Don't Break the Ice
Overall Rating: 7/10
GLAM Age Range: 3-8
Number of Players: 2-4
Playing Time: 5 min
Available At: Amazon.com
Quick Take: We own this, we love this, I have never played this with my children. I have watched them play a bunch, but I have never actively taken part in a game. If you are a hero parent and don't mind assembling a bunch of ice cube blocks only to whack them all back out of the game within the next two minutes, then more power to you. However, my kids are proud to be able to put this together on their own because there is a bit of an art to it (it develops fine motor skills!) and I would say ages 5 and up are able to play without assistance. It's not a dazzling, fancy game but it's easy and fun and siblings of different ability levels do a lot better with this than a lot of our other games. It also is really is great to have some simple games around that don't require parental assistance.
How to Play: First of all, it is important to note that half of the official game rules involve giving the Penguin a name (Philip) and sharing fun facts about his favorite things. His life goal is to get a job in snow business. Rather hilarious. You win the game by not being the one to make Philip the penguin fall through the ice. On each turn you tap a block of ice with the mallet. You take turns doing this until the penguin falls down. Whoever made the penguin fall is the loser, the other person is the winner.
Variations: Like Jenga, once you touch a block you're not supposed to switch to a different one. Nix that rule if you're playing with younger kids. Also, interestingly enough the official rules call for elimination rounds of play if you're playing with more than two players but we have literally never done that. Whoever makes Philip the penguin fall is the loser for the round, everyone else is a winner.