How awesome can you make your view? The Tabletop Spotlight aims to find out with Topiary.
Topiary is a new game that our friends at Dragon’s Lair Comics & Fantasy brought over and it’s a lot more strategic than the colorful box art lets on:
In Topiary, players are looking to setup the best view for their meeples. The game board is a 5×5 grid of tiles that are laid out randomly. You reveal the center tile and then the game starts. Player also have a hand of tiles dealt to them randomly. On your turn you can place a meeple or you can pick-up a face down tile and add it to your hand. You must then choose a tile from your hand and replace the now empty spot – you can use the tile you picked up as well. The idea is to place your meeples in such a way that they can “see” the most points.
You can place your meeples on the rows, columns, or the corners of a card (they are viewing at a diagonal). The higher the number the more points it’s worth, however, it blocks any lower number behind it from the direction of your Meeple. In the picture above if you placed a meeple on the lower right row, you’d only be able to see the elephant for 5 points. If you placed it on the lower left, you’d be able to “see” the smaller elephant and the larger for 6 points.
It’s a deceptively tactical game. While the mechanics are just that simple, you’ve got to decide how you’re going to place your meeples and how you can “defend” against your opponents scoring points. Do you try to setup a row for yourself? What if your opponent scoops it up before you can place your meeple? Do you try to block other people’s rows? If you’re too focused on that, you’re not going to have good “sight lines” for your own meeples. It’s designed for 1-4 players and I can see this game getting pretty cutthroat with 4 players!
While Topiary might look like a friendly family game (it is…mostly) it’s got the bones of a really deep strategic game. As simple as is it, Topiary will play different every time as players try to outsmart and out score each other. To me, that makes this game really impressive and elegant. If you like simple games that are easy to learn but difficult to master then check out Topiary – you won’t be disappointed!
It’s a fabulously sunny day – the perfect occasion for folks to visit the new topiary garden on the outskirts of town! Nothing spells a relaxing weekend like enjoying sculptures created with the assistance of nature herself.
The garden can get quite crowded at times, though, so it’s up to you to make sure your visitors have a good experience with these beautiful botanicals. You’ll want to place your visitors in the best positions along the outer edge of the garden and rearrange the sculptures strategically to give your visitors the most spectacular view of the landscape!