Brain Games haven't just left it at that. They've incorporated a chunky squeaky toy Pigasus (winged pig) that is placed in the centre of the table. If you spot a pair, you don't call out Snap! or somesuch, you grab the Pigasus and then immediately point to the pair of cards. If you're correct, you win the cards (the winner is the player with the most cards when the deck runs out). You need to be quick but if you're over hasty and make a wrong pairing, there's a hefty penalty.
The rules suggest that Pigasus takes 2–8 players but the only real limit on the number of players is the practicality of being in reach of the Pigasus toy to claim your pair. The game takes no more than 20 minutes regardless of the number playing.
Children will love Pigasus and it's a game that adults will be happy to play with them. The art by Reinis Petersons is great and who could resist the charm of the squeaky winged pig toy?