Pick-a-Pig/Pick-a-Dog—A Double-Double-Take Review!

pigYes, you have arrived at TheologyofGames,com; no, we haven't changed to a livestock or 4-H blog. Today we're giving you our thoughts on a nifty set of sister games from Gryphon Games called Pick-a-Pig and Pick-a-Dog. Each of these games is identical—with one significant distinction: one features a pig on each card, and the other... wait for it...a dog!


  • 96 - Square playing cards featuring the animal species of that particular game. (i.e. pig, or dog)
  • The rules
  • Yep that's it!


Deal each player one card (which is called their Captain Card) and then deal out a 5 x 6 grid of cards, face up. Put the rest of the cards aside.

(left) Mr. C getting off to a good start. (right) Mr. X checking his cards after a round.


On the word "Go!" each player tries to find a card matching their Captain Card, or a card that has only one attribute that is different from their Captain Card. If they find such a card, they grab it and stack it face up on top of their Captain Card, and then search for a card that matches—or only bears one difference from the new top card of their stack. This is not done in turn: Players are reaching for cards, throwing elbows, flicking the backs of others' hands, etc. trying to make a mad grab for their cards all at once. Once a player has determined that they can no longer legally grab a card, they slam their hand down and yell "STOP!" Everyone double-checks to see if the player who yelled stop was correct; if they were, they get to add an extra card from the grid to their pile. If they jumped the gun, they discard all the cards they gathered that round.

Then all the players lay their cards out in order to check that they made no errors; if they didn't make mistakes, they keep all of their cards (which count for 1 point at the end of the game); if they made even one error, they lose all of those cards.

Then each player is dealt a new Captain Card, the grid is refilled, and a new round begins. The game is over when there are not enough cards to refill the grid (usually after about 3 rounds). The cards are counted and the player with the most wins!

Image from BGG user KrisVanbeeck

Here are the differences on the cards:

  • Size of the animal (big/small)
  • Number of arms (one/two)
  • Color of the animal (brown/pinkish)
  • Wearing sunglasses/Not wearing sunglasses
  • Holding popcorn/Not holding popcorn

A single set of either game supports 2-5 players, and adding the two sets together will allow you to play up to 8 players, and also allows for an additional one difference: the animal species itself!


      • Kids/Families? Absolutely! The game plays fast, and is easy to learn!
      • Veteran Gamers? Probably not! It's a fast filler, but just not very deep. So leave this one home and play with the family.
      • Party Game? Probably! Again easy to learn, and brings out a little competitive edge in folks.
      • Youth Groups? Yep! The narrower the age gap, the more competitive it gets. You could totally run a tournament around this game, because of the speed in which it plays!

The Firestone boys scrambling for cards!

The Verdict

Jeremiah—First off, I really like this game, but I probably won't bring it out at a game night. My kids and family love it and we have lots of fun with it, but it's just not a "Daddy's game night" sort of game.

Firestone—Yeah, there's no reason to ever bring this to game night with my regular group. But that's fine; it's not aimed at that audience.

Jeremiah—It's designed for ages 8+. My oldest will be 7 in a month, and he does well with it. Our youngest is almost 5 and he doesn't do so well with it.

Firestone—Yeah, our 5-year-old was on my "team" and he kept grabbing the absolute wrong cards...the little stinker. But he'll be ready for this in a couple of years.

My wife seemed to enjoy this one, too. It might be because she and her Type-A personality CUH-RUSHED us. Any game my wife likes is a win in my eyes.

Jeremiah— We've had the game only a few weeks and the boys love it; we've brought it out to play with the grandparents and friends. We've combined the games and played with 7 players—it's sheer pandemonium! Lots of vicious competition, and good clean fun!

Firestone—My one complaint is that—as someone who's color blind—I had a little trouble telling the color difference between the cards. In fact, the difference was so subtle to me that we played two rounds before I even remembered that was a thing... Once I was intentional about it, I could tell the difference—I just had to try harder to see that difference. Not a big deal at all, but it's there.

Jeremiah Final Thoughts— Pick-a-Pig, Pick-a-Dog is a great set of family games that you can play when you may not have a lot of time. Pick it up; this is a no-brainer! It plays fast, it's competitive, and you can teach new gamers how to play in about 90 seconds. The more we play it, the better we get at it, and the more fun it becomes!

Firestone Final Thoughts—The MSRP on these is a mere $10—who can argue with that price-point? It's a great, cheap family game that plays in 10 minutes...and I'm just awful at it.

Thanks for reading!