Best Play Recommends: Go Cuckoo


What: KerPlunk in reverse. Build a nest out of sticks and put all your eggs in it without it falling apart.
Players: 2-6
Time: 10-15 minutes
People: For families and friends – bonus difficulty with alcohol
Available: Support Best Play and get it on Amazon here

The Gist

Why we recommend it

Do you remember KerPlunk?

If not, it’s an old onomatopoeically-named game of pulling out sticks and hoping to not drop your marbles. I remember it for its cheap plastic coloured plastic – those thin sticks that felt like they couldn’t hold themselves together, let alone the glass marbles.

It was a game that looked like a lot of fun but rarely was.

Well, Go Cuckoo is a bit like that, except it is as fun as it looks. It comes in a lovely metal can with wooden sticks and eggs that look like they should be edible. It’s essentially Kerplunk in reverse but as we’ll explain later, it comes with a lot more room for expression.

You see rather than pulling sticks out, Go Cuckoo is about building a nest and balancing eggs. It’s a simple game: you grab some sticks, place them into the nest and add your egg. Whoever is the first person to get rid of all their eggs gets to place the cuckoo and is declared the victor.

The challenge is that if anything falls when you’re trying to build the nest, your turn is over. That happens quite frequently in the early rounds when your nest is a mere three sticks.

If you’re just building a regular nest it becomes a lot easier. That’s the way I’d recommend playing with kids. They’ll love it – it also has that satisfying moment when you pull out the last stick and the whole nest collapses.

If you aren’t playing with little ones though, why make it easy? Why build a regular nest?

Because there is no cuckoo-made nest. They don’t make them and you might not want to tell your kids this because in the cruel Darwinist world of Mother Nature cuckoos steal them. They look around for nest full of another birds eggs and say to themselves “that sure looks like a good place for my kids to grow up”.

So they lay their offspring in someone else’s home. That isn’t all. Those baby cuckoos hatch and push all the other eggs to their death so that they are the only chicks left for their confused surrogate parents to feed. Cuckoos are a bit like nature’s version of when the banks repossess homes when their impoverished tenants can’t keep up the mortgage repayments.

The true way to play Go Cuckoo is to think like one. That is to build your nest and place your eggs in such a way that they are very likely to fall when anyone else tries to pull out a stick. If a bunch of you start playing like this, it becomes a far sillier (and better) game. Here’s one we made earlier.

A monstrosity of a nest stretching as far as physically possible from the can of its origin. That is the way of the cuckoo; the crafty, conniving cuckoo. Ding their utmost to ruin everyone’s good time.

There really is nothing funnier than watching an adult swear with rage as they fail to balance on egg on two sticks that everyone said they couldn’t. However, it’s always balanced by the sheer joy from everyone at the table on the one occasion they do manage to nail it. This is a game that can be as fun, silly or tactical as you like.

Best Play tip: if you’re old enough the real hard mode is playing like we suggest above but adding alcohol into the mix. 

Super Rhino Collapse

If you like the sound of this then we also recommend you check out another game by the same publisher, Super Rhino Hero (above) which we have covered here.

Support Best Play and get it here so you too can be a crafty cuckoo.