Top 5 Reasons Wacky Puppies™ is the Card Game You Should be Playing — Right Now!
By John Leroux
Sometimes games come along that hit you so hard that all you want to do is grab everyone you know and get them playing. Wacky Puppies™ is one of those! It stands out as one of the best card games released in years.
Blending fun and intuitive gameplay, it’s suitable for the whole family. Plus, it’s a great introduction to gaming for those non-gamer friends we all have. With a deep strategic element and a whole load of sass, it’s a card game everyone should be playing. Here is why.
#1 — It brings you together as players, like nothing else on the market
There is no getting around it. Life has been tough over the last few years with pandemics and more. So, getting together for gaming was something so many of us missed. Even now, it can be awkward if you are joining a group you don’t know well. And I know lots of gamers still struggling with relaxing around others after the long break.
If you are with the same gaming group since high school, just getting to know new people, family or even non-gamers who don’t know what to expect. In that case, there is nothing like Wacky Puppies™ for breaking the ice. You see, while the rules are simple, this is a game of two decks, and the second deck makes all the difference.
Think about this. Five minutes into your first ever game of Wacky Puppies™. You turn to your best gaming buddy, play the ‘Pull a Yoda’ card, and make him talk backwards like Yoda for the rest of the game. ‘Play this card I will’ rings out, and you collapse with laughter. That is Wacky Puppies™, and I defy anyone to play this game and not spend half your time laughing at the things you make each other do. Or, in the case of the Barkzan card, make yourself do.
This aspect of the game has no real impact on the overall outcome. Still, it makes the game a real experience that brings players together. And right now, I can’t think of anything a game could do that is better than that. It’s fun for fun’s sake, and it’s wonderful.
#2 — Simple gameplay, endless depth
If you hear the term ‘beginner-friendly,’ do you think of some awful game with the depth of a puddle? It technically gets people playing, but it is no fun at all. We did too, but that changed with Wacky Puppies™. This game is perfect for anyone, whether they are a hardcore card player or not. And everyone loves it.
On the surface, this is a very simple game. You draw cards from a deck. If you end up with a bomb and a detonator card at the same time, you explode and are out of the game. The last player standing wins. Simple, and anyone 7 or over can understand and enjoy it.
It is the other cards and the second deck that makes this card game something very unique, though. Here you find special abilities and strategic cards that help you avoid exploding. The variety of cards on offer and what they do gives this game incredible depth and endless re-playability.
We already mentioned the various cards that get players to do silly things, like the Yoda card, but others also affect gameplay. The Puppy Bomb Squad card deactivates a bomb if you end up with the detonator and bomb, so you don’t die. Other cards offer similar ways to escape explosions. A portal gun that whisks you to another dimension is my favorite.
But there are other strategic cards too. Some allow you to swap cards you don’t want for a more useful one straight from another player’s hand. Others make your targeted player pick two or three more cards, upping their chances of them getting a bomb. Some cards let you peak at the next cards in the deck, and others allow you to hand bad cards to an opponent.
Individually they make the game much more interesting, but together, they open up a whole new world of strategic options. You really can play this game any way you want. Be defensive with cards to deal with bombs. Or go on the attack and make the other players dance to your tune. Throw in the silly ability cards, and you have endless choices.
I found out the hard way that if you make an opponent talk like Yoda, or zip their mouth, then hand them a bomb card, they’ll go out of their way to destroy you in the game. So I now avoid that combination, but if that’s your thing, go for it. You will definitely be laughing, no matter how you approach the game.
#3 — Puppies!
Everything is better with puppies, and this game is full of them. The artwork is fantastic, with wonderfully characterful puppies of all kinds. You can see Pugs, Dachshunds and any number of others on the cards, each doing something completely ridiculous. See puppies opening a portal to another world or find a member of the famed puppy bomb squad, your key to surviving the game.
There’s a depth to the art, too. It’s got the bright colors, and immediacy kids love, which is part of why this is a great family game. But some details add to the humor for grownups.
Just as important, the artwork explains the game. You look at the card, and it tells you exactly what it does or what it will make another player do. This is part of why Wacky Puppies™ is such a fantastic introduction to gaming. This is the perfect game if you have non-gamer friends and want the ideal introduction to fun gaming without worrying about hundreds of rules.
