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Subject: topiary review by Shorty's Short Reviews rss

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nick fury
United States
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Players: 2-4
Time to set up: 1 minute
Time to play: 15-30 minute
Complexity: easy
Age: 10+
Abstract Tile placing game

In the game of Topiary your goal is to have your Meeples visit your Topiary garden admiring your beautiful sculptures lined in a row to score points. Your sculptures will take on the forms of whales, swans, spirals, dodecahedron, elephants, pyramids, spheres and dinosaurs with values ranging from 1 to 5.
the object of the game is to line the sculptures from lowest valued to highest to score the most points possible, but his is not always easy as tiles are laid randomly face down.

Your visitor will be placed to look down a column vertically, horizontally or diagonal of a 5X5 Grid and you will pickup one tile from that line of sight to your hand and replace it with one of the tiles you are holding. Players start with a hand of 3 tiles. However, Picking up and replacing tiles is optional. This process is continued with each player until all their have been used. Score is tallied once all players have played their last Meeples, and is calculated on how many Topiary they can see in that Meeples line of sight, but only Topiary in ascending size from the viewers vantage point will score.

Components consist of:

40 various Topiary tiles, which are made of a thick cardboard stock and are linen finished.

32 wood visitor Meeples, each player receives a different color and shaped Meeple, color blind players will be able to distinguish the Meeples by their shapes.

1 score board

4 wood scoring tokens.


First off, I love the fact that the Meeples are of various sizes and shapes to help people who are color blind.
Topiary is an abstract game that is quite unique in its mechanic. The game is easy to learn, but complex in its strategy.

Although this may look like a cute game, it has a mean streak to it. Players have the ability to look at another players line of sight see that they are going to score major points and then block them. So be aware that your well laid plans of scoring big can quickly come to an end. Although it doesn't have to be, this can be a cutthroat game and therefore not for everyone.
Even though this game is simple, it gives players a large number of choices in the beginning, but as more tiles are reveled, players will have to weight their options on their moves and where to pickup and place tiles, where their pieces are and where opponents pieces are. Manipulating the board to score points is key to a winning strategy.

Although this is a game of strategy, luck also plays a part, as you don’t know the value of the tile you will turn over, and the tiles you have in your hand may be all of a high value which will limit the placement of those tiles and the amount of points you can score.

Overall I liked the game, its quick and several games can be played in succession. Not sure if it is a good beginner game or for non games, due to its somewhat cutthroat nature, so it depends on the individual.

Best for: ... strategy gamers who like a light quick game
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