It isn’t often we find games that support three players. Sure, there are titles that say they are for up to 4 or up to 6 people, but we’ve found that more often than not bringing an odd number of seats leads to an off-balance experience. We did find one last summer that was designed for two or three players (Pirate vs. Pirate), but really no others since.
This week’s Thrift Treasure breaks that drought with the discovery of Touché by Cadaco (now part of the Alex Brands family). We’ve always been big fans of the Sequence line of games, and Touché uses some of the same ideas and mixes it with a bit of tic-tac-toe.
Before the game begins, the challenge level is agreed upon by all players. Level One simply has you constructing three or four small boxes, while the greatest challenge (Level Five) requires the winner to make four different patterns!
The included two decks of cards (with jokers) are shuffled together and evenly dealt out to the participants. From these personal decks, five cards are drawn into each players’ hand. On your turn you play one card by revealing it and placing one of your colored pyramid-shaped tokens on one of the two corresponding spots on the board.
If another player has already taken that spot you may not put your token there, unless you are playing a joker. Jokers act as wilds and may be placed in any spot on the board, even spots that have been previously taken (but not locked). There are also a number of free spaces on the board which anyone may use to complete one of their shapes.
When you complete one of the challenge shapes, call out “Touché” and crown each of your pyramids with a black version. This locks the spots so they cannot be stolen. Each space can only be used for one shape, so locking a key position may foil your opponents’ plans. If you used a free space to complete your shape, you may now claim it by putting your colored token AND a black token on top of it.
If you are so unfortunate that you end up with card(s) in your hand that are unplayable because the spots have already been taken and/or capped, you may use your turn to discard them and draw new ones as replacements. Touché rules recommend playing a couple rounds (best 2 out of 3) or tallying scores depending upon the complexity of the challenge (5 points per level of challenge).
We found each round to last 15-20 minutes, so there is plenty of time to get in a few rounds in a setting. Sadly, Touché is no longer being published, but you can find new copies on Amazon or second-hand on eBay for under $15! Definitely worth picking up if you find a copy at thrift. Just make sure all the pieces are present – there are a lot that could be easily misplaced!