#4 — Play with Anyone
Whether you are with your regular gaming group or want something to play with family over the holidays, Wacky Puppies is a perfect choice. I’ve played this game with DnD veterans, my kids, people who only know gaming through Ticket to Ride, and a group who had never played a card-based tabletop game before. Every time it has been a complete blast.
Even for new gamers, once they see you making another player try and lick their nose — the Booger Danger card! — they quickly get the idea, and then anything goes. For players who know each other well, or breaking the ice with a new group, a team of extroverts, or for encouragement to come out of their shells — Wacky Puppies™ does it all.
A holiday tradition with family or a fun way to start game night. I can’t think of another game that can fit into so many situations and gaming needs so well.
#5 — It’s a world of silliness that will make you cry with laughter!
Fun can come in all shapes and sizes with gaming, whether dungeon crawling with monsters lurking around every corner to intrigue and deception in a fantasy world. We all have our favourite types of games, but Wacky Puppies™ is different.
Whatever games you enjoy, whatever your tastes, this game will make you laugh. It will make you laugh at and with the other players. It will make you laugh at yourself. And it will make you laugh at the ridiculous situations you are in when playing.
Once you strike a pose while screaming out your animal call, only because you have the cards, you know that Wacky Puppies™ won.
From the endless strategy to getting your friend to spend an entire game talking like Yoda, player interactions are the heart of Wacky Puppies. We cried with laughter from how each player took on the challenges. Each time creating a story for the game that is unique. Wacky Puppies™ is a game you will talk about, share and enjoy with everyone. It’s not just a game. It’s an experience you can’t help but love.
Some games you play and love, but once done, you never look back. This is a game you will keep coming back to. Not just because it has so much strategic depth. Not because the art is beautiful to look at and won’t fail to make you smile. But because it is different every time. How each player reacts, the strategy they use, and how they embrace the silliness make this a game you want to play again and again.
I was fortunate enough to be involved in the beta testing for the game. It launches on Kickstarter in April 2023. For those people that can relate to the reasons above, I suggest that you jump to the Kickstarter page to support the game, and grab some exclusive bundles during this crowdsourcing event. It’s really well worth it!
Wacky Puppies™ — It’s Barking Mad in the best way possible!
By John Leroux
Tabletop games are fantastic! There’s so much variety on the market today that whether you like sci-fi, fantasy, horror or just a bit of comedy fun, there’s something out there. But not every game night needs to involve in-depth games with mountains of rules. Sometimes you want something that’s just a blast to play with friends and family. Wacky Puppies is that fun card game that everyone loves — for two to five players.
The basic game is simple to learn, as all the best games should be. But the strategic depth is unmatched, encouraging silly challenges that’ll make you laugh until you can’t breathe. Best of all, everyone has endless fun. The levels of comedy hit home with the perfect blend of silliness and strategy that makes it a joy to play.
Did I mention it features puppies too? Yes. Puppies.
The concept is unique. According to the creators, Wacky Puppies™ is “What happens when you combine the game of hot potato with Russian Roulette!” Players draw from two decks of cards throughout the game. The game’s main mechanism is that when you have both a bomb and a detonator in your hand, you explode, so you’re out of the game. The last player standing is the winner.
Sounds simple enough, but the clever part is in the rest of the cards. Discover everything from a Puppy Bomb Squad to Blast Shelters, Distress Signals, Teleportation, and the ever-popular Portal Gun. You can store up ways to avoid explosions and survive until the next hand. You can even pass an explosion to other players (a sneaky way to kill them off) or perform other strategic moves. Still, my favorite is forcing other players to perform silly challenges (more on this later). There’s a bunch of wacky ways to win the game.
This is the strength of Wacky Puppies™. Yes, it’s a simple card game with super fun graphics that make it a great family game for kids 7 and up. But it has so much strategic depth you don’t get from other card games. It’s much more a game of skill than a game of chance, but because chance is part of things, you never know what cards you end up with.
You can come up with a zillion ways to torture your friends (or family), making them act out dares. Every game is completely different. Enjoy scheming ways to drop the other players right in trouble. Or amass a puppy bomb squad army to save yourself from that dreaded explosion. Find a playstyle that fits exactly how you approach games of all kinds.
