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Tripolo – Fast Paced Card Game

There are few games where players don't have to wait for their turn. "Tripolo" is just such a game. The game includes a total of 64 playing cards. Every card displays a letter of the alphabet, either A, B, C or D, each card is of a specific color, either blue, green, yellow or red, and each contains a picture of either a cat, dog, octopus or frog. No two cards are exactly the same.

The game begins by first placing 9 random cards face up in front of all players. The cards must be arranged in 3 rows of 3 cards each. Next, the remaining cards are dealt evenly to all players. These cards are turned face down in front of each player. Players then choose 4 cards each from the pile in front of them and this forms the basis of their starting hand. The object of the game is to get rid of all your cards as quickly as possible creating a "Tripolo."

Players can begin playing any card from their hand on any of the 9 cards in the 3 x 3 grid in front of them. However, in order to play a card, you must look for 2 cards in any row, column, or even diagonally that have similar features and then play one of your cards to complete the set of 3. For example, let's say that the top row contains two cats and one dog, then you could play a cat on top of the dog card and create a matching threesome. You can match colors, letters or animals. Once you play a card from your hand, replace it from the remaining cards in front of you, so players always have four cards in their hand.

This is where the chaos and excitement begins. Since everyone can play at the same time, cards are flying from a player's hand to one of the card piles on the grid at breakneck speeds. Players are required to call out the color, letter or animal they are matching, but let me tell you, this game is not for the timid. In fact, we found that the game could not be played with both younger players and older players at the same time. Kids ages 6-10 had a very difficult time keeping up with the teenagers or adults. However, if they played the game with kids their same age, all was perfect.

Keep in mind that "Tripolo" is very educational for younger players to help reinforce their knowledge of letters, colors and some basic animals. And many adults really got into this game because it moved so fast. It was also one of Toys Bulletin's loudest focus group sessions, since in many cases, another player may play on the grid just an instant ahead of a competing player causing lots of snarky comments from the slower player.

"Tripolo" is suggested for those 6 years old and up, and for 2-4 players. Again, we recommend younger players compete only against players of the same age. It can be bought for $8.00 at Amazon.com.

-- RJ Cullen
Posted in Card Games, Games

Banana Split Card Game – Colorful, Creative Fun

This game was a real attention grabber. It is packaged in a brightly colored game box, that lifts to open. The front of the box displays a painting of a "banana split" that makes you want to head immediately to the nearest ice cream store.

The game instructions are multi-colored and the contents include not only the required playing cards (30 ice cream and 102 topping cards), but also a playing mat and four "Ice Cream Stand" player dividers.

The object of the game is to create various ice creme sundaes, and earn points based on the toppings needed to complete a specific sundae. To begin play, the 30 ice cream cards are placed on the playing mat, with four of the cards being turned face up on the designated spots on the mat. The 102 topping cards are also shuffled and put in the appropriate place on the playing mat.

Play begins with each player drawing five topping cards. There are four different toppings available, that being sprinkles, fudge, whip cream, and cherry. The goal is to collect and place the correct toppings on one of the four face-up ice cream cards on the playing mat. Each time you complete a sundae, you get the point value assigned to that sundae. There are, of course, two special banana split ice cream cards which carry the highest point value. Players must also be on the look out for wild cards which can take the place of any topping, and beware of the "scoop" card, that can be used to steal another players partially completed sundae.

The "Ice Cream Stand" dividers are stood upright and used to help block players from seeing the toppings that are being collected by the competing players. The game continues until all of the sundaes are completed, and the player with the most points wins the game.

I have to tell you that this game appealed to both young kids and to the adults in our focus group. There is just something about building sundaes and banana splits that appeals to those of all ages. It is intended for ages 6 and up and for 2-4 players.

"Banana Split" retails for $14.50 and you can take a closer look at Funagain.com. Toys Bulletin awarded "Banana Split" its Silver rating.

-- Andrew Joseph
*Silver Rating*
Posted in Card Games, Games

Flip Six Card Game – Simple but Contagious

"Flip Six" is an extremely clever little card game intended for ages 6 and up. The game contents consist of 55 numbered cards, and can be played by 2-4 players. There are 4 each of cards numbered from 0-12, two cards displaying -2 and one card displaying -1. The object of the game is to get rid of all cards of high value.

The setup is simple, as players are each dealt 6 cards. You may not look at your cards, but instead line them up in front of you showing 2 rows of 3 cards each. Each player may then turn over any two cards, one from the first row and one from the second row.

Players then take turns drawing cards or taking one from the discard pile. On each turn, you decide
to either replace one of the "face-up" cards with a card of lower value, take a chance and replace a "face-down" card or simply discard. The cards with negative numbers are really helpful for your score. Each round generally ends when a player has all of their cards turned "face-up."

The game continues for 10 rounds, which goes by very quickly, and scores are accumulated, with the lowest score winning the game. Our focus group loved this game, and quite frankly, it was more of a hit with the adults in attendance than the younger kids. It retails for just $6.00 and can be purchased at Fun Again Games.  Check it out. Toys Bulletin gave "Flip Six" its bronze rating.

-- Lance Manion
*Bronze Rating*
Posted in Card Games, Games








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