What is it? A circus game about putting on a performance. Which usually means stacking elephants and clowns whilst telling everyone their back story.
How many people? 2-5
How long does it take? 30-45 minutes
Who is it for? Great for people looking for something lighthearted and easy to learn.
Buy it: Support Best Play and get Meeple Circus here on Amazon.

The Gist

Why we recommend it

I’ve not been to a real circus. Sure, I’ve seen clowns and acrobats, but not in a big tent. The Big Top. La Tienda de Circo. In my mind though, it’s mostly elephants piled on top of humans, supporting a camel and some barrels. Well that’s the image I’ve conjured up from playing Meeple Circus.

It almost doesn’t matter what the game is: stacking things is fun. It’s why we loved Junk Art so much. Meeple Circus is similar, but different. Less of the free form of Junk Art but a lot more comedy and performance. It’s a game that’s trying to embody the laughter, joy and nail-biting moments of the circus and it somehow pulls this off.

You’re slowly building up your great circus act over 3 rounds, adding more performers, animals and objects as you go until it’s all just a teaming pile of things you’re desperately hoping can defy gravity for another few seconds.

Things start off simply: collect some pieces and try to match them to the ‘scenes’ to get points. Fine, simple.

So then in Round 2 the guest stars arrive. Welcome clowns you need to push off from a great height, camels that want to awkwardly stack themselves or strongmen who want to hold everything up. They add some more challenge and consideration to your act.

The final round though – this is what makes the game. All of that preamble was just the warm up. In this round you take it turn by turn, so everyone is watching your performance. Now, instead of adding some fancy new piece like a clown car, you have to deliver your performance in a certain way.

Maybe it’s with one hand behind your back. Maybe you have to keep thanking your audience, or – my favourite of all – having to give every single performer a backstory.

This is the round when everyone will be laughing at your antics and tensing up as you try for the 3rd time to balance that acrobat on the top of the human pyramid. Not because you failing means they win, but because no matter who’s winning everyone wants to see your Circus succeed. There’s something magic about witnessing the impossible. Ok, that might be a bit dramatic – but it is impressive how many colourful shaped blocks of wood you can stack in a few seconds.

Support Best Play and get Meeple Circus here on Amazon.