Hungry Hungry Hippos is a board game made for young children, currently produced by Hasbro, under the brand of its subsidiary, Milton Bradley. The idea for the game was published in 1967 and it was introduced in 1978. The purpose of the game is for each player to collect as many marbles as possible with his or her ‘hippo’ (a toy hippo model). The game is currently being marketed under the “Elefun and Friends” banner, along with Elefun and Gator Golf.
The game is playable by two to four players and is recommended by the manufacturer for children ages 3 and up. The object of the game is to cause the player’s hippo to “consume” as many of the twenty white plastic marbles on the playing field as possible. The player presses a lever on the back of their hippo which causes the hippo’s mouth to open, extend towards the center of the board, close and retract. Marbles are drawn back into a depression within the hippo, so they do not drift back into play once properly consumed. Play ends when all of the marbles have been consumed by the hippos.
The shaking of the lightweight playing field during play, particularly when children are pounding on the levers to make their hippos capture marbles, introduces a strong random element to the game. The game also is very loud, with the constant slamming of the hippo levers, and bouncing of marbles on the plastic board.