When people think about chameleons, their first thought is probably their ability to change colour to blend in with their surroundings. Perhaps the next thought is the lizard’s ability to move their eyes in different directions, allowing them to observe more of the environment around them. However, one thing that often gets overlooked, is just how cool their tongues are! Chameleons ballistically project their tongues to snatch up their insect prey. They can actually snatch up a snack in an incredible 0.07 seconds. That is the definition of fast food! Their tongues are elastic and believed to be about 1.5 times the length of their body. That is one impressive appendage!
Sticky Chameleons is the new game from Iello, and in it, players become one of these awesome lizards looking for their next meal. Each player is equipped with a sticky tongue, and six different types of insects in six different colours are spread out across the table. These flies, caterpillars, dragonflies, mosquitos, etc. are just trying to live their lives, but they’re about to become food!
Each round, two dice are rolled to set the next target. One indicates the type of bug, and the other indicates the colour you’re going to be looking for. Then it’s a race to swing out your sticky tongue before the competition and snatch up the appropriate bug. It doesn’t matter if you snag other insects in the process, as long as you get the one indicated by the dice. As soon as you’ve caught the right bug, you can use your hands to pull it off your tongue and place it back on the table. You gotta watch out though! Other players can steal the bug right off your tongue. Only when it’s safely back on the table will you score a point for the round.
Points take the form of Yummy tokens, and the goal of the game is to be the first to collect five of them.
Sticky Chameleons is a dexterity game, where speed is of the essence. However, there are some dangers that lie in wait. Shooting out your tongue can cause you some damage. Placed amongst the other insects are a handful of wasps. If you snag one of these on your tongue, you won’t score your Yummy token for the round if you get the insect of choice. You have the option of trying to shake off the wasp, but your lizard counterparts can be trying to steal your meal off of you while you do it.
Up to six lizards can head out for food together with Sticky Chameleons. If you’re playing with a full compliment, you can be sure that there will be frantic fun each round, as you work to perfect your dining skills. Rounds have the potential to descend into full blown chaos (what else would you expect from a game with this premise), but the more you play, the better you’ll be at sniping those bugs off the table.
The chameleon tongues resemble the sticky hands toys you may be familiar with (you’ll have an advantage if you grew up with them in the 80s or 90s). They pick up the bug tokens really and have retained their stickiness after several plays. They usually only require a quick rinse under cold water after each play. The insects themselves are pretty cute and hilarious, with panicked looks on their faces with the prospect of becoming lizard food!
Théo Riviére and Cédric Barbé have succeeded in a very difficult task. They have designed a game that can be equally enjoyed by players of all ages. In fact, being young might even be an advantage. Sticky Chameleons is fast, fun and replayable. Get your hands on a copy and start hunting your next insect meal!
A review copy of Sticky Chameleons was provided to the DWP for this article.