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Priscilla the gorilla is on the loose... Which way did she go?! Track down the escaped ape by following the directions on the cards. Did she go left? Right? Up? Down? Play cards quickly to trace her trail. Be the first to capture Priscilla and score big points. The player with the highest score is the chimp-chasing champ!
We know gorillas aren't often seen running loose in public, let alone by pogo stick or jet pack, but this game might help prepare you just in case one should come across your path some day. As you pursue Priscilla, you'll not only learn about following directions and sequencing, but you'll also improve hand-eye coordination. After just a few tries, you’ll find that chasing down gorillas isn't so tough after all. Getting them back to the zoo -- now that's a whole different game!
- 65 cards
- rules of play (English, Spanish)
Average Rating: 1 in 1 review
I am certainly of the understanding that a children's game will not have the same appeal to me as to the young ones. That's why I can sit there as my children use their nimble fingers to grab all the eggs in Gulo Gulo, or cream me at some memory game, like Catch the Match! I'm even a bigger fan of games that teach children something, whether it be counting, bluffing, or directions. But if a game is frustrating to both children and adults, I have no patience for it.
Such is the case of Thataway! (Gamewright, 2007 - Forrest-Pruzan Creative). I was ready to hurl the cards at the wall, as it just was a confusing mess to play. The theme, that of escaping gorillas, is okay; but there's no point to attempting to play with any semblance of order, since this real time game is chaotic and frustrating. Luck is high, a round can be over before someone blinks, and generally - no one who played had fun.
A pile of sixty-five cards are shuffled and divided into several draw piles - one for each player. The draw piles are placed in the middle of the table, and the game is ready to go. One player shouts go, and everyone starts drawing cards from any pile they can.
If a player draws a direction card, they must place it directly after any previously played direction card (the first is simply placed on the table.) Each card points in a specific direction (left, right, up, or down), while a few point in two directions, which allow you to choose the direction the next card is placed in. In this way, the player is going to form a path of cards, which cannot cross itself or another player's path. Cards that cannot be placed because of these restrictions must be held in a player's hand.
This continues until one player plays a gorilla card at the end of their path. They should shout "Thataway", and then all players stop playing cards. Players' paths are checked, with any player who has formed an incorrect path losing all their cards. Players pass their unplayed cards from their hand to the person on their left, who add these cards to the cards they have to their scoring piles. The next round begins the same way, with players continuing to play until four gorillas have been caught. At this point, the players score their cards - one point for each direction card, and five for each gorilla. The player with the most points wins.
Some comments on the game…
- Components: Each direction card has a gray street background,
an arrow pointing in a certain direction along with a cartoon
character pointing with it, and the word to match ("right", etc.) The
five gorilla cards are similar, with each showing a gorilla in various
modes of escape with completely different colored backgrounds, so they
easily stand out in the deck. The artwork is very humorous and
cartooney - enjoyable for children and adults. The cards themselves
are of decent quality, and everything fits easily into an oversized
yet slightly annoying box that the cards have to be slid into.
- Rules: I suppose that the four small pages are good enough to
play the game, although I was confused about how the game worked,
since it didn't seem to work out the way the rules intended. Teaching
the game is easy but is often ruined by the gorilla cards.
- Gorillas: Let me explain about these annoying creatures (in this
game, anyway). There are five gorilla cards in the deck, making them
one out of every thirteen cards. Therefore, if there are five
players, the chance of a gorilla being drawn immediately is one out of
two (almost). There is really never any reason to hang onto a gorilla
card - ever. When played, they guarantee the player five points, and
end the round - hopefully causing the other players to give the
gorilla-placing player even more points. Holding one is rather
foolish; because if another player places a gorilla, then you lose
these points to the player next to you. I have to say that it's a bit
annoying when the round starts, and a player slaps a gorilla down
before anyone really does anything. And this happens a LOT. Of
course, as the game progresses, the gorillas get scarcer, but so do
the other cards. And what are kids supposed to do when the gorilla is
snagged by their parents and thrown on the table. "Sorry, Susie, but
you don't get to play this round." Dreadfully annoying.
- Frantic: The game is a real time game, which means a lot of cards
are being thrown in frenetic haste. I thought that this would be
useful, as it would be a good way to quickly teach children
directions. But, since the game simply becomes all about grabbing the
gorillas first, the directions don't matter much. Add this to the
fact that everyone is playing at the same time, grabbing off the same
piles, and it quickly degenerates into a big mess. I'm not
necessarily fond of total chaos, and that's what Thataway becomes.
- Fun Factor: Supposedly the game has a bit of a push your luck
aspect, as players who draw a gorilla can hang onto it so that they
can place some more cards for more points. More often than not, this
will result in the player losing points, so in our games, everyone
dropped a gorilla card the moment they drew it. Even worse, one can
lose simply because a bad play by one person awarded a ton of points
to the person on their left. Drawing three gorillas on the first
round also can be annoying, just like playing a whole game without
ever seeing a gorilla (you pretty much have no chance of winning).
These are things that are frustrating to kids and will likely annoy
their parents also.
I'm a big fan of Gamewright Games, and they have made some tremendous games that are playable with the whole family, with everyone having a tremendous time. Thataway! is not one of these games, however. Despite the funny theme and artwork, it's a game that erupts into a mixture of luck and insanity, yet lacking the necessary ingredient of fun. When everyone is confused and dazed after a game, including the kids, I can't recommend it. Just let these gorillas escape, the trouble it takes to catch them may cause fits of rage.
"Real men play board games"