Woolfy

Designed by Grégory Kirszbaum and Alex Sanders, Woolfy is a game based on the story of the Three Little Pigs. It's unusual as a game for younger children because it's designed to be played as a fully cooperative game, which, as you might expect, means it can also be readily played solo.



There are three little pigs (cute soft plastic toys), distinguishable by their colours (red, green and blue). There is also a larger soft plastic wolf and his cooking pot. Rather than each having their own colour to move, players choose on their turn which of the three pigs they will move and they roll the corresponding colour (custom six-sided die). On a roll of 1, 2 or 3, you move that colour pig, either clockwise or anticlockwise. Roll a house symbol and you have the option of moving the pig to the safe haven of a straw or wooden house, or you can move to the brick space and add a storey or roof to the brick house. To win the game, the players need to complete the brick house (which, perhaps perversely, is actually made up of four stacking wooden pieces) and they need to get all three of the pigs there.


If you roll the wolf symbol (it's on two of the six faces), you have to move the wolf instead. The wolf always moves clockwise, and he has to move to the next wolf symbol. If he lands on or passes over a pig, then that pig gets placed in the wolf's cooking pot! To rescue pigs from the pot, another pig has to land on one of the cooking pot spaces in order to allow a die to be rolled for the pig in the pot. The pig escapes on any roll except a wolf. If the wolf is rolled, the wolf moves again so there's a risk that the pig attempting the rescue might itself be caught. If the wolf captures all three pigs, then the players lose.



Tho' the game seems simple, play involves an element of planning and strategy, and some subconscious estimating of probability. As such, and even tho' it has charming components and is aimed at children as young as age 5, Woolfy is orders of magnitude more sophisticated than more mundane roll & move fare. It's also good to see a game that encourages relatively young children to work cooperatively.


As we've come to expect from Djeco, Woolfy is beautifully produced. It's a game that infant school children will enjoy and it's one they'll still remember fondly even after they've progressed to playing more challenging games.


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