Penguins are by far the most distinguished of the animal kingdom. They have built in tuxedos and their cute waddle makes them irresistible. Waddle Waddle from Brush-Tail Games is a game that centers around the study of these classy birds for 2 to 6 players.
Welcome to Antarctica
In Waddle Waddle, players are scientists that are working to study penguins, specializing on the species that your scientist is focused on. There will be seasonal events that modify the round for players. Your penguin population will need to watch out for predators that appear throughout the game.
The central board is Antarctica and the surrounding islands where these penguins live. At the top of the board is a spread of penguin cards in an area called the Ice Floe. This is where players will draft these flightless birds into their hand.
On a players turn, they can take one of 5 available actions. This includes drafting a penguin, exchange a penguin, refill your hand with two penguin cards, go on a fishing trip or play a Waddle. Collecting sets of penguin based on species or pecking order (number) can be part of a valuable Waddle.
A Waddle is created with 3 to 6 penguins of the same species (color), the same number or in numerical order. Players have to match the penguin species with a rookery (or region) on the board in order to play their Waddle. Players who plan properly will be able to create two Waddles (hence the name Waddle Waddle), clearing their hand of penguins.
Each time a player creates a Waddle, they get to place a nest in their color for each pair of the same species. Each rookery will award points to the top 2 players that have nests at the end of each season. This area control mechanic will keep players chasing rookeries that award the most points.
Waddle Waddle has straight-forward mechanics with lots of opportunities to earn points. The larger the Waddle that’s played, the more points you’ll earn. You can even earn bonus points when focusing on the pecking order numbers on the cards.
Watch Out for Predators
Nature can be wild and there are predators to watch out for. Predator cards are distributed throughout the deck of penguins at the start of the game. These predators will show up and increase the difficulty of placing Waddles in rookeries on the board.
The player that reveals the predator will get to choose which rookery they show up in. Players can strategize to protect a rookery where they have the most nests or slow down a competitor in another region of the board.
Each player has a scientist card that gives a unique ability during the game. The color of the scientist card gives specific perks to the species of the matching color. Players will want to try a couple different scientists to find their favorite.
More Than a Game
Waddle Waddle is a game that was born out of a passion for travel and wildlife. Darren Humphrey is the games designer and this has been a passion project for him. The penguin photography throughout the game is from Darren and his friend’s travel over the years.
This game fits nicely into the family-weight games category. Waddle Waddle is very accessible for young and new gamers alike. It’s a game that is easy to teach and has plenty of depth for gamers to enjoy. Players familiar with games like Ticket To Ride will pick up on the game mechanics quickly.
There are a couple variants included in the rulebook which will shorten or lengthen the time on the table. This leads to more replayability, making adjustments based on how much time you have for a game night.
The theme of Waddle Waddle feels fresh and the mechanics connect with the subject matter. I’m excited about how this game will connect with families and gamers in its final form.
Waddle Waddle will launch on Gamefound in the Spring of 2024. Get notified when the game launches its campaign.
A prototype of the game was provided for this coverage. Components and rules covered in this preview are not finalized. Read more about our preview policies at One Board Family.