Chomp!

Scott Kimball

Publisher: Gamewright Games

I think its better to Chomp at something else (Photo credits: Jamie Jones@BGG)

Chomp! is a dexterity game that features a series of cards showing underwater creatures. I jumped at the chance to purchase the game since my kid is going through an “underwater sea creature” phase. There are many wonderful Gamewright Games for kids and I was hoping to strike gold with Chomp! as I did with Sleeping Queen or with Rat-a-tat-Cat.

First of all, Chomp is a dexterity game. Which means, whoever is the fastest to hit a claim a card by putting down your palm on the right card wins the round. In Chomp, players simultaneously play a card from their face down deck in front of them. Each card features a sea creature in a food chain. there is a Shark, which is right on top of the food chain. This is followed by the seal, big fish, small fish, shrimp and plankton. In this way, the big fish will eat the little fish and so on. Once the card is flipped players will have to slap down on the card that is highest on the food chain so long as it is not their own face up card. In another words, there are rounds where you have to sit out if your card is the top card of the food chain. Anyone who picks the winning card first will claim any animal or creature below the food chain as a prize. If you make a mistake and do a “bad chomp”, then you cannot win that round and the cards are set aside for the next round. There are two other animals in the deck: the eel allows a feeding frenzy and any card at the top of the food chain can be claimed. The Octopus squirts ink and so no one can claim any card that round and all cards are set aside for next round.

The art is pretty delightful and honestly, that is the only positive for this game. I am rarely brutal with kids games, but Chomp! is just plain not good. First, I think kids are at a disadvantage in this game. They have shorter reach and are a shade slower than their parents. So, it is not an even competition. Next, the game can be confusing for them and can feel counter-intuitive at times. I suppose part of the fun of dexterity games is to make it confusing enough for people to make mistakes but Chomp! does it in a confusing way that is not fun. Finally, the game takes forever and I mean forever to end. The cards keep on getting shuffled and play continues. It overstays its welcome by a mile. All of these negatives add up to a remarkably bland and long-drawn experience. There are better dexterity games out there for kids and I recommend Beep! Beep! if you are looking for an equivalent game. We played Chomp! once. Likely won’t be a second time.

Initial impressions: Not for us

Kid’s Corner

5 years 8 months: I was suckered into Chomp! because of theme and general acceptance of Gamewright games. I guess I need to do my home work. As expected, my kid cannot compete on an even play ground. Not even close. So, it was no fun for the parents, or for her as well. She also found the cards confusing and could not catch up with the parents. It was a frustrating experience for everyone. The game dragged and dragged with no end in sight. Theoretically, if everyone is evenly matched and won cards at an equal pace, the game would never end. It is possible that she might enjoy Chomp! more when she is older and her hand eye coordination is more developed. Even if that were true, we won’t be able to figure that one out with Chomp! since I do not anticipate keeping the game in our collection.

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