“The game begins, the ice is thin
Be careful, or you may go in.”
Released in 1969 by Schaper, Don’t Break the Ice is a tabletop game for two to four players, ages 3 to 10.
The gameboard is made up of a set of plastic ice blocks and a stand/frame that holds them together. While most ice blocks are approximately 1-inch square in size, one larger 2×2 block is used to attach a plastic figure in a seated position. The frame provides enough structure and compression to hold all the blocks once pressed in place.
To start a game, each player chooses a coloured mallet. The first player taps a block of ice of their choosing and hopes the action will not cause the figure to fall through the ice into the “water” below. The second player taps out another block of ice, and so on, in regular rotation.
If, while tapping out a block, a player causes the figure to fall through the ice, they are eliminated from the game and a new round is started using a “re-iced” game board. The last player standing is declared the winner.
After a series of mergers and acquisitions, Don’t Break the Ice is now sold by Hasbro. While the basics of gameplay remain the same, a new mascot, Phillip the Penguin, has been introduced for kids to save from falling into the depths.