Recommend
5 
 Thumb up
 Hide
4 Posts

Wallamoppi» Forums » Reviews

Subject: [Review] Wallamoppi rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Tom Vasel
United States
Homestead
Unspecified
flag msg tools
designer
Love Games, Love 'Em!!!
badge
Check out DiceTower.com!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
When playing the game Jenga, there is one thing about it that drives me utterly mad. It's watching "Greg" play. He'll begin to take his turn by walking around the table for several minutes. Then, after what seems to have been an indeterminable amount of time, he cautiously touches one block. No, not that one. He touches another - whoops, not that one either. This goes on for a while, as he gently caresses the entire structure. Finally, he's found the block he wishes to move. Slowly, with the speed of an anorexic sloth, he pushes the block carefully, ever so gently. Finally, he has the block halfway out. But perhaps another angle would help? So he treads carefully to the other side of the table and begins the process from that side, only slower. At this point, every nerve in your body is screaming, "Greg, just move the piece already!" So you go shopping, eat supper, and come back just in time for Greg to decide he really wants to move another piece. This, dear readers, is why I'm not a fan of Jenga.

This is not the case of Wallamoppi (Out of the Box Publishing - 2006 - Garrett Donner and Michael Steer)! My personal name of it is "Fun, speed Jenga". With incredibly high quality components, a nifty and gimmicky marble ramp, and short playing time - Wallamoppi has replaced Jenga forever for me, giving those blocks to my children to play with. Wallamoppi is a simple dexterity game for two people and fills that niche quite well, also being a fun game to observe.

The wooden box that Wallamoppi comes in opens up to form a marble ramp, which holds two black marbles at the bottom. A pile of thirty-six disks, half a dark brown, the other a light tan, are mixed into a bag, and a chute is connected to the end of the marble ramp. Players now set up the "wall" of the game and determine which player plays the dark pieces, and which plays the light pieces. One dark and light disk are set aside, and then the two players take turns randomly pulling a disk from the bag, and placing it next to another disk on the wall. The wall is made up of eight disks on the bottom, then seven, then six, etc. The last two spots of the wall are taken up by the two disks set aside, with the light disk on the top, forming the bottom piece of the "tower". The dark player then prepares to take the first turn.

To start the dark player's turn, the light player drops the marble into the top of the marble ramp. The dark player must then pull a disk from anywhere in the wall and place it on top of the tower. He then grabs the marble before it falls into the hole at the end of the chute and drops it into the top of the tower. This signals that it's the light player's turn, and they must place a tan disc on top of the tower before the marble reaches the end of the ramp.

Turns alternate, as players drop the marble into the top of the tower, and the other player frantically scrambles to place a disk at the top of the tower. Players may only use one hand and may knock other disks off the wall with no retribution. If, however, a player causes the tower to fall or allows the marble to drop in the hole at the end of the chute before they finish placing a piece, they lose the game. The other player wins!

Some comments on the gameā€¦

1.) Components: Excellent, tremendous quality of game components - I'm amazed that the suggested retail price is only twenty dollars (can be found cheaper!). The good-sized wooden box just manages to hold the very nice black "leather" bag, the rules, and the marble chute. The disks, while not always the same color (different wood grain and all), are very easy to distinguish between light and dark - the darker ones looking like chocolate. Each disk has a diameter of about four centimeters and a width of a little over a centimeter, making them nice and chunky to deal with. There's some flamingo artwork on the game, which is nice; although I'm not sure what in the world that has to do with the game. Great, beautiful components.

2.) Marble Tower: The marble ramp, of course, is the main attraction of the game. As a kid, I loved to set up complicated marble ramp setups with racecar tracks, cardboard tubes, etc. This marble ramp isn't quite that complicated in Wallamoppi, but it's enough to create tension. According to my watch, the entire process of the marble dropping takes about four seconds. Each time the marble drops down to another level causes the tension to ratchet up, as the marble clinks down, down, down. I guess a timer could have been used, but would that have been as cool as the ramp? The marble occasionally comes off the ramp at wrong points, especially if the floor or table isn't level; but by using the rules leaflet, I was able to tilt it correctly each time. The game rules suggest that for a "light" version, players can simply take turns without the timer. See my initial paragraph of this review to see if I've ever done that. The tower makes the game.

3.) Rules: Besides being used as a tower adjustor, the three pages of rules are clear, giving specific details on exactly how to move disks. The game is very easy to teach, although the setup phase might not make sense to new players the first time they play. When teaching a new player, or playing for the first time, I would recommend just randomly pulling the disks out of the bag. This might make the game slightly lopsided in one player's favor, but the game is so quick it doesn't matter.

4.) Dexterity: Speed dexterity is something I can handle, because I'm fairly bad at games that require a player to move very slowly (Hamster Rolle, etc.) If you dilly-dally at all during the course of a game, the marble drops, and you lose. That is what separates the game from other dexterity games. The disks ARE easier to pull out than the blocks in Jenga, but with the short time limit, things are much tenser, and much harder.

5.) Fun Factor: There's not much more I can say about the game. Deciding which block to pull out is important, but you really don't have that much time to think about it - just pull one out already! The fact that the game ends quickly (setting up takes longer than the actual game) is a good one, and it's a great game to pull out when two players are waiting for the rest of the group to show up at game night. Teenagers and adults that I've taught the game to enjoyed it greatly.

Is Wallamoppi the best dexterity game I've ever played? No. But it does have a bit of uniqueness, namely the marble tower. The fact that the tower is the box for the game is pretty impressive, and the components are great to handle, use - and just look quite nice when set up on a coffee table. It's a good deal for a good, quick game. And with the ability to whip this game out, I'll never be subjected to playing Jenga again.

Tom Vasel
"Real men play board games"
www.tomvasel.com


2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Greg Schloesser
United States
Jefferson City
TN
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
While I actually enjoyed Wallamoppi, I find the game actually offers LESS choices than many dexterity games. In Wallamoppi (just saying that name makes me smile!), when a disc is removed, you have exactly one choice on where to place it: on top of the disc currently at the top of the tower. In games such as Jenga, you have several placement choices.

Further, in the games I've played, the timer was never really a pressure mechanism. There was plenty of time to remove a disc and place it atop the tower before the marble dropped into the chute. Psychologically the timer may put a sense of pressure on the players, but in reality there is sufficient time to accomplish your task.

So, while I enjoyed my playings, I don't see the game as anything terribly special. Indeed, I think there are many dexterity games which are more tense, more exciting, and just plain better ... including Jenga.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
JC C.
United States
Seattle
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I second everything in the original review.

In the games I played of this, the timer was often a factor. The more strategy you are able to use in building the triangle, the more you can influence the tower at the end.

There's also great possibilities for variants using the second marble. Oh, and it smells nice.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Patrick Hickey
msg tools
mbmbmb
The best thing about Wallamoppi is that technically you can work your way until you have a stack of disks one disk wide reaching straight up into the air for 36 disks.

Its... really hard.

My girlfriend and I play it non competitively. No timer, just stacking to see how high we can go.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.