Go, Whacky, Go! a short review

I admit it, I am a game snob. I know what I like and what I don’t like. If you had told me I’d be having fun with a roll and move based on an 80’s video game, I would have rolled my eyes and snorted derisively.

I have a confession to make, I am having fun with one!

Whacky Wit is a wonderful homage to Pacman. The standard version of Whacky Wit is a handmade wooden game reminiscent of the early arcade games from the 1920’s and 30’s that work using gears and magnets. If you are ever at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco check out Musee Mechanique for some excellent examples of these.

Whacky, the grinning yellow fellow, here

and seen here with the 4 opposing monsters ,

moves along the board pressing the dots down as he eats them. The dots work on magnets and it is slick to raise the board by grasping and lifting the handles, and a satisfying thwack as the magnets reset the dots.

Movement is based on a yellow 12 sided die roll.

Two 12 siders are rolled for the monsters, one determining the color of the monster and the other determining the amount of movement. They can only leave their house on a 6 or less. If Whacky eats a yellow dot he gets to send the monsters back home if he can catch and eat them! Whacky wins if he eats all the dots before using his 3 lives and the monsters win  if they prevent this.

So yes, that is all there is to the game. Is it fun! Tremendously so! Especially if you have fond memories of the video game like I do. It’s harder than it looks to win as Whacky, at least in my games, but maybe it’s my poor rolling. It simulates the video game surprisingly well. There are opportunities for some strategy, a healthy dose of good rolling and a daring Whacky. I love this game. The handmade quality of the board really tips the scale in it’s favor.

The downsides, the handmade wooden version is pricey $$$. I totally splurged on mine. I blame it on another birthday ending in zero and midlife crisis, you know, motorcycle or Whacky Wit, motorcycle or Whacky Wit…. So now I don’t have a motorcycle.

There is an econo-version available which is almost as cool. 

There was only one flaw that I found, but I fixed that…

meet Ms. Whacky! 

Thoughts of Other Opinionated Gamers:

Joe Huber (11 plays): I could not agree more with Lorna – though I was perhaps less concerned about the thought of enjoying the game. Unfortunately, while Whacky Roll _is_, as Lorna notes, almost as cool – almost isn’t quite enough. If you are interested in the game, I’d recommend biting the bullet and saving up for the full fledged board. There is something magical about the mechanical operation of the board; resetting the board is a tactile delight.

Ratings:

4 (Love it!):Lorna, Joe Huber
3 (Like it):
2 (Neutral):
1 (Not for me):

My thanks to designer Norman Sommer for the use of some of his images from BGG.

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