We were recently invited to test out and review a set of two board games from the company USAopoly. The two games I will be reviewing for you today are Tapple, a fast-paced word game, and Wonky, a card game with wonky blocks for an extra twist.
The package we received contained two boxes with board games in them. The Tapple box has a huge hole in the front of it for the game to “show” out of, so I’m waiting for that box to get wrecked. Board game boxes, especially well-loved ones, do not last long with small children. That’s just my experience. The Wonky Box was very sturdy and strong though, and I’m not worried at all about how it will hold up. The boxes are bright and colorful, and my kids instantly wanted to open them up and play. We actually dropped everything we were doing when the box came and played both games. Everyone, even my husband, got in on the game action, and we had a great time.
I was most excited to try Tapple, because I love word games. My favorite board and computer games involve words. Tapple is a simple concept. The game board is surrounded by buttons, one for each letter of the alphabet. You start with a category, say, “fruit,” and you start the round. One person spouts off a fruit starting with any letter, hits the timer, and passes it. That letter stays pressed in and isn’t available for the rest of the round. The next player has to say a fruit starting with a different letter, hits that letter button, resets the timer, and passes to the next player. This continues until someone gets buzzed because they run out of time thinking, or all the letter buttons are pushed down. Last man standing wins the round.
The game makes you think on your feet, and you can complete three rounds in less than fifteen minutes. Whoever has the most points, wins. I love that this game makes my kids think about letter sounds, and that the game is short. It has no setup, no little pieces that are a choking hazard, and no toddler fingers can wreck the whole board. Those are major pluses!
What I didn’t like as well: there is a back piece that holds in the cards that contain the categories. It seems like a great concept because everything stays together, but the back doesn’t stay on very well. With a tiny tap, it comes flying off and the cards go everywhere. It’s a great concept, but not very well executed.
Also, my kids are at the bottom of the playing age, so it was challenging for them. My husband and I had a blast with it, though, and he keeps bragging that he always beats me. I’m the writer, and I love words, but he can think very quick on his feet when he needs to. So, it’s fun for both of us.
This game contains a drawstring bag filled with colorful multi-sized blocks. The blocks are not quite square, hence the “wonky” name. The point of the game is to make the tallest tower you can without knocking it over on your turn. You choose your block based on what card you draw, then you have to stack it carefully on top of what’s already stacked in the middle of the play area.
I have mixed feelings about this game, and we only played it a couple of times, compared with Tapple, which we still play. You often draw a card that you can’t use because all of the blocks of that type are gone. This means you skip your turn. You skip a lot of turns. Mostly, the game just isn’t as fast-paced as it seems like it should be. It’s not as exciting as I thought it was going to be. Also, the game comes in a huge box, but then it’s self-contained in a nice drawstring bag. I don’t understand why it’s double packaged. It seems like a waste to me.
Overall, it’s worth a play, and the kids have to work at their fine motor skills in order to stack the blocks without making them fall. This game says it is for kids 8 and up, but my younger kids 4 and 6 both played it with no problems. I liked that it made my 4 year old focus on her colors, too.
I am looking forward to buying other games from USAopoly in the future. They have an awesome selection of really interesting games, and we love to play board games as a family.
For more reviews like this from other Review Crew members, please click the link below. The ladies on the Crew are all talented, hard-working homeschool moms who try things and review them so you can decide what curriculum and other goodies are a good fit for your family. Check them out!