Tribbit

Filed Under (Family Games) by Bernie DeKoven on May 19, 2013

TribbitBefore I prejudice you any further, let me just preface this review by saying Tribbit is Major Fun. Of course, you probably already concluded that, otherwise it wouldn’t have been awarded the Major Fun seal, nor would it have appeared on the Major Fun award website. But, you see, I find myself having to go to such prematurely exuberant lengths because the game might not be what you might think it is should you be looking at back of the tin (yes, not a box – a tin) first.

Ah, you might say to yourself, cute frogs, with minor differences, such as  “pocket-watch-carrying frogs,” and “cane-holding frogs,” and “jacket-wearing frogs,” and “frogs of a different color.” You’d probably leap, frog-like-ly, to the conclusion that this is one of those games where you race to arrange your frogs into categories of similitude.

TribbitYou’d be, of course, correct. But only part correct. And it’s the other part, the part that you lept over in your frog-like haste, wherein the majorness of the fun lies.

So, let’s open the tin, shall we?

Ah, 112 frog cards: child-size, happy-looking frog cards. Twenty-five wooden tokens and a cloth wooden token bag. Obviously, a scorekeeping device. And a timer. Interesting, but not yet illuminating. Hmmm. I’m afraid we must read the rules.

O, joy and clarity! Short, easy to read, illustrated, well-organized, easy-to-understand rules.

Major Fun awardSee? There are eight different frog traits. You, however, need only to find five different traited frogs, and only three examples of each. You get 16 cards, one of which is extra. So, unlike other trait-matching games, there is not one, but several many potentially winning sets. And if you can’t find, for example, three mustached frogs, you might consider looking for three hat-wearing frogs, mustached, or not. Because there are multi-traited frogs, don’t you know.

Ah. Significantly different. And even more significantly fun.

It is a race, of course. The first player to find five sets of similarly-traited frogs calls, naturally, “Tribbit,” and wins two Tribbit tokens. Then the rest of the players have a sand-timer’s worth to be the next Tribbit-caller, and win one Tribbit token. Then there’s the next round. Interestingly, so many are the traits that, instead of exchanging your cards for a whole new hand, you take the five center cards, one from each of your sets, and trade your five with another player. There are more than enough traits to play with the cards already dealt, and, since you only need five Tribbit tokens to become the Tribbit winner, a game rarely lasts longer than three rounds and there are more than enough undealt cards for a second game.

Designed by Hank Atkins, and brought to us by Mindware, Tribbit is a game for two to six players .It’s almost as much fun to play by yourself, or with only two people, as it is to play with six. You probably should be more than seven years old to experience yourself as a truly competitive Tribbiter.

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