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Hop! — high up in the sky with a lot of balloons

Matteo Sassi
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I want to talk about HOP! a party game that has a sensational set of materials. Inside the game-box you will find six fantastic puppets. 7–8 cm tall and a three-dimensional board that leave you without any words. The materials are organized into a millimetric game-box.
When I have seen the game on the tables at Play! my reaction was WOW! and in all my game-tests that I’ve done in these weeks … people are literally crazy when they see the game “setup” on the table!
HOP! is a game where players will have to throw a rainbow to a chosen player while the other players have to bet on the success of the throw! HOP! is a game of dexterity, but also a game of bets!!! In fact, whoever wins is not the player who has more ability to launch rainbows … yes, certainly this player can be advantaged … but you must also know how to choose the winning/losing horse and conquer cloud points!
In the box we find many excellent materials, as you can see from the picture
At each turn a player draws a challenge card. On the card there is indicated the way in which the launcher (HURLER) and the sticker (SKEWERER) could pass the test, but also if the challenge need an assistant or a jammer. It will always be the launcher who chooses the players to play the active roles, while the passive players will have to bet on the success / failure of the challenge!
In addition, the launcher must stay away from the table and the rainbow must never pass over the table. The sticker must prepare to throw with his elbow resting on the table and try to pierce the rainbow with the index finger … be careful, however, as soon as the rainbow is thrown, the sticker will have to remove the elbow from the table.

Here are three examples of challenge cards!
If the launch is a success the launcher will gain one level while the sticker and the assistant can draw a cloud tile that can be worth 0 to 2 points. In case of failure : the launcher will lose a balloon, the sticker will not be affected, while the jammer will earn a cloud.
Passive players who have won the bet earn a dove while the loser takes a crow. A player who has three doves gains 1 level while he who has three crows loses a balloon.
The game ends when a player reach the last level or loses his lst balloons.
Recommended ages
HOP! is a party game for the whole family and it is suitable for children from 6/8 years-old. I leave this wide margin because I have seen children of 6 years-old playing without any problem while children of 7 years-old have many difficulties. As we know this children-age is very particular. In these cases I suggest that the game managed by parents in the first few matches in order to manage the rules and situations that could be make the game not always accessible to independent gaming.

Educational aspects
HOP! It is a game in which the main mechanism is the launch and catch the rainbow. Younger children will have to learn how to manage its energy and have to train to center / take the target. But it is not necessary be a rainbow champion thrower to win and have fun playing this game. Honestly I find that the launch of the rainbow is particularly difficult, but I have a lot of fun while playing HOP!
I believe that the most important educational aspect of this game are: to choose one’s partner at every shot and to learn to bet and accept defeat!

But how beautiful are these puppets !!!!

Suggestion for parents.
HOP! is a game that I recommend if you are interested in a scenographic game that could be putted on the table for parties with friends and relatives. HOP! is a game that you could pull out after a dinner, maybe Christmas or New Year’s Eve, in a playful atmosphere where peoples are not aim for victory but have a lot of fun and laugh. Yes, because the beauty of the game is just to see your friends put themselves in absurd positions to launch or take the rainbow.

An advice: You must playing HOP! with a lot of theatricality and a bit of irony you can give great satisfaction. Avoid instead to play HOP! in a very competitive atmosphere because there is nothing that turns off this game more than someone who during the game says: “are we sure that we should do so in this way?”, and start to open the rules and look for the quirk of the rule.
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