Gimme That! is the latest game by Dolphin Hat Games, creators of the popular title Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza. They did it again, they’ve created a game that whenever brought to the table consistently has everyone laughing, shouting and having fun.
In Gimme That!, you work for the Bureau of Spud Management, and you are trying to count to 100 potatoes before any of your co-workers to become King Spud. Your player board is a simple sheet with blank potatoes where you will write from numbers 1 to 100. The person who begins the game with the pencil is the one who last ate a french fry and the left hand player rolls the die to kick off the game and the die continues counter clockwise. The unique part is that there is only one pencil to write with and if you want to get that pencil you have to roll the pencil icon on the oversized yellow die.
At first glance, a lot of people we played with did not look impressed with the set up prior to playing. They weren’t jumping to play it (a piece of paper, a pencil, and you count to 100 weren’t exactly enticing to our friends/family). The reason I am mentioning this is because once the game was played, it was a one hundred percent turn around for every single person. Everyone was really into the game, shouting and grabbing for the one pencil as though it were gold.
How does Dolphin Hat Games do this? They add the elements of suspense and pressure to their game with easy implementation. In this case, with the big yellow die and actions that interrupt the basic idea of counting potatoes. The icons on the die are all physical actions to complete before continuing which give the game a lot of energy. Whoever has the pencil does not do most these actions and continuously writes until someone else rolls the pencil icon. The icons are as follows: the Masher icon (a potato masher image) which means knock on the table with both hands and yell Mashed Potatoes!); High Frys which equals a group high five; Spud Bumps which are group fist bumps; LEFT which means EVERYONE passes the paper you are writing on to the left(including the player with the pencil); and the glorious pencil which warrants a “GIMME THAT!”, and the player can snatch the pencil away and start potato counting on their own sheet. Every action is supposed to be announced but sometimes we played doing the actions and just yelling for the pencil which also worked well.
Completing the actions quickly is key to winning that pencil. We found that the tension was high with any group, but one friend found that when we played with 7 people it felt like a little too many players, and felt that 5 players would be smoother. We also played at a three player count and felt it balanced out well as it was more back and forth and the high fives/fist bumps were easiest between two players. It is not impossible or bad at any player count, these just seem to be what would work best. The game plays up to 8 players but really that is more of a recommended limit.
The action die also helped to keep everyone busy while someone wrote their number of potatoes so you aren’t just waiting for the pencil, you’re actively trying to get it. If you are rolling the die, you are trying to roll pencil. If you are just a player waiting for the die, you are trying to do the actions quickly so you can get the die. If you have the pencil, you’re writing like a madman hoping you can count 100 potatoes faster than the speed of light. The pressure is ever present but there’s also a lot of room for laughter.
The LEFT icon also throws a wrench in the game in a good way, by making players pass their Spud Sheets, they consistently have a different amount of potatoes counted in front of them. Someone could be at 98 potatoes, the LEFT action comes around, and they’ve now got a sheet with 30 potatoes. At first I honestly thought this would seem unbalanced, but in actual gameplay found that it just pushed the players more with the die and the pencil to get the sheets away from the player who has almost completed their sheet. Plus with every single person pushing as much as they can to complete the sheets, it feels like everyone puts in equal efforts anyway.
The moment when someone completes 100 potatoes is epic and crushing. This speaks to the success of the game that started out with paper, pencil, and a die as the only tools available. With its simplicity it also takes two seconds to teach and get playing. The actual gameplay length is about 7 to 15 minutes depending on player count and it flies by. This game would be the perfect one to start game night, to really energize a room.
Language Barrier Playability: This game works well with a language barrier because it relies on counting and symbols. As soon as the rules are understood you don’t need language at all.
Replayability: Extremely replayable. So much so that even though the game comes with plenty of player sheets I am sure we are going to need more at some point.
Artwork: Cute, simple, potatoe-y. It also comes with many adorable potato stickers. It is also nice that on the player sheet it has faded potato imagery to make it clear where to put the numbers.
Strategy: Mostly luck but the strategy here is really to do everything as fast as you can. Roll as fast as possible. Write as fast as possible. High five, fist bump, and knock on the table as fast as you can!
Quality: Excellent. The paper and pencil are sturdy and the pencil came well sharpened. The die is light, big, and plastic which made it easy to read but the oversize also makes it fun to roll. The icons are extremely easy to read as well and the size makes it easy for all players at the table to clearly read what to do.
Instruction Manual: Simple and very short. The game can be explained pretty quickly. It has large, clear, concise text throughout and the perfect amount of example pictures.
Organization: Easy, there are pencil and die shaped spaces and paper goes on top. They fit snugly within the box so it seems like consideration was taken into how everything fit together.