Ahead of Essen Spiele in October, we are enjoying a host of new #modernasianboardgames from Taiwan BG Design starting with Touch It! UBike Tours: Taiwan, and The Three Little Wolves!
1. TOUCH IT!
Wonderful World Games, Taiwan BG Design
*light *filler * dexterity *tactile *party * cute *
Go on! You know you want to!
Touch It! is a series of small box games published by Wonderful World Board Game and Taiwan BG Design.
Whichever version you play, the rules are the same. Each card has 4 pictures on one side and a textured picture on the reverse. On your turn, you grab a card, wait for someone to countdown 3-2-1 and then it’s a race to be first to correctly identify which of the four shapes you are touching!
When someone thinks they have guessed correctly, they slam the card onto the table and shout out! If there’s one player left still trying to work out their answer, they have to stop. The player who finished first guesses and reveals – if they are right, they get 2 points. Everyone else who guessed right gets 1 point each. First to 7 points is the winner!
Although these competitive dexterity party games are super light, we really enjoyed the touchy-feelyness of the game play! And it’s surprisingly tricky to work out what the raised curves on the back represent on the front when the pressure is on! The different style of each pack is lovely and unique. I think my favourite is the cute animal version – those owls and elephants make me smile so much!
2. UBIKE TOURS: TAIWAN
Big Fun Games, Taiwan BG Design
Age 8+*Push your luck * Set Collection *Tableau Building * Card Drafting *
UBike Tours: Taiwan by Big Fun Games and Taiwan BG Design is a light but thinky set collecting, tableau building game with a really fun push your luck element!
In UBIKE Tours: Taiwan, you’re trying to build a 9 card journey full of interesting scenery cards depicting places in Northern Taiwan (there’s actually a gallery in the rule book showing the complete scenes which is a nice touch!). But it’s a big place so to get from one stop to the next, you’re going to need to get on your bike!
The rules are simple. On your turn you have two choices:
(1) SEARCH – you add two cards from the scenery card deck to any of 5 rows of scenery cards on the table. But the cards you lay must each be laid next to the card closest in number to that new card. If there are no numbers in any row which are lower than those you have just revealed, they get added to an opponent’s scenery storage pile. They can’t add them to their own journey but they will be able to use them to convert into bonus opportunity cards (once they have 5)!; or
(2) SCHEDULE – you take a whole row of scenery cards, adding one to your journey, storing bike cards on the bike storage space, and storing unused scenery cards in your won scenery storage space ready for exchanging for opportunity bonuses.
If you want to add a card to your journey that has a distance value greater than 1 when compared to the last card laid there, you’ll need to use bikes e.g. laying a 3 next to a 1 value card will require 2 bikes. Once you pay your bikes from your bike storage (or any in opportunity cards you have), you lay the card into your journey tableau and place a bike token between it and the previous card to show you paid the bike cost to travel there.
If you SCHEDULE, you trigger the round end .Other players SEARCH one last time before scheduling their own trip, discarding another row and replenishing empty rows with 1 card each from the deck! When a player has 9 cards in their journey, it’s end game scoring time!
Scores are based on 4 criteria: (1) the total distance between all the stops along your journey, (2) having 9 cards in your journey, (3) having identical distance cards in your journey, and (4) using cards with distance value 1,2, 14 and 15.
We have really enjoyed playing UBike Tours: Taiwan! The use of bikes and the bike tokens bridging gaps between places gives it a lovely thematic touch. The push-your-luck element also builds a lovely tension and is great fun! Deciding whether to add cards to a row for later picking (but knowing you could be (a) handing your opponents cards to convert to opportunity bonuses and (b) the chance to take a better row), or to go ahead and collect what’s there now, adding to your storage and journey and ending the round for all is a fun dilemma! And when a player searches but has to give the cards to you, that’s some sweet bonus feeling! Seeing your journey grow with cutely styled scenes is also super satisfying – I’d like to complete an entire scene from the gallery in one journey just to see if I can. But as that would mean every card with an identical distance value, that is definitely a challenge for another day!
3. THE THREE LITTLE WOLVES
POKI Design, Taiwan BG Design
2 – 4 Players
* Light * Set Collection * Push Your Luck* Hand Management * Tableau Building * Card Drafting *
Gone are the days when the wolves got the better of house building piggies! Now the Swine family are the biggest landlords in town and the wolves work for them! The Three Little Wolves is a colourful set collecting, hand management, push your luck card game where only the tallest and strongest of houses will profit!
In Three Little Wolves are trying to build 3 houses a level at a time – one of each colour (red, green, and yellow) (NB: white levels are wild). On your turn, you extend a house by adding a consecutively numbered card from your hand to one of your existing levels of the house that matches in colour.
The card doesn’t have to be the next number, just higher than what’s already there (save for basements which can be added in later).
Some cards have points or other bonuses on them (like double counting for scoring at end game) which will be in force if they are ultimately the highest level card in the house. If you don’t want to play a card to one of your houses on your turn, you can discard one and send one of your wolf tokens to another player’s house to try and profit from their building efforts!
As well as end game scoring, whenever a Big Bad Pig card is drawn from t he house deck by a player, the tallest houses of each colour get to reserve a bonus that will only count if they are still the tallest at end game! The Big Bad Pig also causes some cheeky card swapping – the swine!
The game ends after the 3rd Big Bad Pig appears. The tallest houses gain points and the shortest ones of each colour are demolished! This is a light, colourful, filler game. Knowing which colours to concentrate your building efforts on and when to send a wolf token to profit from someone else level up the tactics during game play. And wanting those juicy bonuses to stay at the top of your houses for end game scoring can present a tricky decision that only a smart little wolf can make!
If you like the sound of any of these games and are heading to Essen Spiele next month, be sure to check out Taiwan BG Design at booth 4G112 or head to https://www.tbd-gaming.com/en/collections/spiel22 for more information!
Please note that a copy of each game above was kindly provided by the publishers for review. I am not paid for my comments, however, and all opinions are my own]. I am also not affiliated to or sponsored by any retail store.