Disclaimer: This review is from a reviewer’s copy of the game that was provided by North Star Games to Open Seat Gaming, but opinions are our own based on several plays of the game.
Game: Dirty Pig
Publisher: North Star Games
Design: Frank Bebenroth
Art: Frank Bebenroth, Katja Witt
Mechanisms: Take That
Number of Players: 2 to 6
Game Time: 10 – 15 minutes
Description: It is common knowledge that pigs love to roll in the mud and be dirty. It helps to cool them down because they do not have sweat glands. That is why a dirty pig is a happy pig.
To start a game of Dirty Pig make sure each player has the appropriate number of pig cards all on their clean, unhappy, and uncomfortable side. Then, deal each player three cards and leave the rest of the cards in a draw pile.
On your turn, you play one card from your hand, resolve its effects and draw a replacement card from the pile. If you happen to not want to play any of the cards in your hand, you may exchange 1, 2, or 3 of your cards and then draw back up to 3 cards. If you exchange cards, that will be your whole turn. Players play their cards and everyone takes their turns in order until one player manages to dirty all of their pigs. Then, that player wins!
Dirty Your Pig-shows a pig gleefully jumping into the mud. Flip your clean pig over to its dirty side.
Rain– Cleans all unsheltered pigs, even your own
Barn– Shelters the pig it is on from Rain
Clean that Pig– The pesky Farmer can find the pig in the Barn and clean it. Play this card on any opponents pig card to flip it from dirty to clean.
Barn Door– Keeps the Farmer from coming and cleaning the pig, inside the barn, where the barn door is placed.
Lightning– Destroys Barns and Barn Doors that do not have a lightning rod attached.
Lightning Rod- Placing a lightning rod on top of a barn card prevents the card from being destroyed by lightning.
If a player has a barn, barn door, and lightning rod all over one of their dirty pigs, then that individual pig is safe from being clean for the rest of the game. All cards, other than the Barn and additional safeguards attached to the barn, are discarded after use.
Review: This cute and quick playing card game fits quite well with North Star’s Happy Planet line of games. My young cousins and a middle school aged family friend really enjoyed this game. They said they enjoyed its fast pace and take that elements.
Its so quick and goofy that, even if you don’t like “take that” games, you can’t really get upset about it. When playing Dirty Pig, there is a temptation to play it safe and wait to build all the safeguards for your group of pigs that you can. But, the odds aren’t in your favor to be able to build multiple barns featuring both doors and lightning rods. Also, you have to watch all your opponents to be sure they aren’t getting too close to flipping their last dirty pig before you can.
The pouch that the game comes in is adorable. The art helps you to feel how uncomfortable and displeased the clean pigs are as opposed to the relaxed look of the dirty pigs. You can also see the joy of the pig jumping into the mud on the Dirty Your Pig card.
Try, Buy, Deny: If you like fast-paced card games, enjoy the take that game mechanic, or have enjoyed the other games in North Star’s Happy Planet line, Dirty Pig is for sure a buy. If you don’t like take that, this game isn’t going to change your mind, but for a game that lasts less than 15 minutes, why not give it a try?