Group Colorful Cacti in Prickly Path

Group Colorful Cacti in Prickly Path

Game Design: Corné van Moorsel

Join the coyote for a stroll through the desert to admire the beautiful groups of wild cacti in bloom! In Prickly Path, players take turns rolling the dice and counting spaces to place their cactus pieces on the gameboard to form groups of the same type. The more of the same type you group together, the more points you score! This strategy and decision-making game can be played by 2-4 players ages 8 and up in about 20 minutes.

Prickly Path by SimplyFun - Aloe Cacti

Let's build groups of cacti to bring colorful fun - though a bit prickly - to the desert. But keep in mind that as the cactus expands, the path gets more prickly, and the coyote must jump over the cacti and rocks to stay on the path.

Prickly Path strategy and decision making game for ages 8 and up.

Prickly Path is an Educational Game that Builds Life Skills

  • Strategy Skills: Players try to plant cacti on the most beneficial spaces while keeping an eye on what their opponents are doing. Sometimes, the best move is a defensive block to another player.
  • Decision-Making Skills: On each turn, a player needs to choose between the two numbers rolled on the dice: whether to plant a cactus on the corresponding space or skip. If planting a cactus, they need to decide which of their three types of cactus to plant to best build their cacti groups.
Prickly Path strategy and decision making game for ages 8 and up.

What's in the Box

  • 32 Succulent Cactus Pieces (8 in each player color)
  • 28 Aloe Cactus Pieces (7 in each player color)
  • 24 Barrel Cactus Pieces (6 in each player color)
  • 13 Skipping Stones
  • 1 Gameboard
  • 2 Eight-sided Dice
  • 1 Coyote Pawn
  • 1 Scoring Legend Card

Prickly Path Game Set-Up

  1. Place the gameboard in the middle of the play area where everyone can reach.
  2. Each player selects a color set of cactus pieces and receives a number of each type based on the number of players.
  3. Place the coyote pawn on the starting space.
  4. Set 10 one-space-wide skipping stones to the side of the gameboard.
  5. To determine who goes first, each player rolls the die and the player who rolls the highest goes first.
Prickly Path strategy and decision making game for ages 8 and up.

Play, Plant, and Skip Your Way Across the Gameboard

Prickly Path strategy and decision making game for ages 8 and up.


At each player's turn, roll both dice and decide which one of the two numbers you wish to use. Move the coyote pawn that number of spaces. The coyote moves in the direction indicated by the arrows shown on both the spaces and the board.

  • Oooh, did you roll doubles? Neat! This means you get to choose to move the coyote pawn any possible number on the die (so any number between 1 and 8).
  • When moving the coyote, only count open spaces with a directional arrow shown (do not count spaces already covered by a cactus or skipping stone).
Prickly Path strategy and decision making game for ages 8 and up.


After moving the coyote, decide whether you want to plant a cactus or skip planting on the space. If you choose to plant, take one of your cactus pieces and place it on the space where the coyote landed, then place the coyote on top of it.

  • Remember, each player has three different types of cacti to create groups - succulent, aloe, and barrel. To earn points, cactus pieces need to share a color and type with each cactus they touch. Once planted on a space, pieces may not be moved, so plant carefully!
  • The larger the group of identical cacti, the more points it's worth. For example, a group of three identical cacti equals three points, a group of five equals 10 points, and a group of eight (the largest group possible) equals a whopping 28 points!

Skip (or not!)

If the results on the dice do not provide you with a good planting location, you may choose to skip it.

  • To skip it, you must first choose one of the numbers rolled to move the coyote and then say, "Skip!" (Do not plant a cactus piece.)
  • The player on the left now gets the choice to plant one of their cactus pieces on that space, or they may also choose to skip.
    • If that player chooses to plant a cactus piece, they play their chosen piece immediately.
    • If that player also chooses to skip, the next player has the option to plant or skip, and so on.

No matter which of the above situations, the original player who skipped gets to reroll the dice and take another turn. Only one skip per turn!

  • Skipping can be a great way to save your pieces for a better spot in the future but be mindful of what other players may do on their turns!
Prickly Path strategy and decision making game for ages 8 and up.

End of the Game

The game ends when all of the cactus pieces have been planted. Each grouping of a cactus type earns points, but a single cactus alone does not. The player with the most points wins! If there's a tie, the player with the largest grouping of cacti wins.

Grab your 'Group' and Grow your Own Prickly Path!

Prickly Path is the perfect game to practice important life skills in a fun, stress-free environment! So, grab a group of 2-4 players ages 8 and up and get ready to put decision-making and strategy skills to the test! It's also a great game for plant lovers! Do you know someone who swoons over succulents and other beautiful plant life? This creative and thoughtfully designed game may also be the perfect gift for people who like plants and gardening.

Interested in more games that teach important life skills? Check out:

SimplyFun's Life & Thinking Skills Games

The Best Group Games for Kids

Brain Games: Not Just for Kids!

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