Tournament of Towers Preview: The Sky’s the Limit

Tournament of Towers

Draft cards and build towers, but be careful — If it all comes tumbling down you’re out of the game. Tournament of Towers is now seeking funding on Kickstarter.

Gameplay

The goal of the game is to build a tower with the various pieces included in the game. Each player starts with a foundation piece, a small architect figurine, and seven cards from the deck. Each card shows one of the building pieces. Building pieces come in gray or gold and generally the gold ones are more difficult to build with.

Each player choses one card from their hand and places it face down in front of them before passing the rest of their hand to the player on their left. You then take the hand passed to you by the player on your right, select a card and then once again pass the rest. Players keep drafting cards this way until everyone has seven cards.

Players then choose which order they will use their cards before revealing them. You then take the building pieces which correspond to your cards and must start placing them one by one in the order you predetermined. Each player builds their own tower.

Once a piece has been placed you may not move it except with another piece you are currently placing. If a piece falls off the tower, you are out of the game unless you are playing with the mulligan rule, in which case you have one chance to rebuild your tower as close to how you had it as possible before trying to place the last piece again.

After placing all pieces, you may choose to place your small architect figure anywhere on your tower except the foundation. Once everyone is done, the round ends.

Players score three points for having the tallest tower, one point for each gold piece in their tower, and one point for the architect (if this is the second round, the architect must be placed higher than on the previous round).

There is then a second round, during which players add even more pieces to their tower. After scoring this round, the player with the highest score wins.

The game comes with an advanced rule in which an event die is rolled, which, depending on its number, may force all players to do things such as switch the order of their cards, remove a piece from the tower on their right and add it to their own, or draw a card from the deck and add it to their lineup.

Tournament of Towers

Review

The game's combination of dexterity and card drafting is original and clever. You want those gold pieces when they come around, but you can easily regret it when trying to add them to your tower. Some of them are incredibly challenging to place. There’s a wide assortment of building pieces and it’s particularly enjoyable to try to figure out how to fit some of them into your overall structure.

Between the card drafting and the scoring system you are left with some tough dilemmas. You may want to score those three points for tallest tower at the end of round one, but not if it will send the whole thing tumbling down during round two.

The Kickstarter campaign does have some stretch goals that would be particularly nice if they end up being unlocked and included in the game: a scoring pad, different architect figurines, and (most useful of all) something to measure the towers with. It would be a shame if some of these don’t end up being funded.

If you enjoy dexterity games, this is an extremely fun one. It is challenging, with the event dice and the mulligan rule offering some difficulty adjustment, and the card drafting bringing something new to the table. Check it out on Kickstarter and see for yourself.

Pros: Card drafting and dexterity make for a nice combination, nice assortment of pieces, ability to adjust difficulty

Cons: May not include some particularly nice or useful add-ons if stretch goals are not funded — let's get them funded!

Disclosure: this preview is based on our evaluation of an unpublished prototype of the game, which is subject to change prior to publication. While a modest payment was received to expedite the review process, our thoughts and opinions expressed here are honest and accurate.