Asset provided by TIN ROBOT GAMES

Today is the day, fellow hamsters! We’ve escaped our zoo enclosures, and we are outta here! Now we … wait … is that a lotus flower? Well … a quick detour never hurt anyone, right? I’m sure there’s nothing dangerous or terrifying lurking below the pond’s surface. Nothing at all. Everything is going to be fine! Well … here goes nothing!

What Is It?

A push your luck game where players move their hamsters around the lily pads looking for lotus flowers to collect for points, and hope not to find any hippos that will eat them for lunch! Players have 2 actions per turn – the 1st must always be moving to and flipping a tile, and applying its effect (if any); the 2nd can be used to repeat that, or to leave the pond so their collected points for the round are safe. If a player finds a hippo tile, they’re out of the round and lost any points they collected in that round. A 2nd hippo revealed means the end of the round for everyone still on the pond, and causes them to lose their collected points as well. After 4 rounds, the player with the most points wins!

Who Is It For?

  • Ages 8+
    • Kids/Families
  • 1 – 6 Players
  • Players looking for a light push your luck game


  • Cute artwork
  • Straightforward rules / simple mechanics
  • Quick and smooth turns / rounds
  • Works with a wide range of players
  • I like that you mix a certain number of hippos into the deck each round, but don’t know for sure if they’re in the pond – keeps you on edge about whether to leave the round or not


  • Player Elimination – While I realize it’s a push your luck game, the luck can be too punishing at times. In multiple rounds / games, I saw a player reveal a hippo on their first move, so they were out of the round with no chance at points for the round, and there wasn’t anything they could have done about that. I wasn’t sure what a fair solution might be (first hippo as a warning instead?, a consolation point or two if that is your first move?, hippos not able to be put around the edge?…) but it was just disappointing for those players when it happened. Statistically, it shouldn’t happen too often, but it is always possible, and isn’t fun for the player it happens to.
  • Lack of player agency


Solo – Use a 5×5 grid, while controlling 4 hamsters yourself, and there are small changes to some tile functions. You can pay 2 points to peek at a tile, and you must pay 4 points to leave the round safely. Your goal is to score the most points to ensure your freedom!

I thought this was a neat puzzley twist on the game, trying to maximize scoring and account for the fact that you will always lost some points at the end of each round. I did have it happen where one of my hamsters landed on a hippo on their first move, but it felt much less punishing in solo because I was still playing and had 3 hamsters to work with, even though it did limit my options. A nice variant if you like the game and enjoy solo play.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I thought the game was super cute, but a little too light for me. In most push your luck games I’ve played and enjoyed, there’s some small warning before you are out of the round or game. In this, one player doesn’t really get that warning, because they are out as soon as the first hippo is found. That said, I think because it’s so light and quick, and cute, it’ll be easily enjoyed by kids and it’ll be great for a game night or sleepover, so I would definitely recommend it for younger audiences.

Additional Information:
My Final Rating: 4/10
Game design – James Freeman, James & Adam Staley
Illustration – César Ayala Delgado
Lead Playtester & Rules Polisher – Steven Hill
Published by – TIN ROBOT GAMES
KICKSTARTER – Launches 10/20/21

*I was provided a prototype copy of this game to do this preview*
*All components shown are subject to change*

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