25 March 2023
When a game like this one lands on your desk (with the perfectly satisfying sucking-cup-application noise) you have to ask whether it’s a game at all. Chicken Vs Hotdog is a dexterity game from good fun machine Big Potato where players attempt a variety of trick shots with the eyebrow raising plastic chicken or hotdog. Often the thing that Chicken Vs Hotdog feels like is less of a game as you’d recognise it and more of a bar sport. This makes sense of course as the game’s roots are in the ‘I reckon…’ school of gamesmanship. It’s really satisfying to land a good shot in any sport, whether it’s a bar one or not, and Chicken Vs Hotdog is the version that’s probably going to make the least mess.
Each team takes the chicken or hotdog and a bunch of bidding cards. These cards are going to be used to bid for each challenge that gets turned over from the challenge deck. Win the bid, have the choice about whether you want to do this challenge, or make the other team do it. Your team may want to pass on tricky challenges because if the other team fails, your team will get the win. Get six wins (or have your opponent fail six times in total) and you will know who comes out on top out of poultry and pork.
What this little rule tells you is how absolutely rubbish everyone will be right at the start of the game, and how advantageous it is to just have the other team muck it up instead. It’s difficult to land even a simple trick like a single rotation – and although the challenge cards give you a variety of chances (making some of the harsher ones better to palm off to the other team) – often there’s just a lot of disappointed clattering of hotdogs and chickens on the table.
Which is fine to be honest, as no one is going to read the rules for half an hour anyway. The ‘warm-up phase’ of everyone just having a go, seeing if they could land either of the object the right way up and the cheers of when people do. And the inevitable discussion of which of the chicken or hotdog is the easiest to land (spoiler, it’s whichever one you’re not using). You’ll get the knack of it, sure, but it’s never quite a done deal, and with that, the challenges do become somewhat meaningful – if you get round to that, rather than making up your own games and challenges beforehand.
The way the game works best then is when one team gets a little bolshy, maybe you’ve got one left for your team and you think – hey, I can land this triple flip. When your group hits that level of unreasonable confidence, then the game truly begins. Ideal for the party season, as long as you like having silly parties.
CHRISTOPHER JOHN EGGETT
PLAY IT? YES
Silly fun, even if it’s best to just try and get really good at flipping them.
TRY THIS IF YOU LIKED 20 Second Showdown…
If you liked the physical challenges of 20 Second Showdown but didn’t like the bit where you had to run around someone’s house to touch a fern, Chicken Vs Hotdog might be for you
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