Two of my favorite board games when I was a little kid were Connect Four (pretty sneaky, sis), and Hungry Hungry Hippos. Especially the hippo game because it required no skill to play, and it made a heck of a racket! Later on they made a coin op version of Hungry Hungry Hippos in arcades. The balls automatically came out the middle, the computer would control any empty hippos mechanically, and you could win tickets, too. If I had enough room, I’d be tempted to buy one at an arcade auction. Now the hippos are entering the 21st century with the Hungry Hungry Hippos iPad app, and best of all, it’s TRULY free-to-play! No gimmicks or extra things to buy!
The iPad app plays exactly like the board game. Tap to make your hippo stretch his or her neck out to eat food. Whoever eats the most, wins. You can tap at different angles to make your hippo reach out in other directions. And instead of marbles, your hippos eat bananas and apples (or maybe they’re strawberries, I don’t know). I’m also not sure if the bananas are worth more points than strawberries either.
There are three modes of play. In the Single Hippo game, it’s just your hippo and nobody else, as you try and eat all the food as quickly as you can. Hippo vs. Hippo plays most like the board game, as four players view the field in a top down perspective as they all tap to eat food. The CPU won’t control any empty hippos, though. Finally, in Hippo vs. CPU, it’s you against another hippo in a race to eat the most goodies. And that’s all there is to it! It may not be much, but I thought it was kind of neat and it’s free!
It may not hold their attention for very long, but I think the Hungry Hungry Hippos app is great for any age! No reading is required, and it’s a LOT quieter than the real board game. Best of all, it’s truly free-to-play. Nothing extra you have to buy or download later.