Genre: Card Game
Ages: 6 & Up
Time: 20 minutes
Too Many Monkeys: A Totally Bananas Card Game consists of 55 cards, a rules pamphlet, and a sturdy cardboard box. This playful, lively game is designed to appeal to young gamers and parents alike. It is a fast paced, simple game that subtly reinforces math concepts such as number sequencing and probability while still allowing kids to be silly and have fun.
The premise of the game is that Primo, the Monkey is trying to get a good night’s sleep but his friends keep knocking on his bedroom door in an attempt to have a noisy slumber party. Your goal is to get Primo back to sleep by flipping and swapping cards over a number of rounds to end up with just one face up card. Of course, there are some troublesome critters who cause ridiculous problems along the way.
Gameplay is played in a series of rounds. Players are dealt out 6 cards face down. Players draw from the discard pile or the draw pile and swap it face up with a card in the position that matches the number on the card you drew. The winner of the first round gets dealt one less card at the start of the next round. All other players get dealt the same number as the previous round. Play continues as above with players’ hands getting smaller each round. You continue in rounds until one player is down to just one card and draws the number 1 card (with Primo asleep). When that happens, Primo is back to sleep and the game is over!
We purchased this game for our monkey-obsessed six year old son expecting it to be cute but a bit of a drag. We were pleasantly surprised after our first play-through. The artwork is funny, the special cards add an interesting dynamic, and the fast pace makes it bearable. We have played through this game numerous times with kids alone and mixes of kids and adults. The first challenge we encountered was that while the game pace is fairly quick, playing through the rounds can sometimes drag on. Your littlest players may lose interest before they get to the single face up card. We found a way to modify this by removing all of the 6 and 5 cards and dealing each players 4 cards instead of 6 to shorten the game. The game is designed for ages 6 and up, but as long as your child can count and understand number order, they should be able to play fairly well. Older players (8 and up) found the concept simplistic, but thought the special cards added to the fun of the game. Younger players enjoyed the game as is. Our favorite feature is that this game can be played unsupervised by children with no parental assistance, but parents can join in to have some fun, too.
Overall, if your kid likes monkeys, likes being silly, and could you some subtle reinforcement of math skills, then this is a great addition to your family’s game collection. We think this is a logical step up from the early childhood classics such as Candy Land, Hi Ho Cherry-O, and Chutes and Ladders.