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Tournament of Towers is a dexterity game from Iron Hippo Games where players try to draft the best pieces using cards to create the highest scoring tower.  Players have the role to build the greatest monument for the kingdom of Geometria. This game was originally funded on Kickstarter and is now available for retail. The game is for players age five and up and can play two to four players.

Game Components

  • 4 Foundation Pieces
  • 4 Architect Figures
  • 40 Stone Pieces
  • 20 Gold Pieces
  • 60 Building Material Cards
  • 1 Event Die

Gameplay

Tournament of Towers incorporates a drafting component into the dexterity and strategy of building your tower.  Additionally, there are multiple rule variants.

Standard Rules

The game plays in two rounds.   The game begins by distributing a foundation piece and Architect figure to each player.

In each round, you start by shuffling the building material cards and dealing seven cards to each player.  Players then draft the cards.  To do this each player chooses one card from their hand and places it face-down in front of them.  Then they pass their remaining hand to the person on their left. Again, they choose a card from their new hand and pass the remaining cards to the left.  Drafting continues until all cards have been used.  Next, each player designates their building order. This is done by placing their cards in a row, and the building order is read left to right.  Then, there is the option to roll an event.  Depending on the round different events occur such as changing the order of your Building material cards or moving a piece from the player to your right and add it to your tower.

Once all players finalize their building material cards, they gather the pieces shown on their cards and build their towers in the order of the building cards. Players have the option to add their Architect figure to the top of their tower to gain an additional point. Players call out “Done” when their tower is complete. Which ends the round for them.  If the tower falls between rounds it is considered a Mulligan and can be rebuilt.

A Mulligan is where a player is permitted to fix their tower by placing the pieces in approximately the same places they were before it falls.

Rule Variants

Simplifying

To scale down the challenge level deal out fewer cards which result in placing fewer pieces.  The recommendation is to only deal four or five cards and add an extra mulligan.

Family Style

Family Style tower building becomes a cooperative game.  Players construct until the collectively decide the tower is complete and a masterpiece worthy of the King and Queen of Geometria or until the tower falls.  Players begin by shuffling the whole deck.  On their turn, a player draws to cards and decides which one to play. The piece placed corresponds to that card.  The selected card is placed in the discard pile and the unused card is placed at the bottom of the deck.

Ultimate Tower

Using a single foundation piece the player or players are challenged to create a tower using all the pieces of the game.

Apprentice Rule

In this variant, players may use one Mulligan per round to fix their tower if a piece falls.

Competitive play

Players place each piece of their tower one at a time in turn.  For example, each player individually places their third piece, and unlike in other modes of play, the turns are not done simultaneously.

Family Gaming Assessment

The beauty of Tournament of Towers as a family game is its flexibility and how easy it is to learn. It took the family only a few minutes to learn the game and start playing. The ease of learning makes is a game that is perfect for a family party.  The rules can be scaled to the skill level of the players. The rules recommend that that novice players use fewer cards per round and add Mulligans.

Children as young as 5 can certainly access and enjoy this game, but the children I played with struggled to complete a tower after the first round when we played standard rules. Later we played by the simplified rules by playing fewer cards per round. The game became much more accessible and less frustrating for the kids.  As we were getting to know the balance features of each of the pieces there were also unlimited Mulligans.

For anyone looking for some STEM activities for their children Tournament of Towers incorporates engineering.   The Ultimate Tower challenge is a perfect example of a STEM task when there is an end goal and components and the player problem solve and work through how to balance all the pieces.

Conclusion

Tournament of Towers is a unique game with wonderful components.  The pieces of this game provide such a range of open ended opportunities. It is accessible for a huge range of players. The rules are so simple and the gamplay so quick making it a great fit to family gatherings and game nights.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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Family Board Game Review: Poop The Game

Poop the Game from Breaking Games is a toilet and pooping themed card game.  It is a 2-5 player game recommended for ages 6 and up. A second deck, labeled the Party Pooper Edition, can be incorporated to make this up to a 10 player game. Play time is estimated at 15 minutes.  This was a Kickstarter in 2014 that was successfully funded and has expanded since then to include a Public Restroom Edition, which was also funded through Kickstarter.  

