Disney has often gone to the well of stereotypes! Today we visit the year 1972, a time before the world had learned to be considerate of the heritage and customs of others.
Native Americans (or First Nations, being the preferred term in Canada) have been the target of outlandish stereotypical depictions in many Disney productions. Peter Pan comes to mind with the beet-red warriors doing little more than dancing and spouting in-depth dialogue like ‘Ugh’ and ‘How!’
The game I am featuring today does play on the typical stereotype, but not to the same degree as other Disney properties. Let’s have a look:
Wigwam: An Algonquian domed or conical dwelling prevalent in the eastern half of North America. The circular framework of poles was covered with bark or reed mats. A hole in the roof allowed the smoke from the fire to escape.
It looked like this, and not the pointed tipi design used in the game:
Tipi: Also ‘tepee’ or ‘teepee’ is a conical tent, traditionally made of animal skins upon wooden poles. A tipi is distinguished from other conical tents by the smoke flaps at the top of the structure.
Here is how a tipi looks in the real world, and in this game:
I suppose Wacky Tipi didn’t have the same marketing potential
So we have identified the main problems with the game, now let’s look at the remaining elements:
Back and Sides of the box
This game was part of a three-game series marketed under ‘A Walt Disney World Game From Parker Brothers’ promotion. This version was manufactured in Canada, so it came with a set of French instructions in the box as well as the English ones on the box:
If you enlarge and read the instructions you will see the game is easy to play. You start by setting up the play surface like this:
You then use the spinner to determine how many of your ducks you can cover with the wigwams. Once the ten wigwams are used, you must uncover ducks to then cover more of your ducks. But as you are doing this, other players are uncovering your ducks to cover their ducks!
Land the spinner on the ‘Mix Up’ space and every wigwam and playing piece gets shuffled. At this point everyone loses track of which ducks are under what wigwams! So on your next turn, you could uncover one of your own ducks. This has the same vibe as the game Sorry with the added dimension of messing yourself up too!
Donald is ready to play with Huey, Dewey, and Louie
Overall, this is an entertaining game that would work without the Native American theme. But the tipis are cute and the addition of Donald and his nephews would definitely appeal to younger players.