You must know the kiddies rhyme?
This little piggy went to market,This little piggy stayed home,
This little piggy had roast beef, This little piggy had none,
And this little piggy cried wee wee wee all the way home.”
Well, we propose a new verse,
“This little piggy worked in lumber, This little piggy played card games,
This little piggy screamed LOWER! This little piggy played Flying High,
And this little piggy lost the round and I’m the next Guesser.”
Hogger Logger is a card game for 2 – 5 people, that’s incredibly fun for such a simple premise.
If you’re a UK child of the 80s like me, you’ll remember a game show on TV called “Bruce Forsyth’s Play Your Cards Right,” and congratulations you’re about 80% of the way to knowing all the rules for Hogger Logger.
However in Hogger Logger, you do get something for a pair, there’s no silly questions, “out of 100 production assistants surveyed how many hated researching for Play Your Cards Right?”, and no “Brucie Bonus,” (For any Americans reading, that’s a good thing, it NOT being included.)
The game comes with 2 decks of cards, a “Numbers Deck” and an “Action Deck.”
The game mainly centers around the Number Deck. 75 cards numbered 1 to 15, five times.So like Brucie and his glamorous assistants, 4 cards are going to be dealt face down in to the middle of the play area, and then one face up. Plus each player is going to get dealt 3 cards into their hand. Someone starts as “The Guesser,” although I really wish this was called “the little piggy” or something, and they have to make a guess if the next card turned over is… yep, Higher or Lower than the one face up. You get it right, you remain the Guesser, the newly revealed card becomes the start card and you keep guessing, you get it wrong and the next player becomes the guesser, and whoever guesses the last card wins the round. Simple.
So where’s the fun?
I know you’re asking this because everyone I’ve explained it to has looked at me with the sideways owl face, and inquired where the fun is. Then I’ve forced 3 cards into their hands and made them start the game as the Guesser.The hand of 3 cards allows anyone playing to change the start card, for one of theirs, so a relatively easy guess of “higher or lower than a 4” becomes slightly more a game of luck when you play a 7 on that 4, and it’s almost 50/50 if the next card is HIGHER.
What about if you know in the round earlier a whole heap of cards that could have been lower were played, and so won’t have been available to deal in this round? It’s ok, even though you weren’t paying attention you’re going to play a 15 card, you’ve been keeping it in your hand, all round, and you’re going to slap that down & obviously guess lower. And just as you’re about to do that the player on your right plays an Action card. Everyone has to pass their hands to the left, and you’re left with nothing, as the player to your right has used all their cards up, instead of your guaranteed win!
I taught it to my 6 year old daughter, and now I have to play it almost every day. It didn’t take her long to work out what cards were good to keep for when you’re the Guesser, and what cards to play on your opponent. She knows that action cards, that you can get by “doubling up” on number cards or playing an 8 card from your hand, can bring both help and chaos to the round. One could add river card to the face down cards, giving you time to snipe control of guessing, one forces the Guesser to pick only Higher , another only Lower, others may give you choices, do you want 2 extra number cards? Or should you steal one off your opponent?
We also took it down to our local games group, Preston Gamers, and played a few rounds at the start of the night. It was great, if a little chaotic, and does work well with the full 5 player groups, as is does with the less noisy 2 player games, and further proved that this simple game packs a huge amount of fun. Honestly, until you’ve stolen control of a game because someone guessed LOWER than a 10 and then drew a 14, or you’ve won a game when forced to guess HIGHER and against all the odds you’ve flipped over the last 15 card in the pack, you’ll not appreciate how brilliant this little piggy of a game is.
Hogger Logger is on Kickstarter now, until 15th September,
and at time of writing they need less than $2,000 to hit their $9,500 goal. Go check them out!
Thanks to Ryan for sending us a copy to review!