4theBirdsBoxWhen it comes to game night, there’s only one thing you have to remember: Bird is the word.

With Breaking Games’ 4 the Birds, players will have to let their bird spirit animals soar. As the saying goes, birds of a feather flock together, and players must arrange four of their birds into a “flock” as they roll the die and flap form branch to branch on the game board tree.

Before game play begins, players must set up the board. While the game doesn’t involve a bunch of different setup steps, each bird pawn needs to connect with its color appropriate stand. There are six different species of birds—cardinals, budgies, finches, blue jays, martins, and orioles—allowing up to six people to play at a time.

The board is set up to look like the branches in a big tree, and on the tree’s leaves are rows of numbered spaces. The 9- by 9-inch board—the entire game board—accommodates four to six players with the 2d10 dice, while the 7×7 board—the inner square section—is for two to three players with the 2d8 dice. Each player must choose a species and collect the six Bird Pawns for that species and six Action Cards. Before play begins, three pawns of the non-player birds—Crows and Hawks—must start in the tree. One player must role two dice three times and place the Crows at those spots. If a player rolls a hawk on the brown die, place a Hawk pawn on the board instead.

Each player then takes a turn and rolls the dice. The numbers that the dice land on correspond with a numbered spot on the board. Each roll will have two possible spots. For example, a roll that lands on two and four can either put a player on 24 or 42. After the roll, the player may choose to play one of his or her birds on the board or draw an action card.


If a player chooses to play one of his or her birds, he or she must place the bird on one of the two spots that the dice rolled on. If a player lands on a spot already occupied by another player, the player can kick the opponent off the spot and to an adjacent spot if he or she has Pecking Order. All players have Pecking Order—the power to displace another player from their spot—over the player to their immediate left.

After a player rolls the dice and decides to play an Action Card, he or she must choose one of the cards in his or her deck, follow the instructions that the card prompts, and put the card in the discard pile. If a player rolls the dice and it lands on a doubles, he or she picks up a card from the discard pile and can then choose to play a card or make a move.

The Crows and Hawks pawns follow their own set of rules. First, if a player rolls a crow on the black die, the player can either place a Crow on the board according to whatever the other die lands on, or he or she can choose to draw one of their Action Cards. As for the Hawks, if a player rolls a hawk on a brown die, they can either place a Hawk on any of the spaces connected by a red dot or play an Action Card. Crows and Hawks have Pecking Order over all birds. This means, if a player’s opponent is getting dangerously close to forming a flock and he or she lands on a crow, it would may help to use the Crow’s Pecking Order to knock their opponent’s bird out of that space.

The first player to defy the odds and arrange four of his or her birds into a flock, whether in a straight line or a square connected by unbroken branches, is the reigning chirp champ.

I know, it’s a lot. There’s no getting around the fact that there are bunch of important rules and loop holes to know before kids can play, but once they let it all sink in they’ll be ready to spread their wings and fly.

Get ready to see with a bird’s eye view, kill two birds with one stone, and most importantly, remember that birds of a feather flock together. Now that I got all the corny bird platitudes out of the way (because, when life hands you lemons), be sure to add 4 the Birds to this year’s game night collection.