My first impression of this game was that it is a kid version of the classic adult party game, beer pong (ha). But like all things, there is more than meets the eye, and a standard rule I have is, “never judge a toy by its cover.”
The objective is simple: Be the last player with cups on the board to win the game. Looks like a sweet, innocent game, right? Wrong! The Toy Insider team always takes games to the next level, and guys—this game gets INTENSE. We made alliances, decided on hard decisions to save ourselves, and totally tried to take each other down.
This fast-paced game takes some skill and strategy, but also mostly luck. Set up happens in a snap—literally—as you just have to interlock the four game trays into a grid. Each corner of the game has six colored cups, with a black cup in the middle. The cups are tiered so they’re not all on the same level.
Two to four players can play the standard game, but the more the merrier (and instructions offer six game variations for the potential to play a different game every time). In the standard four player game, each person chooses a color to stand behind. Each player gets two ping pong balls. The rules are easy: You must shoot the ball in your zone, and the ball must always bounce once in your zone. The zone is the area behind your cups.
Each round takes place when everyone gets a chance to shoot a ping pong ball twice. After all eight balls are thrown, the round is over. The goal is to eliminate other players’ cups from the board—while saving your own. Any cup with an odd number of balls are removed from the board, any cups with an even number of balls remain on the board, and any cups with no balls remain on the board.
So, if a player shoots a ball into your cup, you can cancel out that shot by trying to make it in your cup. Or, someone else can try to save you! If your ball lands in a black cup, you do the same thing and cancel out the shot by making in another shot. But, if your single ball remains in the cup, then you must remove one of your cups and everyone else gets to put one back in. This way, you can help your alliance members (if you choose to go all in and make them) bounce back (ha, I’ll be here all day) in the game.
The strategy comes in with every decision you make! You can choose to cancel out shots by trying to make it in another player’s cup, or you can go every man for him or herself style and exclusively save yourself. All players can gang up on one player (Joe), and you can even strategically land your ball in the black cup to give everyone a cup back. And, of course, when luck comes into play, you never really know where your ball will land. It gets wild.
Pling Pong is a hilarious fast-paced game filled with skill, luck, and strategy. Do yourself a favor and add it to your game shelf for a guaranteed good time every time you play!
**Pling Pong will be available at Target in August.