I had a little fun during Halloween when visiting my daughters’ dorm at university. I purchased a large bag of realistic plastic roaches and an even larger bag of black ants. With them hidden in my coat pockets, I made sure to randomly drop them everywhere. The bathrooms, hallways, elevators, dining hall – you get the idea. Then we stood at a distance and watched the reactions. It was one of the most entertaining Halloweens we’ve ever had.
The idea for this harmless prank came while playing Bugs on Rugs by Kids Table Board Gaming. This card game was originally released in 2019 at the Origins Game Fair. Due to its small form factor, we recommended it later that year in our Holiday Gift Guide to Stocking Stuffers.
Inside the Bugs on Rugs box are ninety Bug Cards, one End Card, a Score Pad and a Start Player Marker. Quickly set up for a game by shuffling the Bug Cards into one pile and inserting the End Card into the deck according to the instruction. This varies by player count. Deal each player one card to start their hand and lay one card face-up next to the draw deck to form “The Wall”.
The starting player deals from the deck two cards per player, plus one, to the middle of the play area, called “The Floor”. These are spread out and face-up. Beginning with the start player, each person selects one card from The Floor and puts it into their hand. Then a second card is selected in reverse order, leaving one card leftover. This remaining card is moved to The Wall and its special power is activated.
If the End Card hasn’t been revealed, the start player marker is passed clockwise and another round is played in the same manner. Once the End Card is revealed, that signifies the end of the game at the conclusion of the round. Hands are revealed, sorted by group, and scored. Of course, highest score wins.
What makes Bugs on Rugs more complex are the different powers of insects as they are placed on the wall. These might have you passing cards to other players, removing bugs from your hand, or activating other bugs of your choice. Additionally, the scoring is unique for each type and is scored in the exact order as listed on the Score Pad (since they may affect each other). For instance, you will discard flies to feed any spiders you have.
Bugs on Rugs requires a bit more forethinking than you might assume based upon the artwork and 8+ age recommendation. A few plays will be needed before you discover the relationship between different insects and how you can use these to maximize your score. Paying attention to the card that is headed to the wall is also necessary as it might break up your plan at the worst time.
You can find Bugs on Rugs at your favorite local game store, direct from Kids Table Board Gaming on their website, or delivered by Walmart. Get the latest updates from KTBG by checking out their Facebook and Twitter feeds, where they’re currently talking about their latest game on Kickstarter!
Do you love bugs? Or are you scared of the creepy crawlies?