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Gopher It!
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Gopher It!

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Ages Play Time Players
5+ 10 minutes 2-4

Designer(s): Reinhard Staupe

Publisher(s): Playroom Entertainment

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Product Description

Each player is gathering a stock for the wintertime. The goal is to collect exactly six apples or exactly six carrots or exactly six nuts and to place them face up for safe storage. Each player who does this receives a card with a Gopher Trophy. But, while searching, players shouldn't get too greedy. If a player collects the same food twice in a row, that player will lose all the cards that are stored. Whoever gets 3 Gopher Trophies first is the winner!

Product Information


  • 50 cards:
    • 39 food cards
    • 11 gopher trophies
  • instructions (English, Spanish, French)

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.5 in 2 reviews

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Great Family Game!
November 28, 2006

This is a quality, well-made, fast moving game which is perfect for families! The kids love playing and adults don't get bored with it like other games! With the element of risk involved, sometimes the "tortoise" in your family can come from behind to beat the "hare" who just can't resist taking one more card! We've played several times where "slow and steady" won the race, and many others where the risk taker won quickly. The other thing that I enjoy is that the kids can beat me without my having to lose deliberately! There's a sense of satisfaction knowing that you beat Mom fair and square. And, with just a bit of assistance, even the youngest family members can play along!

Great value! You'll play many times!

Teach your kids gaming skills...
October 04, 2005

Of all the games in the Bright Idea Games line, Gopher It (Playroom Entertainment, 2004 - Reinhard Staupe) is the hardest for me to classify. I'm not sure if it's best for kids or adults. Of course, I say this a bit tongue in cheek, since the game is obviously intended for children. It's just that some of the concepts - playing "chicken" - are a little advanced for young children, while the game is so simplistic I don't think adults would enjoy it much at all - unless playing with children.

After deliberation, I think I would classify Gopher It as an educational game - a game that helps young kids become gamers. It teaches them how to push their luck, how to count, and a few other game mechanisms. Therefore I consider the game quite useful, as I utilize it to bring my young children from being wide-eyed Memory match fanatics to lovers of games that have more options. It's a "gateway" game for young'uns.

A pile of eleven trophy cards are placed in a face-up pile, while a pile of thirty-nine food cards are shuffled and haphazardly scattered in a heap (the "Garden"). The youngest player goes first, with play passing clockwise around the table. On a player's turn, they flip over any card from the Garden, revealing it. Cards show one to three apples, acorns, or carrots. The player then decides whether they will stop or continue to flip cards. The player may continue until they draw four cards, or until they draw the same type of card twice in a row (two apple cards, for example). If the player stops of their own accord, or if they reach four cards, they take all the cards they have turned over and placed them face up in front of them in three different piles - one for each type of food.

If a player turns over the same type of food twice in a row, then all the cards they've turned over are discarded. In either case, play passes to the next player. If a player gets exactly six of a certain type of food, they discard all the cards of that type and take a Gopher Trophy. If players get more than six of a certain food, they discard all of that food (I guess they overate or something). A player may only get one Gopher Trophy a turn. As soon as one player has three gopher trophies, they win the game!

Some comments on the game...

1.) Components: The cards are thick - the thickest cards I've seen in any game - and are very durable. Mine have been taken to kindergarten for show and tell, have been manhandled by my one year old, and fiendishly thrown around by a "Calvin and Hobbes" youngster. Yet they don't look much the worse for wear. The artwork on the cards is cute, showing a young gopher holding their treasured foods, along with a number (helps kids count). All the cards fit into a cardboard insert in a small, durable box to form a fairly attractive package.

2.) Rules: The rulebook is split into three different languages (English, Spanish, and French), with each having six pages of rules. There are full-blown examples, color illustrations and everything is clearly explained. The game is easy enough to explain to older kids, but I did have to go through it a while when playing with younger ones (kindergarten and first grade).

3.) Education: Teachers and parents looking for fun games that help their children will want to know that the game certainly encourages counting and addition with some differential skills. Gamblers will be glad to know that their children are learning at a young age how to "push their luck". ? Seriously, though, the game actually has strategy that is not found in most educational games, giving the child a useful set of skills.

4.) Skills: As I said, the game encourages the child taking risks. Should they turn over the next card or not? Some children just don't get this part, and simply turn cards over until they've reached four, gotten a trophy, or lost all their cards. But there is more to it than that. Children can learn that if they turn over a card that takes them over their max limit of six, they should draw more, hoping to "bust" and lose all drawn cards. When a child gets two great initial draws (like a "3" apple and a "3" carrot), perhaps they should stop drawing and take the goodness they've found. These are things that we take for granted in our more adult games, but I've seen very few children's games that have them.

5.) Fun Factor: I enjoyed the game slightly, as it was merely an amusing exercise for me as I watched my daughter and friends learn the mechanics. It certainly made an effect on her, as she went into school and taught them the game (as well as some mutated form that she devised herself). Either way, SHE had fun, and so did her friends, and that's all that matters. For kids up to about 12, this game has a certain draw, and they like the bit of gambling they can do or just the simple collecting of sets and trophies.

If you are serious about converting your children from the weary, choice-less games they are inundated with, such as Candyland - then this game is a great idea for you. While not as fun as Catch the Match, or Monkey Memory, it has a deeper level to it - or at least begins the staircase of a young child's road to thinking logically, yet willing to take risks. All of that bundled into a small card game? Why not have your kids play it!?

Tom Vasel "Real men play board games"

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