(The Board) Games People Play: #16, Pass The Pigs

Yahtzee or poker dice, with plastic pigs

Sunday 09 January 1983

Sunday papers: why are they heavier than their weekday equivalents? It turns out that eight people on my round have The Sunday Times, which are about as heavy as sixteen News of the Worlds. One bonus is the fact I can start an hour later. Six households have two newspapers: usually a News of the World and a Sunday Mirror. Or that fairly new one, the Mail on Sunday, often with The Observer (the oldest title).

After my round, there is one smell that gets me in the mood for the rest of a typical Sunday: bacon.

Pass The Pigs

I was amazed to find that Pass The Pigs is 40 years old. According to Board Game Geek, it was first published in 1977. When I became a part owner of MB’s game, I thought it was totally new. That was back in 1988 where my version came from a toy shop in Colwyn Bay.

Pass The Pigs was originally known as Pig Mania when invented by David Moffet. The aim of the game is to reach 100 points. You roll two plastic pigs like dice. On landing, there are different types of scoring options. ‘Pig Out’ means you lose all your points if pigs are lying on opposite sides. If both pigs are lying on the same side, a Sider (one point).

The highest scoring option is the Leaning Jowler. If one pig lands in this position (facing forward on its ear), say hello to fifteen points. Or 60 if you have a Double Leaning Jowler. The other scoring options include:

  • Trotter/Razorback: 5 points (20 for a double);
  • Snouter: 10 points (40 for a double);
  • Makin’ Bacon: zero.

One of the joys of Pass The Pigs is its portability. The pad, pigs, score guide, and the pencil fit inside a black hard plastic wallet. Which means the game can fit inside your shirt pocket or coat packet. Just the kind of game you can take on your travels. Or for playing on the train.

S.V., 16 December 2017.

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