Updated in 2016: Halli Galli is now called Beat the Bell: Spot Five by SpinMaster
There’s something about those old school, hotel desk bells that is just awesome. One of my all time favorite games – Pit – has that style bell. The quick, frenzied game Halli Galli that I’m reviewing here also has that bell. Seriously, who can resist like a game that you have to hit a bell?!
I briefly mentioned Halli Galli in a holiday posting a couple years ago, but really the game deserves it’s own review. But since I’ve already touched on it once, I’ll keep it short and sweet – kind of like the game! Halli Galli is a simple to learn card game with, like I said, a bell in the middle. Players keep a stack of cards with 1-5 pieces of fruit on them in front of them. Everyone turns their cards over at the same time and if you see a total of EXACTLY five similar items on the table you ring the bell and collect the cards. The player with the most cards wins and there are penalties for ringing in at the wrong time — like if there are too many or two few of one piece of fruit.
Halli Galli is a great game for tweens and kids because they have wickedly fast reflexes. It’s been on the market since the early 1990s and has sold more than 2.5 million games worldwide, but I think the odd-sounding name scares some people off (not anymore!). Don’t let it! And as a fun tidbit, rumor has it that it was originally called Tutti Frutti but then an erotic game show was launched with the same name so – for good reason – it got changed! Ha!
Halli Galli or Beat the Bell: Spot Five Stats:
~$8 Amazon, local game stores