This version of Barrel of Monkeys is designed to look like the original. | Source: Winning Moves Games

Barrel of Monkeys may have come out nearly 60 years ago, but it’s still more fun than, well, a barrel of monkeys!

Winning Moves Games currently sells a version of this classic game that leans into its long history, with packaging and colors that resemble the original. The game — which is designed for kids ages 3 and up — includes a bright-yellow plastic barrel that splits open and holds 15 red, plastic monkeys with half-circle arms.

The premise of the game is so simple that the instructions fit in a four-sentence “How To Play” paragraph on the packaging. Players each start with one plastic monkey, then take turns trying to add monkeys to their chain by hooking their last monkey’s arm through the arm of a monkey that is still on the table, . If you drop a monkey, your turn is over. The player who makes the longest chain of monkeys wins the game. While that premise is simple, getting the monkeys to link is a lot trickier than it sounds!

The vagueness of the directions may be a bit jarring at first, but ultimately helps maintain the simplicity of this game. Players can determine their own regulations around the particulars of gameplay, including how the monkeys get spread out on the table for linking, how to measure the length of the chain, and what other moves are or are not allowed.

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At $8.95, this game is also an incredibly budget-friendly option. Its compact packaging makes it great for on-the-go play, too, and its cross-generational appeal means that Barrel of Monkeys is sure to be a hit for family game nights. The throwback packaging that this version offers is just an added bonus that ups the nostalgia factor!

Whether you’re looking for a last-minute stocking stuffer or a way to keep everyone off their screens and enjoying time together during the holidays, Barrel of Monkeys is sure to be a hit.

About the author

Madeleine Buckley

Madeleine Buckley

Madeleine Buckley is a senior editor at The Pop Insider, The Toy Insider, and The Toy Book. She covers all things toys and fandom, and has appeared on Cheddar and a variety of regional news networks to talk about the latest trends in both. She is a movie score enthusiast, mediocre knitter, proud Syracuse alumna, and Marvel lover. You can usually find her at the movies or hanging out at home with her super-pup, Parker.