Sticky Chameleons: More sticky or more karma?
In episode 80, The Family Gamers explored games that are pure fun. Not necessarily the “best” or “most mechanically sound” game, but games that are just plain fun to play. This week we have a game that absolutely fits that mold. We will look at a new game designed by Théo Riviére and published by Iello, Sticky Chameleons.
If you can’t bring yourself to eat bugs à la Nicole Kidman, perhaps you can use your sticky tongue to capture some cardboard bugs and be the chameleon who has gathered the most karma.
Sticky Chameleons is as much a dexterity game as it is a luck game. To set up, give each player a sticky tongue. If you remember the sticky hands you used to stick to the inside windows of your house or car, much to your parents’ chagrin, you know exactly what the sticky tongue is. Scatter the cardboard tokens representing the different bugs (list of bugs) on the table. These double sided tokens are a mix of five colors and six bugs for 30 unique bug pieces. The bugs are all different shapes so they are easier to identify quickly. Scatter the six wasp tokens on the table too.
The player who looks the most like a chameleon goes first.
There are two dice: one with six faces for each of the bugs, and one with five colors (there’s two green faces). There is a unique cardboard bug for each of these 30 unique combinations. The first player rolls, and the combination of dice indicate “the plumpest bug” for the round.
All players simultaneously grab their sticky tongues. In our house we had a rule where the tongues must be fully on the table. It’s open season once the plumpest bug is called out. All of the players simultaneously try to snatch that particular bug off the table using only their sticky tongue. Play stops when a player has snatched the bug with their tongue, pulled it off with their hand, and placed it on the table. This means players can continue to snatch the bug if it is on the table, knocked onto the floor, or even attached to another player’s tongue!
When a player removes the bug from their tongue and places it back on the table, they gain a yummy token. But look out! If the player also has a wasp token on their tongue they don’t win the yummy token. The first player to five yummy tokens wins the game.
It’s clear with Sticky Chameleons that the goal of the game is fun and chaos. To this end, Sticky Chameleons exceeds its goal in leaps and bounds. All of our kids, including our three-year-old, are able to play this game and have a blast. This is a testament to the combination of dexterity and luck that comes with slapping these sticky tongues onto a shared play surface.
Let’s talk components for a minute. Iello lists Sticky Chameleons as a 2-6 player game, but wisely includes 8 tongues in the box. They even individually packaged the sticky tongues, so pulling out the right number of tongues isn’t a hassle. They’re also washable, much like the sticky hands of our youth. This is good, because the tongues are virtually guaranteed to get gunked up with hair, lint, and other random detritus from swinging them around wildly.
Our biggest complaint with the game comes in the bug tokens. The bugs come in green, blue, pink, orange, and purple. Each different bug is a different shape: a “T”-shaped dragonfly, a “bubbly”-shaped caterpillar, an “L”-shaped praying mantis, a star-shaped mosquito, and circle-shaped fly. The wasps are hexagonal pieces.
The problem is less with the shapes but the colors. Depending on the color temperature in the room you’re playing in, it’s pretty difficult to distinguish between the pink, orange, and purple. The colors could have been a bit more saturated to make the differences more clear.
The only other persistent issue we ran into was the tendency for the tongues to get tangled. This isn’t so much of a surprise with a bunch of people wildly smacking long sticky objects onto a table, but it did sometimes ruin the flow of the game.
These small faults notwithstanding, Sticky Chameleons remains a go-to for kids and even adults who want a break from the more cerebral games or even the daily slog of school and work. We filmed a video of The Family Gamers playing Sticky Chameleons, so you can see for yourself how fun it is.
Sticky Chameleons is available at your local FLGS or online at Amazon for less than $15.
Iello provided The Family Gamers with a complimentary copy of Sticky Chameleons for review.