Category: reviews

Tumble Town review

Tumble Town

Designed by Kevin Russ

Art by Katy Grierson, Katie Khau, Kevin Russ

Published by Weird Giraffee Games

Kickstarter link

Summary: Tumble Town is a town building, dice stacking game where players draft dice and use them to construct the buildings of their town.

Components: 100 dice in four different colors; 71 cards including building cards, horse cards, main street cards, reference; some tokens; a score pad; funded stretch goals

Gameplay: One their turn a player drafts a building card from an available grid of cards. Based on the row the card is chosen from, the player obtains a number of dice. They roll these dice and place them with the pips unchanged onto their storehouse card. Using the dice in their store house, the player physically builds the building on the chosen building card or one previously chosen. Each building has certain dice criteria to be built. The dice used must match these criteria. Each player goes through these steps on their turn. The game continues until two of the four dice pools are depleted. Scores are calculated from building points, special card features points, building height, and icons. Tumble Town plays in about an hour.

Gameschool-ability: The old west theme of Tumble Town makes it a good game to be used as part of a United States western expansion history study. Pattern recognition is a strong aspect of the game. Dice choice requires planning and forethought. Scoring requires addition of course.

Final Thoughts: We enjoyed Tumble Town. The physical aspect of the game stands out. Rolling dice then stacking them to build the town is a really cool idea. This also makes the game visually interesting. The components are top notch, even in the prototype we played. It requires some planning to score optimally and this requires a good memory. For me the best aspect of Tumble Town is its similarity to Homesteaders. Both games are town building games. Both require resource management. Both are engine builders. Tumble Town has an added aspect of the physicality and is a bit more visually interesting. All this together makes Tumble Town a winner for us.

Tumble Town has funded on Kickstarter and blown through most of the stretch goals. It is on KS for a few more days. Grab a copy while you can.

We want to thank Weird Giraffe Games for providing a review prototype for an honest review.

As always you can leave comments at or @tomgurg or @inquiry_meeple or @gameschooling

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What’s Buzzing? – A Review of Bees: The Secret Kingdom

Bees: The Secret Kingdom

Designed by Kamil Cieslo

Art by Dagmara Gaska

Published by Awaken Realms lite  & Van Ryder Games

2-6 players

Ages 10+ (Though I believe younger players can easily grasp the game.)

Length of play: 20-30 minutes

Theme & Goal of the Game: In Bees, players are bees collecting pollen to make honey. Players use pollen gems to get honey cards (points). The player with the most points wins.

Gameplay Summary: Bees consists of two types of cards – Gathering cards and Honey cards and four colors of plastic beads. Players start with one or two gems. On a turn players, can either draw two Gather cards or buy a honey card. If they choose to draw, they take two Gather cards then choose one to discard and one to play. Each Gather has two bits of information on them. In the top right corner are colored icons indicating which pollen gems the player takes on the turn. In the bottom left corner are more icons. These indicate which pollen gem(s) the other players take. This is a follow mechanic that keeps all players in the game every turn. If the player chooses, they may, on their turn, buy Honey cards. Honey cards are the points cards of the game. Buying them is how a player scores points. Each Honey card has a purchase price of pollen gems. Players pay this price and collect the Honey card. Honey cards may also have an action on them. Examples are “Take 2 pollen gems of your choice.”, “Discard all your remaining pollen gems.”, “Each other player may take a pollen gem.”. This action is activated when the card is purchased.

Game play continues with players playing Gather cards to collect gems. Then use the gems to buy Honey cards for points until all the Honey cards have been purchased. Honey cards are scored and the player with the most points wins.


Not Quites: The only issue we ran into in Bees is that is the pollen gems are not color challenged friendly. The card icons are but the gems themselves are not. One of our group experiences this and it hindered him at first. We compensated by calling out the colors on the Gather cards when played and making sure that the gems were kept separated and colors remained in their place.

Right Ons: The first thing is the art. You are immediately impacted by it upon opening the box. It is gorgeous, lush and colorful. I’m surprise VRG is not offering prints of the card art. I’m certain that they would sell. Are you listening AJ?

Next is the accessibility, with the above caveat. The game is simple and easy to grasp quickly. The game is fun and plays quickly. We played during lunch in about 35 minutes including explanation. I like the follow mechanic. This keeps everyone involved in the game and can be very profitable and timely. And the game plays up to six people. A big plus. Lastly, the game has an advanced mode in which end game scoring cards are added stating certain conditions for bonus points at the end of the game.

Who should like this game: Anybody. Plain and simple, anybody can play and enjoy this game.

Gameschool-ability: Bees lends itself to be included as a part of an insect unit study / biology lesson. While it doesn’t actually teach much itself, including it will enhance your school experience and add some fun.

Final words:

This game was a hit. My family enjoyed it (even though we played slightly wrong). It was an even bigger hit with my lunch time game group at work. They really liked the game a lot. I agree. This is a fun, quick game easily picked up by anyone. It’s a perfect game for families with its simple rules and pretty art.

I want to thank Van Ryder Games for providing a review copy of Bees for an honest review.