Sshh! Don’t Wake Dad (Drumond Games, rrp £22.99, for 2 to 4 players, age 5+) is a game I’ve had my sights set on for a while. This is because Sshh! Don’t Wake Dad is a message that I would like my young daughters to receive and understand.
5.55am. A knock at the door. “Daddy? (pause). DADDY? Is it morning yet?”. No, is my bleary, confused response. You eventually coax them back to their beds but that’s you. Awake for the day. No hope of further sleep.
So you can see that this game is very close to my heart. Getting my youngster’s subconcious to accept Sshh! Don’t Wake Dad as a mantra to live by is a top priority. Maybe if, through the medium of board games, I can get the kids to let me have just 30 more minutes sleep then, holy moly, life would be so sweet.
Maybe I’m exaggerating a touch. Maybe…
The game is a doddle to set up. You get the game board, a spinner, cards, the player’s pieces (terrified kids wandering round the house at night) and the main piece – the eponymous sleeping father.
The rules are equally simple. You have to make it across the board without waking up the dad. If you do, you’re back to the beginning. There are additional rules relating to skipping to the front of the queue and stealing other people’s cards which spice things up a bit.
The dad lies in his bed, snoring away. He has an alarm clock on his bedside table. Most of the squares have a picture and a number on it. If you land on a square and the picture matches the picture on one of your cards, you’re safe. Otherwise, you have to press the alarm clock the number of times that corresponds to the number on your square. If you’re unlucky, the alarm clock will wake up dad who will SPRING up from his bed and you’re caught. Back to the beginning with you. The winner is the first one who makes it to the fridge and steals a piece of chocolate cake.
Four of us played this including Jenny (4) and Eve (3). I’m telling you their ages because they are younger than the 5+ recommended on the box. Despite this, they picked up on the rules without any hesitation and dove right in, picking the coloured pieces that they wanted.
When the game was up and running, Jenny had to press the alarm button three times. On the second go, it jumped up, and so did she. She got a massive shock which one would expect given that she was four. From that point on, both of the children were ultra-cautious of pressing the button. This may well be the game was recommended for over fives!
Nevertheless, they wanted to continue. They were addicted to it. It was like the scare of the Ghost Train. They were still drawn in.
As soon as the game finished, both girls wanted to play again! They’ve since asked to play the game again.
I think it’s safe to say that Sshh! Don’t Wake Dad was a big hit!
Sshh! Don’t Wake Dad is made by Drumond Park Games. For stockists and to play games on line, visit www.drumondpark.com