Have you ever built a tower out of playing cards? It takes skill, patience, a gentle touch, and the superpower to abstain from every sneeze, cough, breath of air, or quick motion that could potentially crumble your masterpiece. PlayMonster decided to implement that concept—expanding upon an unstable structure without allowing it to topple—into one of their new games: Don’t Rock the Boat.

The goal of the game is exactly what it sounds like—and exactly what my parents would say to me when I wanted to stay up way past my bedtime and watch TV on a school night: Don’t 👋 Rock👋the👋 Boat👋 ❗

“Don’t rock the boat” is a moral, and a life lesson that kids (and most reality TV stars) should be taught. Now, the concept has been created into a fun game featuring cute little whimsical penguins, a model ship and a giant not-so-gnarly wave. 

In this game, which should take no longer than one to two minutes to setup, the boat is placed on the very tippy top of a wave —and as you could imagine, it’s very unstable and will seesaw back and forth. It will be the players’ task to populate the oh-so-shaky ship with it’s 10 penguin crew members, a treasure chest, anchor, ship wheel, a cannon, and a crab and octopus piece that washed aboard (these are the 16 playing pieces).

Players will take turn placing a piece on the ship, with the goal of not knocking a piece/penguin overboard.

IMPORTANT: The ship is bound to shake, wobble around, and rock when players are putting pieces on board. So yes, to clarify, all players will most likely (unless they have a magical touch that defies the laws of science) end up physically rocking the boat. That doesn’t mean they lose—you ain’t a landlubber yet! A player will only lose if he/she sends a piece falling into the deep black ocean abyss, or rather the living room table. If a piece falls over on the boat but stays on board, then the game continues, mateys!

This game allows kids to get creative with their piece placement. There are two planks jutting out of the ship for the daring player who really wants to shake it up. Kids can let the penguins hang near the ol’ masts or Crow’s Nest as well. Some pieces might be harder to place than others due to their shape or weight. Kids should strategize which pieces they want to place on board when it’s their turn.

To keep things simple, this is a two- to four-player game (you can play in two teams!). The person/team who “rocks the boat,” is the loser. The game should take no longer than five minutes, but players are encouraged to compete in rounds. It’s a fun, quick, and friendly game. Think of it as a penguin pirate version of JENGA or Kerplunk, except cuter.

It’s also a game of a balance—where a gust of wind could result in something along the lines of… TITANIC. Kids will learn through trial-and-error action how balancing both sides of the ship is key to keep their mateys on board.

It also makes a nice display TBH. A penguin pirate ship is a visual I need in my life #thankyou.