Title: Tumble Town
Designed By: Kevin Russ
Art By: Katy Grierson, Katie Khau, Kevin Russ
Published By: Weird Giraffe Games
Player Count: 1-4
Time to Play: 45 Minutes
You are the mayor of a little town in the wild, wild west. You are working to build a better town than those around you. Select how to best layout and construct your town. Choose the right building combinations and surely every cowboy will want to come to live in your neighborhood.
Tumble Town by Weird Giraffe Games is a 1-4 player, dice manipulating, card drafting, engine-building game of town planning goodness. Players take turns drafting building plans and using their ever-changing dice pools to construct the Main Street for their town. Tumble Town offers a variety of ways to change-up game play from multiple solo modes, to scenarios , and mission modes. For the sake of our review we are going to focus on the main game play mode, but we appreciate all the different ways to play Tumble Town.
Set out the 3 plan end cards in a column with the lowest numbered catcus on the bottom
Split the building plans deck into three decks according to the number of cactuses on the back of each card
Remove cards based on player count and shuffle each remaining deck, placing the shuffled deck on top of the matching plan end card, with the building plan side face-down
Lay out four cards from each deck face-up to form a 4x3 grid of buildings
Remove dice based on your player count
Place the dice tower, penalty tokens, and the dice tokens within reach of all players
Give each player the following: turn reference card, icon reference card, a random horse (keep horse hidden from other players), a town card matching the mode you want to play this game (easy, hard, cactus, or dueling streets). Place the town card in front of the player and add the horse face-down below the town.
Whoever most recently saw a horse takes the cactus (starting player marker)
Based on turn order, players take the pre-determined starting dice and roll them, adding the rolled dice to their storehouse
That's it! You are now ready to play!
How to Play:
The goal of Tumble Town is to score as many points as possible at the end of the game. Players will take turns one at a time, beginning with the starting player and continue until the end game is triggered. Then play will continue until it gets back to the starting player (this way each player gets the same number of turns), at which point the game is over and scoring begins. The end of the game is triggered when there are two or fewer dice left in two of the dice pools.
In Tumble Town, turns consist of four parts. Once a player has completed all four things, play passes to the next person. On a player's turn they:
Take a building plan of their choice from the available options, placing it to the left of their horse card.
Take the dice indicated on the back of the building plan from the row they claimed the building from and roll these dice.
Replace the building plan with the next on from it's corresponding pile
Construct building(s). Use the dice in their personal dice pool to attempt to construct the building plan they drafted (or a building plan drafted but not completed from a previous round). They can use the powers of your horse, or other completed buildings to manipulate and adjust your dice in order to successfully complete the building. A player can use any powers they have available one time each per round. They should pull down a card once it is used to indicate they cannot use it again that turn.
If the player cannot meet one or more requirements to construct a building, they can still build it but will need to take a penalty token for each requirement they cannot meet.
The more buildings you have constructed, the easier it becomes to make your dice match the requirements for future buildings. As the game goes on your engine gets better and better!
If a building was constructed it will not move to the right side of the player's horse and the dice should be placed on a player's Main Street. Depending on where the building is placed on Main Street, it may earn a player point's at the end of the game. Each space on Main Street has it's own requirement and if it is met, it earns a point. If there is exactly one space between buildings on Main Street, that space also earns a point. By placing buildings strategically, player's can score big!
Once the building construction is done, place any remaining dice on the storehouse and reset any building plans or horse cards used (they can be used again next turn) by sliding them back into a single line.
Note: if a building plan was not constructed it will remain to the left of the horse to be potentially created on a future turn. Player's can construct more than one building per turn (if they have multiple plans to the left of the horse) if possible.
Once two or fewer dice remain in two of the dice pools, the end of the game is triggered, player's finish taking any turns if applicable and then move into scoring.
There are lots of ways to score points in Tumble Town. You score points for constructed buildings, special conditions on gold buildings, icons on buildings that match your horse, building placements meeting main street goals and objectives. Then subtract and negative points and whoever has the highest score wins!
As fans of games with dice, we were super excited to check out Tumble Town from the moment we opened the box. We saw the 100 dice and our hearts were happy before we even knew the rules. But one of the great things about Tumble Town is that while there are a lot of dice, the game is not entirely dependent on luck. With so many ways to manipulate your dice to, and even choices that impact the kind of dice you add to your personal dice pool, luck has very little to do with the outcome of a game. Instead card drafing choices and building a good engine dictate most of a player's success.
We really enjoyed that despite it being simple to learn what to do on a player's turn there is a lot of strategy involved in all of the great crunchy choices players have when it comes to drafting. Do you go for something to match your horse, do you go for something that immediately helps you construct a building plan, do you go for a building plan that will help you manipulate your dice, or one that will score you the most points later (We are looking at you cactus buildings). Then there is the whole strategy of where to place a constructed building most optimally on your main street. Tumble Town offers players a wide variety of choice in developing their own strategies.
Like many engine builders, the game starts off slowly but quickly gains momentum. The limited dice in the pool, wind up making the second half of the game seem to fly by because just as you start to be able to go for the big points, the game is almost over. This means player's really need to think about their early card drafts in order to maximize their potential to earn points later.
We loved the way the 3 cactus cards offer unique ways to score points, such as based on cactuses showing on cards you have constructed. This added even more choice into an already wide plethora of options.
Lastly, lets talk briefly about the components, as Tumble Town is also made of high quality materials and we would be remiss it we did not point out some of our favorites parts of the physical product. The game contains beautiful illustrations and awesome linen finished cards. We love how the buildings on the cards themselves are made of dice and that you bring the 2d image from the cards to life in 3d when you actually construct it. There is a handy insert to keep things organized and Tumble Town even comes with it's own super adorable dice tower (which fits so snuggly and perfect in the box). If you want to check out a super satisfying slow motion video of dice falling out of the dice tower, check out our Instagram reel below!
Pudgy Cat Games makes no profit off reviews. Should you wish to purchase Tumble Town, you can help support us by purchasing the game through our Amazon Affiliate Link below. It will cost you nothing extra, but will help support our site! More information can be found on the Weird Giraffe Game's website.