Welcome to The Game Shelf!

After getting into the board game hobby at the end of 2014, we've decided to share our thoughts on the games we're collecting on our shelves. The collection has certainly expanded over the last few years and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every Tuesday and Fi will post on Thursdays. We hope you enjoy reading some of our opinions on board games - especially those for two players.

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Tuesday 30 July 2019

Snow Time to Lose:- Tuki

Game: Tuki

Publisher: Next Move Games

Designer: Grzegorz Rejchtman

Year: 2019

Tuki is a 1-4 player dexterity stacking game with a strong puzzle element. In the game you create inukshuk, structures of snow and stone used as landmarks. But you'll have to do it fast, you only need 1 copy of a landmark, so the first one to complete it will be the one who's monument stays erected for future generations to see.

In a game of Tuki each player is handed 4 coloured blocks 5 times as long as they are wide and tall, along with 4 white blocks in various shapes. Each round a die is rolled to dictate which of 3 ways up the puzzle card is placed on the central stand. It also dictates whether the puzzle is to be placed straight on the table, or if the coloured pieces must all be suspended off the table by the white blocks. Each card dictates the relative positions of 3 or 4 of the coloured blocks, but leaves no hints as to where the white blocks need to go. It's up to you to find that solution, and fast.

Despite being a 'hard' card this puzzle is still quite easy, however if you roll a different way up the same card could be far more difficult.

Players will then race to complete the puzzle, with the card being given to the person who took the longest complete the stack. Unless, of course, someone made a mistake trying to complete it. When a player amasses enough cards the game ends and the player with the fewest cards wins.

The gameplay is simple, even more so with the easy cards which only require 3 of the 4 coloured blocks to be placed. If anything these cards are too east to complete, to the extent that it's purely a speed game. Once you move on to the hard puzzles the game has a bit more weight to it, suddenly you are having to counterbalance parts and make unusual structures. Tuki begins to become a proper puzzle game, just one that happens to be a race. The challenge in the harder games is certainly what made Tuki fun for me, to the extent that I don't think I'd ever play it on easy mode again.

One place I take some extreme dislike to the game is in the fact that it claims to be a 4-player game. It has 3 pieces of blocks. You are expected to take turns. Well good news everyone, if we take turns then 7-wonders duel is a 6 player game, and if we play on teams we can get a rousing 8-player game of Patchwork. Tuki is a 3 player game, and if anyone asked they made a typo on the box. If you really want to play 4-6 players then buy 2 copies of the game because there is no reason (bar proximity to the puzzle card) that more people can't play at once with additional copies of the game. It's true that rounds are so fast that you won't be out for long, but it's still unnecessary.

There are a vast number of puzzles to solve, with the randomness of the dice this gives a huge variety.

That aside the core gameplay is good, if a little simple. The cards vary from surprisingly easy to fiendishly impossible, but since everyone is on the same problem at the same time it's very fair. That being said in my experience my wife is much better at speed based games, and Tuki is no exception, this did suck some of the fun out of it for me, but it;s an inevitable part of the genre. Overall Tuki is a nice 2-3 player speed stacking game, but it lacks depth. A great activity and easy to teach, but you'll likely be moving on to the next game pretty fast.


Tuki was a review copy provided by Asmodee UK. It is available at your friendly local game store for an RRP of £38.99 or can be picked up at http://www.365games.co.uk

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