When it comes to little children in the house, you can never have enough games to keep them amused during wet school holidays. I follow a fab group on Facebook to keep up to speed on different games that are on the market for kids and it gives me some fab ides of one to look out for that might be suitable for our four year old. One game that made it onto that list was Rhino Hero from Haba. You can therefore imagine my delight when I found a sealed copy in a local charity shop for just £2.
Tower building with walls and roofs
At the most basic level Rhino Hero is a card tower building game. A great way for little hands to learn how to be steady and careful when building a tower, rather than the usual jumping up and down with excitement that you often get during games.
There is a bit more to it than that though. There are two types of card in Rhino Hero:
- wall cards which are playing card sized cards with a fold down the middle of the long side so that they can be easily stood on their side. These are decorated with bricks and windows on one side and then on the “inside” wallpaper and decorations,
- roof cards which are illustrated with roof tiles
The roof card also have markings on them to show you where the next wall card(s) should be placed on them. In addition roof cards also have additional symbols on them which can tell the player playing it to place a second roof card on top of that one, for players to change direction, for a player to have to draw an additional roof card from the pile, or for the next player to miss a turn. The final thing that you might find on a roof card is a Rhino symbol. More about him in a moment.
How to play Rhino Hero
There is a starting foundation card which is placed on the table at the start of the game. The foundation card is double sided – with one set of foundations easier to build on than the other one. This is what players then build their tower upon. Each player is dealt seven roof cards at the start of the game and the winner is the first player to use up all their cards without knocking the tower over. Players can choose what order they want to play their cards in, playing one each turn, unless the card symbols tell them to do otherwise.
If a player plays a card with a Rhino symbol on it then they have to place the Rhino Hero playing piece on that roof card once they have placed it in the tower. If they play a Rhino card and Rhino Hero is already in the tower somewhere then they need to take him off the tower and move him to the new position. A great test of steady hands for players of all ages.
What happens if you knock the tower down?
Well, if you knock the tower down then you’ve lost the game. The winner at this point is the player with the fewest roof cards remaining. That’s not the only way to win the game though. If a player uses their last roof card then they are win instantly. In the improbably case that all the walls have been built then everyone is a superhero and wins!
What we love about Rhino Hero
Whilst Rhino Hero is effectively a simple game mechanism, the complexity that comes from the additional roof card symbols and having to move Rhino Hero up the tower gives it much more interest. My daughter loves seeing how high up the tower she can get Rhino Hero and the thrill of seeing if he will stay on the tower or not.
As is the way with all Haba games the cards in Rhino Hero are all incredibly good quality, and designed for lots of little hands placing them in towers again and again. The Rhino playing piece is also very cute, yet chunky enough for little hands to hold him and place him easily. The details on the wall cards are wonderful, and remind me so much of the illustrations in good children’s books, with plenty spot.
The compact box and the fact that you only need a stable playing surface make Rhino Hero an ideal game to take away on holiday with you, and it also works perfectly for playing with people from different generations.
Where to buy Rhino Hero
If you want to see what other children’s games Penny Plays has featured then take a look here.
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go to Amazon via them and purchase anything I receive a small commission. It will cost you no more than if you had arrived at Amazon on your own. Many thanks for any purchases that you do make. Your support is very much appreciated.