I don’t know that I have ever seen such a ridiculous premise work out so well. This game feels like it was created by a designer on a bet. “I bet you can’t make a game that the company would publish using only some card board, a dry erase pen, a single die, and a plastic Easter egg. Yes, you have to use the Easter egg!” But however unlikely it was, this bet paid off with the creation of Shake ‘n Take.
This game is aptly named because the main component of the game is to shake a die inside of a clear Easter egg and then take the dry erase pen away from your opponent. What is your opponent doing with the pen? Why trying to circle aliens of a certain shape on his board before you do of course!
Yeah, really, that’s the premise. Seems awfully silly doesn’t it? Well, that’s because it is. But it’s not silly in that “Ugg! Are we done yet?” sort of way, but in the giggle uncontrollable way. There is just something supremely satisfying about snatching that pen away from your opponent while they are in the middle of circling, and of course there is something endlessly frustrating about not being able to get that last circle in time before your pen is snatched.
So how does this all work? Each player has a board with the images of lots and lots of different little aliens. Each alien is a different basic shape: Heart, star, square, circle, or triangle. To decide which aliens you are currently allowed to circle, you roll a die that displays these shapes. Which ever shape you roll is what you frantically start circling. While you are doing that, your opponent on your right starts shaking the Easter egg, attempting to roll the alien. If they do, they take the pen away from you and then roll the die and start circling their own aliens.
Even though this game is really silly, care seems to have been taken in it’s design. The biggest example of this is with the dry erase markers. The dry erase markers are made to look like they have alien heads on top. This fits the theme nicely, but more importantly, it makes the pens really easy to take from each other, because they are easy to get a grip on. They even thought about this a little further and made the green part of the pen simply a shell for a dry erase marker, there by allowing you to replace the marker with a generic marker when it starts to dry up (which we all know will happen eventually). This attention to detail didn’t escape our notice!
In the end, this game came out more then a couple of times. It’s not a long game, so it made for a really nice filler in between games. It became one of those, “Hey while we are waiting on _____ to get back to the table, wanna play a round of Shake ‘n Take?” games. It’s an excellent “go to” game.
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