Nuts About Mutts is a fun one to pull out with your kids before dinner, at a family party, or, as we did recently, on the hotel coffee table after a long drive when mom and dad were too tired to take the kids swimming! It’s super simple, the canine artwork is adorable (has induced many high-pitched “Awwwwww”s from our kids!), and the replay value is quite high, for kids especially. We’ve played it frequently lately as it is our 4-year-old’s favorite game right now. =-)
The core of the game is a basic hand elimination game (like Uno) with more variety and positive tension. Be the first player to get all of your dogs to their home (i.e., get rid of all your cards) by matching the breed of dog, color of card, or number. Shake things up with the fun wild cards to make players draw cards, trade hands, and more. Ramp up the intensity level with the advanced version that keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire game!
You’ll love the family engagement Nuts about Mutts facilitates. There are games out there with very little interaction between players, and this is not one of them! There is almost constant talking, laughing, and friendly “Heeeeyyyyy!” finger-pointing. It’s even led to playful tackles when dad gets picked on and put in the doghouse one too many times. =-)
You’ll like how the game helps broaden and strengthen kids’ mental faculties. I’ve found that the youngest players only hone in on a single variable at a time: color, number, or dog breed. We’ll then encourage and teach them to think of two at a time and then all three. In “real life,” this practice helps kids become comfortable considering multiple facets at a time or even how to solve problems in a variety of ways instead of being single-track minded.
You’ll also love how fun this one is to play for adults and kids. Games will often be so tailored to younger kids that parents play for the sole purpose of spending time with their children. While my wife and I prefer to play heavier strategy games when it’s just us, Nuts about Mutts is a lot of fun for the adults while playing with kids.
Scoring & Pros/Cons
Overall, I give Nuts about Mutts a 7 out of 10 for the following reasons:
- Your kids will get SO excited about the wild cards, especially the Mutt card which triggers grabbing a dog bone as fast as you can. The one player who doesn’t get a bone then has to draw a card. I personally enjoy the Pedigree Chart which allows all players to lay down all dogs of a chosen breed.
- Any game that facilitates family interaction and fun gains several points in my book.
- Whether you love dogs or can’t stand them, you’ve got to admit, the artwork is adorable. Just try not to smile looking at that Cocker Spaniel and that Dalmation puppy!
- The advanced version (able to lay down an exact match out of turn and able to lay down runs of the same color) is an excellent addition to the base gameplay.
- This is a really small con, but there might be a few too many wild cards in the deck. Following the scarcity principle, you want just enough to keep the value and excitement high but not so many that the anticipation diminishes.
All in all, the value that comes from the relatively small financial investment with this game is very high. It’s quick, portable, and a ton of fun!
See other fun card games by Grandpa Beck’s Games!
Disclaimer: I received this game for free in exchange for my review, but believe me, I post authentic reviews every time and will be brazenly blunt if needs be.