 

Contents

  • Cards:
    • Poop cards
    • Toilet cards
    • Wild cards
    • Drinking rules card
    • Poop Remix cards (4): provide alternative rules and objectives to the games
    • Deep Doo Doo Remix, for advanced play and 2 player games

 

Gameplay

The objective of the game is to be the first to run out of cards.  To play, a toilet card is placed in the center.  The number on it represents the “clog” number.  Each player is dealt five cards and take turns placing cards on the toilet, and cards are stacked staggered so they all are visible.  Cards with poop on them have a value from one to four bases on the amount of poop represented.  Players are not allowed to meet or exceed the clog number.  If the only cards they have will meet or exceed the clog number then the toilet is “clogged” and they have to add all the cards from that toilet to their hands and flip a new toilet card.  If three cards of the same color are played in a row the toilet is flushed, all other players draw a card and the “flusher” begin play again using the same toilet.  Wild cards add interesting twists to the strategy of the game. On the wild cards there are directions containing sounds or actions on the bottom of the card, and when the wild card is played the player must do this sound/action until another player plays the same wild card.  Failure to do so results in having to draw a card if it is noticed by another player and called. Some of the actions are “grunt on turn”, “hold nose on turn”, and  “fart sound on turn”.

 

Family Game Assessment

This game was as ridiculous as it sounds.  It was played with two boys; a five year old and an eight year old. They enjoyed the game and found its theme hilarious.  In contrast, I had some reservations about the theme, and found the cards gross. The poop cards show poop piles with flies and some have corn pieces in the poop.  The noises and descriptions on the wild cards also added to the crass nature of the game. While the game is recommended for ages 6 and up, I was uncomfortable playing with my two boys, as it was encouraging behaviors I am trying to teach them are not appropriate in most situations, such as imitating bathroom sounds.

There are also additional directions to make this a drinking game.  On the box it says, “It’s a kids game! It’s a drinking game! Just not a kids’ drinking game.”  As a parent I am uncomfortable with a game that comes with drinking rules in the game, and is advertised as a drinking game right on the box.

Conclusion

While the game itself is easy to play and learn, the poop theme, descriptors on the cards to act out, and the drinking game elements make it hard to recommend this game to the average family. This could be a fun and silly game for the right family and the right situation, however, I do not feel it will be a good fit for many families.

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Family Board Game Review: Imhotep

Imhotep is a Egyptian themed game by Kosmos.  It is named for the first, and most well known, Egyptian master builder: Imhotep.  Over the course of the game players use wooden blocks as stones to “build” different ancient Egyptian structures. The game is designed for 2-4 players ages 10 and takes about 40 minutes to play.   Imhotep was also a 2016 Spiel des Jahres nominee.

Game Contents

  • 120 Wooden Blocks, referred to as stones
    • 30 each of the 4 game colors: black, white, brown, and gray
  • 5 Site Boards
  • 1 Scoring track board
  • 8 Ship Tokens
  • 4 Supply Sled Tokens, in each of the 4 game colors
  • 21 Round Cards
  • 34 Market Cards

The components of the game are of good quality.  The wooden blocks are substantial enough to give the illusion of the stone block they represent.  The artwork of the board is beautiful and has the characteristic ancient Egyptian look without it looking ancient.  Instead the art has the aesthetic that the pharaohs might have seen during their era.

Gameplay

The game is played in 6 rounds.  During each turn you have to select one of four actions to take:

  • Get more stone  (up to three)
  • Place 1 stones on a ship
  • Sail a ship to a site
  • Play 1 Blue Market Card

The objective is to build various structures in different ways to earn the most points.  Some points are awarded at the end of each round and some are awarded at the end of the game.  The are five locations to sail the ships are the Market, Pyramids, Temple, Burial Chamber, and Obelisks.  One action a player can take is to sail a ship.  There are different numbers of stones the ships can hold and to minimum sail.   Once all the ships have sailed and the stones placed, then the round ends and points needing to be added are calculated before resetting for the next round.  One of the places to said to is the Market and any player whose stones are sailed to the Market earns cards that can give them bonuses at various points of the game. At the end of the 6th round final points are counted and the winner is determined.

Family Game Assessment

Imhotep has an alluring aesthetic to draw in younger gamers.  Ancient Egypt has a great deal of appeal to a wide range of ages.  This is a game that is easy to learn, but has a deeper strategy that is much more challenging.  Initially the age rating of 10 and up seemed a bit old to me since the game is so easy to learn.  However, as I played through the game it became apparent how the deeper strategy comes into play and adds a rich layer and unexpected complexity to the game.  That being said, since the game mechanics are easy to learn I feel that this game could scale slightly younger to be about 8 and up, especially with savvy gamers.This is also a wonderful gateway game to bring to the table with inexperienced games especially if the Egyptian theme is appealing to them.  Again, being easy to teach and not having overly complicated mechanics will make the game much less intimidating.

Conclusion

Imhotep is a a very family friendly game.  The game can scale younger to involve slightly younger members of the family.  The younger player may not be able to discern the strategies involved, but they should easily be able to follow the mechanics of the game.  This is a beautiful addition to any family collection and can be enjoyed by players with a range of skills.

eprex kopen
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