Friday, September 25, 2015

TAPPLE and WONKY from USAopoly ~ A Crew Review

Anyone who likes to play games with their family, friends, or classroom should be introduced to USAopoly! We have been blessed to review two of their quality games, Tapple: Fast Word Fun For Everyone and Wonky: The Crazy Cubes Card Game. Both of these games produce a lot of laughs, and have been a big hit at our house.

Tapple is a fast-paced but fun word game. The game starts with the person who has the first alphabetical middle name, who draws the first card. Each card has four possible categories. Two are easier, two more difficult. The first player choose the category, then says an appropriate word and taps the lever for that letter, then pushes the timer button. The next player has 10 seconds to say another word for that category, push another letter lever, and push the timer. There are 20 letter levers. No Q, U, V, X, Y, or Z. Each letter can only be used once per round. If you don’t think of a word from the available letters fast enough, the timer buzzes and then you’re out. 

The game continues with the remaining players until all the levers have been used, then a new category card is chosen. Play continues until there is only one person left. If you get to the second category card, each remaining player has to supply two words each time before the timer dings to complete their turn.

We liked Tapple because it is fun for almost all ages (although it is recommended for ages 8+.) Since you only need to know the first letter of the word, good spelling skills are not required. The categories vary widely, and since there are 36 cards with 4 choices each to choose from, the play can last for hours. When you play multiple rounds, the last person standing each time gets to keep the category card, and the person with the most cards wins. 

Tapple requires two double A batteries, and can be adapted for use with a lot of various groups. You can use the wheel as an ice-breaker by choosing your own categories, or turn off the timer if playing with younger kids who need more time to think of their words. Tapple provides a lot of fun, with no set up time. You can explain the game in 10 seconds and bring the party to life. This has been a hit with the girls and their friends. Some of the other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew and I played an online game of Tapple using our favorite vendors or products as the category.

Wonky is probably the easiest to learn, yet hardest to master game we have played in a while. This card game comes with 9 painted wood ‘cubes’ that are flat on three sides and rounded on the other three. The goal is to build a stack using all nine cubes. We’ve only made it to seven. To play the game, you shuffle the cards and deal seven to each player. The tallest person goes first. They choose one of their cards, which shows them which cube to build with. Some card are specific, requiring you to use the smallest blue cube, while others have options, such as any colored large cube. There are a few doozie cards that reverse play, skip your turn, or cause the next player to draw an extra card. 

To win the game of Wonky, you need to use up all of your cards. This is harder than you would think! If your cube is the one that makes the stack fall over, you have to draw three more cards. Sometimes the other players start the stack with little cubes on the bottom, and all you have left are big ones to balance on top of the pile. Sometimes none of the cards in your hand match the cubes still available (after all, there are only nine,) and you have to draw a card until you get one you CAN play.

My biggest challenge was having a steady enough hand to place the big cubes on top of a small or medium one with the round side up. You only get to use one hand to place your cube, and you can’t touch any of the rest of the stack when you’re placing it. I still loved this game! It comes with a carrying pouch for easy portability, so we’re taking it along on vacation to play with our friends.

We really enjoyed both of these games from USAopoly! Take a look at their website because there are dozens of great games to choose from: traditional board games done in new themes, and original games that are fun for various ages. Several require learning some basic strategy skills, like Wonky does. The descriptions on the website of each game will let you know the recommended ages.

Please go visit USAopoly, you'll be glad you did! They offer games that can be fun at home or in the classroom. Click the banner below to read all the other Crew reviews!

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