Two weeks ago we introduced you to CrossWays by USAopoly. Odds are you have a branded version of Monopoly in your collection from this company. Perhaps it’s a The Lord of the Rings™ Trilogy Edition? We are delighted to bring you another offering from this same publisher that expands their reach into other categories of family games. This one is Tapple, which is a clever acronym for “Touch Activated Press & Play Letter Eliminator”.
You’ll know from our previous game reviews that we love clever storage options that prevent us from losing the pieces. Tapple is no exception and provides a fitted storage area underneath the Eliminator that snugly holds all of the category cards.
Speaking of the cards, they include categories on both sides. One for older players and one for younger. Because this is a timed race to come up with answers, having easier categories for the younger players is a nice touch to keep the playing field level.
Another game that is very quick to learn and get to playing, the starting player chooses a category and starts the timer (the big red button in the middle of the electronic Eliminator). Then they name a word that fits the category, pushes down the corresponding starting letter and restarts the 10-second timer for the next person in line.
That player also gives an answer to fit the same category, but can only use starting letters from the ones that are remaining on Tapple. They press that letter down and again, the next player goes once the timer is reset.
Any time a player cannot answer the category in the ten second period, they are eliminated from the round. Play continues clockwise until only one player remains or until all letters are used. If there is only one player, they receive the card and add it to their pile, saving until they have three cards (or however many you determined at the beginning you are playing until), then a new round begins with all players. If all letters are used and there is more than one player left in the round, overtime occurs.
This is where it really gets exciting! A new category is chosen and the remaining players then must name TWO words from that category in the same 10 seconds! Much harder than it sounds! If for some reason all the letters are used again, double-overtime requires THREE words from a new category – again in the same time period!
We found Tapple to be evenly matched with our pre-teens when using the easier categories, so perfect for our family game nights. One caveat though – this is an electronic game requiring two AA batteries (NOT INCLUDED). A minor setback if you don’t have them on hand, but necessary to keep things moving. The game just wouldn’t be the same if an old-fashioned sand timer was used.
Tapple is designed for 2-8 players and rated for ages 8 and up. Because of the vocabulary needed, this is a very accurate age determination, but anyone over 12 or 13 should be able to use the tougher categories. Most games will only take around 15 minutes to play, but you can choose to play for more cards if you have extra time to spare. Available on Amazon for around $17, this is a great choice for a game that will also help your child with their library of words.
And just like Crossways, USAopoly has also put together a great how-to video of their own!
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