Pig Pen or How To Find Out If Your Kids Really Hate You


It’s Saturday night and after getting home from a eventful evening at Medieval Times, we decided to push a bunch of new games on the children. We quickly read the rules (only 1 1/2 pages) and set up the game. This is a transcript of the 4-player game:

Oh My God, Why?

Why would you do that?

Shut it!

No, you shut it!

She’s not even playing to win.

I hate you

I’m sorry.


Life’s not fair…

Before you play that card, remember Christmas?

From our first game we concluded that this game isn’t good for 4 people when 2 are children. Most younger children, when given the choice, will use their 2 actions to attack other players instead of building their pens. This causes the game to descend into a shouting/crying/brooding game that just ends in rage-quitting and declaring the one that’s crying the most the winner.

Pig Pen is a take-that style card game where the farmer(you) with the hoghest (see what I did there?) value of penned pigs at the end is declared the winner. On your turn you may play up to 2 cards, screwing your opponents or building your pen. Then you may discard 1 card and draw yourself back up to 5 cards. The youngest (9) picked it up fast and had little issues with the card text, even though she spent the first half of the fist game just wrecking everyone else’s pens.

Jen edit:

I called it from the beginning. It wasn’t gonna work with four players, especially when two of them are trying to screw the others over. But no, let’s keep playing. Let’s get Herb all cranky so he throws his cards to the table. But would he listen to me? No. Whatever, no one ever listens to me. Anyway Herb’s daughter and I played the game again and it turned out a lot better.

The turn order was a lot quicker and while there were times that we could mess each other up, neither of us felt that it would be impossible to get pigs. The biggest issue we had originally with four players was that players would lay out several walls/gates/feed things, but other players always could mess them up in the beginning, so it made it almost impossible to get a pig. We spent about an hour and a half playing with four people without even making a dent in the pigs pile, but with two players, we finished the game and went through the whole pig deck in about thirty minutes.

The box says 2-4 players, we’d like to edit that to say 2-4 players (only 1 player can be under 12). These “take-that” games are our favorites and this is a must have if you can find it.