Toppletree is another strategy game from Mindware that is deep enough to interest your mature thinker and yet enough of a toy to fascinate a 4-year-old.

As a dexterity game, the challenge is to try to fit all 72 pieces onto the base then on to each other without any of them falling off. As a strategy game, the object is to be the first to get 4 pieces of your color all in a row.

There are 4 sets of pieces, each in it’s own, bright color. There are 2 kinds of pieces – 12 of them are straight, 6 Y-shaped. The Y-shaped pieces are strategically the most interesting, and also cause the most trouble. As in tic-tac-toe, you succeed by giving yourself multiple ways to win.

Every Y-shaped piece gives you two possibilities. On the other hand, each branch on the Y-shaped piece creates an option that is a little more or less out of plumb, a little more or less likely to make the whole, increasingly unstable tree topple. Hence, the name of the game.

If the game is too difficult, and the tree keeps toppling before anyone can get four-in-a-row, then you make it the rule that the first player to get three-in-a-row wins. If it’s still too challenging, just take turns adding pieces – the first player to make the tree topple ending the game. If, because of the superior architectural skills of the players, it turns out to be too easy, then make for five- or even six-in-a-row. If there are only two players, and you think there’s still not enough action, have each player use two colors.

As much fun for two, three or four players, as much of a toy as a strategy game, Toppletree is a invitation to play for the whole family.

Toppletree was designed by Andrew Baker, of IQ Ideas, the same company that designed the Major Fun award-winning game MiQube.

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