After briefly mentioning them, we have to talk about the card designs too, because they are phenomenally great. Fun enough for kids as young as 7 to love — but detailed enough to make you laugh every time. The artwork features an array of stylized puppies, everything from pugs to dachshunds, in precarious and ridiculous situations and poses. Bright, cheerful and easy to read, they make the game a pleasure to play. I’ve found myself looking through the decks just to check out the artwork in more detail!
The box contains 100 cards and the rules, so everything you need to play is right there. Because it is so easy to learn, you can be up and running, playing a game within a few minutes.
While the deck gives you so much tactical and strategic gameplay, there’s another side to the game that ups the fun quota. The second deck, the special abilities deck, is accessed by obtaining Collect Cards from the main deck. These special cards stand out thanks to the dark background. You get to draw from the special ability deck when you match two. This is where the fun begins because it unlocks new ways to torment your fellow gamers, make them do ridiculously silly things, or even just embrace that silliness yourself.
Examples of these cards include:
· Booger Danger — Make any player try to lick their nose for 10 seconds
· Barkzan — Gives you the ability to yell like Tarzan (loin cloth optional)
· Bottom Burp — Forces a player to make farting sounds with their elbow
· Zipped — Force any player to talk with their mouth closed for the remainder of the game
There are many more, and these cards have no impact on whether you win or not, but they are so much fun!
But the special ability deck is more than that. Some cards do have an impact on the game, and some can be really important. For example, you’ll find cards that allow you to name a card to take from another player’s deck and swap it for any of yours. Other cards call in the puppy bomb squad to disarm a bomb in your deck. And precious cards that let you escape an explosion. These can make all the difference.
So, what is it like to play?
You know, sometimes you can see a game, read about the gameplay and build it up in your head. When you actually get a chance to sit down and play it, nothing is quite what you thought, and it all seems a bit underwhelming.
This is not one of those times.
From the start, the silliness draws you in. I got so caught up in the art and fun of the game that I had to talk backwards like Yoda and then strike a pose for an entire round as I was the target of player vendettas.
Then I remembered for all the cuteness, this is a game of ruthless mocking of fellow players as much as it is a game of survival. Pretty soon, all of us had tried to lick our noses, talk without opening our mouths and all the other special abilities. It’s a game that builds layers of silliness, one on top of another. So much so that you end up laughing so hard that it’s almost impossible to think about any strategy other than making your best friend do something ridiculous.
But when you do find time to focus on the strategy, there is a lot there. With 100 cards, there is plenty of variety in the game mechanics to help avoid exploding. There are several ways to go on the attack against other players, forcing them to take more cards or swapping their good cards for ones you don’t want. All this means that you can play in several ways, and the strategic options are almost endless, depending on what you draw.
Our first game ended in crushing defeat for me, but we had so much fun I’ve enjoyed playing with several different groups since I got it.
A game for everyone
I’ve played with several groups now. My gaming group of experienced gamers. A family game with people who think scrabble is the only game out there. A game with 3 younger teens. And several games with a mix of those who don’t usually do these kinds of activities. The result has been the same every time. That is — a bunch of happy people having a lot of fun and wanting to play again as soon as the first game was done.
It’s a game you can clearly see was made by people who put everything into this, from design to game mechanics. It’s very refined and extremely well done. I love the strategy aspect, as anyone who has played strategy-based games does. Still, the ridiculous fun of the special abilities deck adds something special to Wacky Puppies™ game.
Whether experienced gamers or new to the idea, even those who started a little nervous were screaming their jungle cries like Barkzan 10 minutes in. The fun is infectious, and I defy anyone to play this game without having a smile on their face from start to finish.
Games come and go all the time. Some are okay, and some are great. But a few are games you know you will still be playing for years to come. Wacky Puppies™ is one of those. A game I’ll never tire of having fun with.
I was fortunate to be chosen to beta-test the game during the creation process. It’s being launched on Kickstarter in April, 2023. It will be a bargain then, as projects are always cheaper during a Kickstarter than when they hit retail (or online) stores.
With so much replay value, it’s a game you will keep coming back to. From holidays with the family to a night in with gaming buddies, Wacky Puppies™ is a game that fits anywhere. Play it once, and you’ll never stop. A strong candidate for the Best Card Game of the Year.