Beep! Beep! A Fast-Paced Card Game About Avoiding Wildlife on the Road
Did you ever think that avoiding hitting animals on the road could be made into a card game? Now-defunct publisher Valley Games Inc. had the wild idea a decade ago to create Beep! Beep!, a fast-paced card game about swerving to avoid terrified animals crossing the road. How does the theme of the game translate into the gameplay? Let’s find out!
Review of Beep! Beep!
Publisher: Valley Games, Inc.
Designer: Reinhard Staupe
Box Dimensions: 6.25″ x 8.75″ x 1.85″
# of Players: 2-3 people
Ages: 8 and older
Category: Fast-matching card game
Play Time: 5 minutes
How to Play
Set up a game of Beep! Beep! by dealing every player two cards face up in front of them. Then, divide the remaining cards equally among five face-up piles in a circle at the center of the table, within equal reach of all players. Place the red rubber Beep! Beep! car in the middle of the circle.
Each of the cards portrays one of seven animals (turtle, frog, moose, skunk, goose, chicken, porcupine, snake) in one of seven different colors (red, pink, yellow, blue, green, purple, grey). When someone calls “Go!” all players race to grab a card from a center stack that matches the animal or color shown on one of the decks in front of them. Only one hand can be used to grab cards.
If ever three of the same animal or three different animals with the same color are revealed among the center stacks, a player should squeeze the rubber red car. The squeak pauses the game and allows the identifying player to nab two of the cards which are causing the “congestion.”
When two of the piles are empty, the game ends and players count their smallest stack (plus any congestion points). The player whose smaller deck is biggest wins!
Beep! Beep! includes the following components:
- 112 animal cards
- 1 Beep! Beep! car
- Directions on how to play
Speed games need to have durable cards to withstand the brutality of fierce players. The cards in Beep! Beep! are pretty solid, and bent back from any aggressive grabs without showing creases or taking damage. The red rubber car is definitely the selling point of the game and is really cute (the eyes and smile are a nice touch).
The box is unnecessarily large for the amount of items it holds. It contains a cardboard divider that keeps everything in place, but it takes up a lot of shelf space for a card game.
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Thoughts on Learning Experience
Beep! Beep! is a simple game to learn and teach, but unfortunately, its instruction page is rife with typos and confusing wording. New players can infer the intended meaning of the errors (for instance, how the two- and three-player layouts are swapped), but the game could’ve definitely used some proofreading. Don’t let its Comic Sans font fool you—it’s better if the adults read these directions.
Thoughts on Playing the Game
I went into playing Beep! Beep! thinking it would be a game solely for children, but I actually had fun playing it. It has a lot in common with other speed games like Halli Galli or Blink.
As with other good speed games, this one is just as fun for adults as for children, since the experience depends heavily on who’s participating. I wouldn’t recommend playing with people who have widely varying reaction times. Fun gameplay requires participants to be evenly matched, since there’s no game mechanics to balance out the sole dependence on speed.
The fundamental shortcoming of Beep! Beep! isn’t its gameplay, its quality, or even its theme—it’s the game’s indecisiveness on a target audience. The overly cartoonish box art, cute toy car, and Comic Sans font clearly depicts it as a game for young children, but the potentially violent theme of the game and the recommended minimum age on the box seems like it’s better suited to teenagers. It’s not a game I would’ve ever thought I’d like based on the unappealing box art, but it was actually a solid speed card game. Too bad the box isn’t more attractive.
Despite the childish design and poorly written instructions of Beep! Beep!, it’s actually a decent, rewarding game for adults and older children. It could benefit from a redesign and release to make it more commercially attractive, because I think some families would enjoy it.
Beep! Beep! is no longer in print but can be found on second-hand retailers like Ebay and Amazon.
Aaron is unashamed to be a native Clevelander and the proud driver of a 1995 Saturn SC-2 (knock on wood). He gleefully utilizes his background in theater, literature, and communication to dramatically recite his own articles to nearby youth. Mr. Widmar happily resides in Dayton, Ohio with his magnificent wife, Vicki, but is often on the road with her exploring new destinations. Aaron has high aspirations for his writing career but often gets distracted pondering the profound nature of the human condition and forgets what he was writing… See more articles by Aaron.