Let’s get this clear right out of the gate; Tipsy Pups is not a game to be played by or with children, cute artwork notwithstanding. This is a drinking game to warm a party and help break the ice between new and existing friends.
Now I’ve got that out of the way *OMG this is cute*; Landon Yuan has put together some nicely pitched artwork that is JUST cute enough to be fun and clear without falling into Hello Kitty territory. The campaign page shows some of the alternate pup designs and I DEFINITELY think he was on the right track to drop the acid bath version; maybe for a “Tipsy Pups Darker” game to be played at 3 am…The card text is nice and legible; you’d be surprised how often the creators of drinking games overestimate the readability of teeny fonts to those already… in their cups?
What Tipsy Pups does is to pull together a selection of party activities into a loose game with no win condition and no complicated rules. Basically, the cards are divided into Icebreakers, Classic Games and Physical Challenges. Players pick a card in turn from a facedown deck. Or decks. Or pile spread across the table. Then they do whatever the card says. Unless you get spectacularly unlucky (or lucky, depending upon your point of view) the drinking should be spread fairly evenly across the board and I haven’t encountered any “finish your drink” results, so players can go at their own pace. This game aims for tipsy, not blitzed, though I feel for anyone who gets picked for the “Crunches” physical challenge at a late stage in the game! The game is over when all the cards have been turned face up.
In my humble opinion, the right time to pull out Tipsy Pups is around an hour or so into a party, when people are at the standing around chatting stage but are willing to relax and throw themselves into something fun and a bit daft. Somewhere between the first rounds of drinks and when someone pulls out a copy of Cards Against Humanity would be ideal!
Landon Yuan based Tipsy Pups on his experience of playing drinking games in Barcelona with friends and friends to be and I think that shows in the very relaxed playstyle, good icebreaker cards and very simple rules. Tipsy Pups enhances a party, it doesn’t aim to take it over and that’s a nice position to be in. If there’s a little complaint to be made its that this is clearly an American game and as such some of the “classic party games” are skewed for that audience. That said I don’t think it hampers Tipsy Pups much, and if people don’t know how to play beer pong, for example, I’d say that warrants an alternate draw. And maybe a penalty drink, just to keep things fair.
On a practical note the game has been playtested and prototyped (always a good sign for me), has reached its goal on Kickstarter and is looking at a delivery date of 4-6 weeks after the closing date. The physical copies only ship to the US but $5 gets the print and play version, with the advantage that if (when) they get drinks spilt on them you can replace the cards easily enough.
This is funded with 15 days to go and I think it’s worth getting into, to the extent that I just backed it. Because of Ninja Tipsy Pup. Don’t judge 🙂