If the thought of becoming an elephant sailor, attempting to steal treasure from your Pirate Giraffe Captain doesn’t excite you, may I recommend checking for a pulse, because you are clearly dead inside. For the rest of us, not in Davy Jones Locker, may I introduce, Stomp the Plank!
Okay, this push-your-luck kids board game may not instantly be on your ‘must play board game bucket list’, but read on, because (spoiler alert) I think it should be!
Take the contents out of the box and flip the base over. Magnetically attach the planks to the overturned bottom of the box. Place your elephant on the nearest plank. Form a supply of barrels and shuffle the cards. Yo ho ho – you’re ready to go!
There will either be one winner, or one loser. On a player’s turn they will decide to either turn a card and push their luck or to stop. If they can flip over six cards without getting a duplicate image they win the game. If however, they push their luck too much and get a pair of images, their elephant moves one space along the plank.
A player can also choose not to push their luck, and if they stop, all other players will have to place discs on the end of their plank, equal to the amount shown above the last card they played. If ever an elephant falls off their plank, that player loses the game and everyone else shares the victory.
What it’s like
Games of Stomp the Plank are fast-paced and occasionally nerve-wracking. Seeing your elephant teeter on the plank fuels any anxiety! This is an out and out push your luck game, yet you also feel weirdly in control. Whether to flip another card or not feels like a semi-serious decision!
You will try and use probability of card frequency to aid you, but ultimately dumb luck will be the winner in this game, and that’s okay for a family game. It doesn’t outstay its welcome on the table and you will often be left wanting another game, and then, another.
There is minor downtime between turns, but you will still be curious to see how others fair pushing their luck. So even younger players’ attention shouldn’t wander. Play is generally pretty quick, especially if there is an adult acting as dealer. Perhaps the thought of there only being one loser may put some off. The crashing of the plank is such a yelp out loud moment, that it distracts from the upset of being a total loser!
One little gameplay kicker that I like, is that when you stop, the next player will continue drawing from the deck, so you can see whether your decision to stop was wisely frugal or carelessly improvident.
My drinking game days are well and truly behind me. If they weren’t, I would be reaching for the shot glasses, grog and Stomp the Plank to play with my mates, as I could see it working especially well in that environment too.
The production quality is great. The adorable elephants with their slightly surprised look are fantastic. I also have to give special mention to the magnetic planks. There is something mesmerizingly satisfying about these ‘attaching’ to the board.
The card art is bold and clear for the family market. The rulebook was as simple to grasp as the game itself. The box being part of the game is brilliant too. I get the sleeve to keep the box together, but this means it is a bit of a faff for younger players to tidy up on their own.
If I was being uber fussy I might ask that the fourth elephant could have had a place in the insert and that the wooden discs could’ve been styled as gold doubloons or wooden barrels. This is nit-picking though!
Overall, Stomp the Plank has a great visual appearance that will instantly appeal to families.
What the kids thought
Max (8): It’s good, I really like it! I like how you push your luck and make other players fall off. I also like how you can share the win and sometimes turn over all the cards and win on your own!
George (12): Stomp the Plank is a good family game. I like the risk of turning over the cards. Also, how you move along the plank and add bits that may make it crash down is exciting.
Harrison (15): I like the push your luck in this because it feels like silly fun. It can get really competitive despite it being a kids game!
Final thoughts on Stomp the Plank
Stomp the Plank is tremendous! It is surprisingly addictive and a ludicrously fun game to play with the kids. I can see this becoming an end of game night regular for us so-called grown-ups too.
With an MSRP of £28 it is on the more expensive side of children’s games, but I think it will pay for itself by getting to the table so often!
I highly recommend giving it a play if you get the chance, regardless of whether you are young or old. Sure those with children are going to get more longevity from purchasing it, however, this falls into the rare list of games that I will always be willing to play – I don’t say that about many games that are suitable for age five and up! It really is elephantastic!
Number of players: 2 to 4
Board Game Review Recommended Age: 5+
Publisher’s Recommended Age: 5+
Playing Time: 15 minutes
Setting Up and Take Down Time: 1 minute
Designers: Florian Sirieix and Benoit Turpin
Publisher: Flying Games
As a family game this is absolutely fantastic. I will be recommending Stomp the Plank in abundance to other families. Hunt it out and give it a try as soon as you can me hearties!
Artwork and Components
Value for Money
- Addictive gameplay
- Tense card flipping
- Great components
- Fantastic family fun
- Easy to learn and play
- No room for the last elephant in the insert
- Minor downtime between turns
- Often one loser, rather than one winner
Need more games?
If you already own Stomp The Plank and enjoy it, or are looking for other inspiration, you might also like these similar games:
- Into the Blue
- Can’t Stop
- Deep Sea Adventure
- The Quacks of Quedlinburg
For clarity: we don’t get paid for our reviews. However, we were kindly gifted this game by Hachette Board Games. We have tried not to let this affect our review in any way.