I couldn’t make it to Toy Fair this year, and one of the things I missed was getting to see the new range of games launched by Orchard Toys. We’ve been big fans for years now as you all know, and I was thrilled when a very aptly new game arrived on our doorstep a few weeks ago. With a name like Cheeky Monkeys, this new game literally had Monkey’s name written all over it.
Cheeky Monkeys is aimed at children aged 4-8 years of age and can be played with 2-4 players. The games comes with 1 two-part 3D tree, 32 double-sided monkey cards, 1 pool board, 1 spinner with arrow and an instruction leaflet. The two pieces of the tree slot together to give you a 3D playing board, and the spinner arrow clicks into place. Pop out the monkey cards and you are ready to play.
This is a game of chance, and a game where you can take risks to try and get all the monkeys hanging from your side of the tree. My son has loved stealing all my monkeys and their bananas.
Start with the monkey cards branch side up, in a pile. Once you’ve assembled the tree you can see that there are 4 coloured sections, decide which colour you want to be, and aim to fill your branches full of banana laden monkeys.
My 7-year-old Monkey started the game by spinning the spinner, where would it land?
If you land on one of the bananas section pick up one of the monkey cards and turn it over. Check how many, if any, bananas your monkey has and place it in front of you. At this point you need to decide if you want to pass play to the next player, or whether you want to risk spinning again. If you decide to pass play, then you hook the monkey you’ve picked onto your section of the tree. If you decide to spin again, you keep hold of your monkey, and see where the spinner lands. If it lands on bananas again, you repeat this part of the game play and can continue to do so for as long as you like, gaining monkeys, unless you spin something else.
If you land on the Cheeky Monkey (yes the one where he’s sticking his tongue out – and yes, my Monkey loves that) you can take one monkey from another players section of the tree and hang it in your own branches. It’s worth trying to spot the monkey’s with the most bananas. Play then passes on.
If you land on the pool monkey then you take any monkeys you’ve already collected on your turn and place them on the pool board. Play then passes on.
Now if you spin and happen to land on the ? you take all the monkeys you’ve collected on that turn and any that are lounging around on the pool board and hook them onto your section of the tree before play passes on. As with all Orchard Toys games, the graphics are bright and engaging and the board is durable so will last repeated game play.
Play continues until all of the monkey cards have been collected. Each player takes their monkeys off the tree and the player with the most bananas wins the game. I’ve been thrashed more times than I care to mention since this game of Cheeky Monkeys arrived. Even the cat likes to watch my demise.
This is a good, fun, family game which we’ve really enjoyed playing over the last few weeks. Once game play has finished, you can dismantle the tree and everything fits nicely back in the box. Priced at £9.50 you can purchase directly from Orchard Toys, local toys shops or via Amazon (affiliate link below).
disclosure: we were sent the item mentioned in exchange for an honest review.