Echidna Shuffle: Stress-Induced Fun

A six-player game of Echidna Shuffle led to some wild fun.

Game: Echidna Shuffle

  • Publisher: Wattsalpoag Games
  • Designer: Kris Gould
  • Illustrated by: Damon Brown
  • Game Pieces: Mike Raabe
  • 2-6 players
  • 10-20 minutes
  • Ages 6+

One move. Only one move to reach victory, but it was not to be. I was near my trunk, my last beetle on my back in hopes to have that sweet end. The leaves were scattered everywhere as I had changed paths thanks to another player. There would be no victory today.

Roll one way and on the next turn you move the opposite roll. If you rolled a six on the first roll, you may move three spaces on the next turn.

Echidna Shuffle is a game where you are trying to bring bugs back home in the form of bees, ladybugs, beetles and others related to the color you choose. On your turn you roll the Echidna dice and get to move on the board any of the twelve Echidnas. As you move them, you may pick up bugs from pick-up zones. Then if you are lucky enough, you can reach them to one of your three colored stumps to be closer to a win.

Why are you blocking my ladybug-loving Echidnas? I just want to take them home.

The key to this is that you can move ANY Echidnas on your turn. This leads to hilarity, stress and laughter. See that player’s Echidna is too close to their stump? Move them onto a different path. You could potentially set your opponent’s Echidnas on a never ending loop.

When the game starts, everyone places a bug pickup spot on an empty leaf. Then you pass your stumps to the opponent on your left. They get to place your stumps anywhere on the board. Echidnas cannot jump or move through other Echindas, so movement is important. You will have to move the Echidnas of other players and if you pass over their pickup spot, you will put a bug of theirs on the Echidna. If you move an Echidna with their bug onto a spot with their stump, they will be closer to victory. When you have placed all three bugs on your stumps, you win!

Each player gets their special stumps matching the color of their bugs.
Components

This is a beautifully made game. The Echidnas are adorable and the bugs are well made. Each component, from the dice to the board, were well though out. The opposite side of the board has a snow-themed board where winning can be even more complex, yet still enjoyable.

These components are gorgeous. Mike Raabe did an amazing job!
Our Family’s Thoughts on Echidna Shuffle

Abigail: I like how you can majorly screw people over, but it is chaotic because it’s all over the board and hard to see what you are trying to do. I like how cute the Echidna playing pieces are. I find it weird that the Echida are taking the bugs home and not just eating them, I don’t understand that part. But try it because it can become fun. Recommendation: Try it.

Beth: I liked the orderly circles of the one side, but could not figure out what was going where on the snowy side. On the flower side I had a great time, moving other people’s Echidna out of the way and putting them on other loops. It is appealing and fun to look at. Try it though because the chaos stressed a couple of my kids out. Looks like for kids, but better for adults. Recommendation: Try it.

Chris: I like this game, but there is a deep feeling of “take that” that it is in the game that makes it possibly stressful for kids. Watching my kids get stressed out over one’s moves brought to light that this can become cutthroat. This game is great, but I am going to recommend to try it first. See if this is good for you and your family. I love the cutthroat nature of the game, but it may not be for everyone. One suggestion for playing with kids is to encourage helping each other when moving one another’s Echidnas. Recommendation: Try it.

Placing the stumps of your opponents can really mess with their strategy. Moving the Echidnas away from them messes them up even more.

Daniel: It is chaotic and stressful. The Echidna are cute and so are the bugs. Just don’t try the snowy side. It is long and exhausting. I like putting the bugs on the logs, and I like how if you go 7 on one turn you go 2 on the next, it’s fair. I’d say try it. Recommendation: Try it.

Elijah: The Echidna are cute and some of the bugs maybe. I might like it, I might not like it, but I don’t know why. Recommendation: Try it.

This game is fun for all ages, but the cutthroat nature of moving other player’s Echidnas can sour the game for others. Try it out and see for yourself.

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