All these games are short to play, easy to teach, and full of laughs and besting one another- only to begin playing again right away.
Crazy Tower from Synpases Games is a bit like “reverse jenga”- you’re trying to build a tower and NOT knock it over in the process.
Like Rhino Hero before it, players use cardboard tiles with a floorplan for each level of the tower. In Crazy Tower, these tiles restrict how you can place your blocks, forcing players to dredge up their old Tetris skills to make the most structurally sound building.
Players have two objectives: The first is to simply not knock over the tower- if you do, you lose (and the game is over). The second is to be the first player to use all of their blocks.
To spice up the game, each of the floorplan tiles often have special symbols on them that, when covered with a block, allow that player to take an additional action.
These actions vary, and can range from something simple such as immediately taking another turn (and thus getting rid of another block!), to removing a player’s block from a lower floor of the tower and giving it back to them- this one is my personal favourite, as the player taking the action runs the risk of knocking the tower over as they retrieve the block!
The beauty of Crazy Tower lies in the game’s simplicity. While the box suggests it’s for ages 8 and up, the game’s use of symbols and clear patterns for where you can and cannot place your blocks make it easily enjoyable by an even young audience.
It can be hard to come by a family game that is enjoyable by everyone, and parents will be happy to learn that while they can join in on a game with the kids, it shouldn’t ever take longer than 15 minutes. The kids can also easily play by themselves once they understand the very basic symbols, so parents wont need to worry about explaining pages of rules to the young ones, either.
For those of us without children, Crazy Tower offers a refreshing and light take on games like Jenga and Rhino Hero (and between you and I, can be extremely funny if you’re taking it to an alcohol-friendly games night!).
You can also play the game in additional modes depending on how competitive you’d like the experience to be. Saboteur mode (as the name might suggest), sees on player trying to undermine the efforts of the other remaining players who work as a team to try and complete the tower in spite of the Saboteur’s efforts.
If you like to take time building a tower by yourself, and doing your best to overcome small challenges, then Crazy Tower can also be played solo. The rules sheet for the game lists 20 individual challenges for you to undertake in solo mode- ranging from time limits for completion, to block restrictions, and even dextrous ways of placing the floor tiles (rather than meticulously placing them for perfect balance).
Each of the challenges varies again based on how many colours of blocks you’re using to complete it (the more colours, the more blocks, the more difficult the challenge will be).
Crazy Tower is a lot of game in a small box, and it’s available right now at your local Good Games store!