I remember getting the Cootie game when I was a little kid. I don’t remember particularly liking it. Now that I am a parent and my son has just gotten the Cootie game I can say with all certainty that I really dislike it. It was a gift and so we were obligated to try it out, however as soon as my son lost interest it went away.
Cootie is a game where players roll dice and then based on the number rolled, assemble various plastic parts into the body of a bug. Sounds relatively easy and in fact it is. It is also very boring. First, with all of these plastic parts sitting around I could not keep my son focused on actually rolling the dice or waiting his turn, he simply wanted to build the cooties. Fair enough I thought, the premise of the game is to build the bugs so who needs rolling the dice to do that. So the little board and dice quickly became useless. We simply moved on to just assembling bugs, which is an experience by itself.
The game comes with 4 plastic bodies and 4 plastic heads. You are able to mix and match as you see color appropriate. It also comes with numerous little legs, eyes, antennas and other parts, all of which have to be detached from the plastic stripping they come attached to. We ended up having a huge pile of little plastic pieces to begin with. I say begin with because they quickly get spread out, misplaced and lost. The pieces are all suppose to be inserted into the board that comes along with the game, but as I mentioned this is very hard to do with a young child and the pieces don’t sit that well in the board either. Then as the game progresses you are able to build your cootie, putting on the various accessories to make a complete bug. Not real fun for me and my child lost interest rather quickly. Another issue we found is that the pieces don’t all fit so well. You are supposed to snap them in to the body or head but they don’t often stay. When my son would pick up the bug a leg, hat, or set of eyes would fall off. Whether the whole sizes aren’t uniform, the pieces stretch the hole, the pieces have bent ends from breaking them off the plastic, or it is just cheap, they do not stay attached well. This leads to frustration for the child and more clean up for the parent.
I am sure hundreds of parents or more have purchased the Cootie game. It has been around for a very long time so it might just be one of those things everyone buys as some sort of ritual. However, if you don’t have it I wouldn’t recommend getting it. It is not a fun game and doesn’t particularly work well as a building lesson. One would be better served with a good old Mr. Potato Head. The pieces are small and will get misplaced or lost. The only real enjoyment this game brought me was the nice sound the piece or two made that I “accidentally” ran over them with the vacuum.