When our girls were younger, we loved going to the circus. This was back when Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus was still around and had their full compliment of animals in tow. Circuses are probably a thing of the past, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy the memories. That’s what happened when we found a circus-themed game at Goodwill this week!
We’ve played a number of games that have a circus theme – Topito and Junk in my Trunk immediately come to mind. This time we picked up a copy of Big Top by Gamewright for only 88 cents! Even if it turned out to be a dud, we wouldn’t be out much. Fortunately it is exactly the type of game my girls love to play.
And the type that we as parents hate. It’s all about quick thinking and speed, something that continues to diminish over time as we age. Big Top is designed for up to eight players who are trying to find the missing animal before the other players do. The first to spot them wins the card and the person to find the most wins the game!
Twenty-five yellow-backed cards showing four circus animals in four different colors are shuffled and placed in a stack in the center of the play area. An additional 25 blue-backed cards showing one circus animal (elephant, horse, dog, bear or tiger) in one of five different colors (red, blue, green, yellow or purple) are randomly scattered around the draw stack, face-up. The game of Big Top is ready to begin.
The youngest player begins by turning over the top yellow card and sets it face-up on top of the stack. Everyone must now examine this card and race to figure out which animal is missing. You’ll have to determine both the animal type AND its color and then try to find the matching card among the face-up cards around the deck.
The first player to slap the correct card containing the missing animal in the missing color collects the face-up yellow card and turns another over to start a new round. When the last yellow card has been turned over and its matching animal has been found, players count the number of cards they have collected. Whoever has the most wins Big Top!
Not a particularly difficult game, but very engaging for kids of all ages. Us adults had a difficult time with the speed aspect, but sometimes it is nice to have a game where kids are destined to excel. Big Top isn’t one that is regularly found used (there are none on eBay at the moment), but there is at least one copy on Amazon from a 3rd party seller. If you happen across one at thrift and have young kids at home, it is definitely worth a couple bucks for many hours of entertainment!
Have you ever visited a circus?