Recently, my boyfriend and I became involved in a very dangerous game: Slug Bug. Yes, you read that correctly, Slug Bug. If you don't know what Slug Bug is, you must have had a very sheltered childhood; it's a common cure for road trip boredom. The objective is when you see a Volkswagen Beetle, you call, "Slug Bug!" and punch one (or multiple) of the other players. Whoever ends the car trip with the most points (one punch = one point) wins. When discussing the rules, we came to a few disagreements but came to a consensus of sorts on how to play.

Basic Rules

This is the default of the game. By default, I mean that if no other rules are or have previously been agreed upon by both or all people involved then these are the rules that are followed.

  • Once a Slug Bug is seen you must yell out “Slug Bug!” and lightly, but firmly, deliver a punch to your opponent's upper arm.
  • To deliver the punch, you must be the first person to call the Beetle.
  • All players must be present for the punch to be valid.
  • You can play in rounds or ongoing.
  • Each round is determined by when the car begins to drive.
  • Ongoing can be just in car or ongoing in all of life.
  • A slug bug may intentionally be called only once each round.
  • Only one punch and one point is awarded per bug.
  • When playing with multiple players you must yell “No slug backs!” before the next slug is called to not receive the following punch.

Extended Rules

Theses rules can be added on to the basic rules but, again, have to be established before the game or new round begins. You can choose one, all or none of these rules in your game.

  • Certain colors can be awarded more points. Often yellow is chosen to be two points and you must yell out "Slug Bug Bingo!" or "Slug Bug Yellow!" but this can be any color or colors of your choosing.
  • Model can also determine how may punches are awarded. Older models, generally, could be worth more points.
  • Text Buggy is also another way to play. This is generally used in an ongoing game where someone who is on their own or only with some of the players takes a picture of the Beetle and sends it as a text message.
  • If you are one of those people, "Punch Buggy" is also OK to say in place of "Slug Bug."
  • You can implement penalties for overly aggressive or rule-breaking players by awarding extra punches to the victim or taking away points from the offending player.
  • If playing with children that are getting too aggressive, instead of punching the upper arm you can punch the ceiling of the car instead. This allows reduced violence especially between siblings who are only in it to punch their brother or sister as hard as they can.

All of these rules are a result of personal compromise and light research. It is up to your personal preference on how to play, but be sure to establish rules to reduce arguments before game play begins. This really is a fun, if not slightly frustrating, game for all ages. May the odds be ever in your favor.