Game Review: Kerplunk

Giant Kerplunk—this isn’t a game we purchased, but actually this is a DIY game that we created based on the original Kerplunk game! We wrote a whole post on how to make your own

As a bit of additional background—you probably should understand the original Kerplunk. It was (I say was because I literally don’t think they make it anymore… someone let me know if they find it!!) essentially a plastic tube with holes in the middle for “straws” or sticks to be inserted. I liked to think of this piece as a bit of a pick up sticks element. You put the straws or sticks into the holes to create a labyrinth of layers that no marbles could fall through. You then pour the marbles down the tube, and they rest on top of the bed of sticks. You and your playmates then take turns taking sticks out of the center. You count how many marbles fell during your turn when you picked the stick out. The winner is he or she who allows the least number of marbles to fall during their respective stick pulls. 

The idea is the exact same for Giant Kerplunk. Except, you are playing with a tube made out of chicken wire, the marbles are plastic balls from a ball pit, and the sticks are wooden dowels. Other than that, game play is the same!

  • Time to set up: To actually create the game took a lot longer than we thought… light 3-4 hours + (not counting the paint drying). Besides that, set up time is as quick as getting it out of storage, sticking the sticks in between each other, and pouring the balls in. I actually recommend storing it ready to play immediately for the next time. Put simply, it shouldn’t take any longer than 5 minutes to get all the pieces ready to go.
  • Duration of game: We found each round to take about 5-7 minutes. Our set currently uses 40 wooden dowels. 
  • Number of players that are needed/can participate: One of the reasons we love this game is because there are really no limits to the number of people who can play! We think that a good size group is 2-8 people, though anyone can stand around and play (up to the number of dowels that you have at least)!
  • Where can it be played? ANYWHERE!!! Another reason we really wanted to add this to our collection of backyard games. 🙂 It can be played in the backyard during the sunny summer days, or in the family room during the cold, winter afternoons. Grass, sand, cement… you find a flat place, you can play. 
  • How to play? We explained the original game of Kerplunk above, and at the same time, explained a bit of how to play! As a recap, when you pull out the wooden dowels, try to choose those which will allow no balls to fall! At the end, count how many balls fell during your turns. The person with the least amount is the winner. 

Backyard Buffs’ Rating: 15

Ease of storage/portability: 2. Unfortunately, this is a game is not a fun one to store. It’s one that sits in the corner of the garage, in the storage room of your basement, or in your shed. Ours has been taking up the backseat of our car for about a week now. At least it doesn’t need a seat belt.

Durability (packaging or game pieces): 5. Our set was made of all industrial materials, so it’s pretty good! As long as it doesn’t get left out in the rain, they should last for a long time.

Friendly for all Ages/Skill Levels: 5. ANYONE can play this game. You can play using your hands, feet, or even your mouth.

Fair Pricing: 3. The total pricing for the DIY was around $75. I actually feel this is a pretty fair honestly. It’s a bigger game, with a lot of pieces, and has pretty good durability to last well into the future.

Conclusion: We’ve talked about this in two posts now, but we were very happy with the results of our game. It was a fun DIY project during quarantine and it will be a wonderful game to play on an ongoing basis at bbq’s, family reunions, and my mom is even going to use her version in her classroom for some fun times with students (when school resumes in the fall… least we hope). Let us know if you create your own! It would be well worth your quarantine time!