Topspin-Helvetiq-Review

Theme and What is it?

Topspin is a game of dexterity, a bit of luck, and fun for the family.  Spin the top, hit some marbles, see what happens!  Battle your opponents for the highest score or Challenge your opponents to score each of the holes.

Gameplay Mechanics

There are two games to play in Topspin: Battle and Challenge.

 

Battle

 

 Players spin the top in an attempt get the highest score in the round by adding up the values of the holes in which the marbles land.  Each player starts with three lives and the last player with remaining lives wins.

 

Write the players’ names down on the scorepad and decide who goes first.  Gameplay starts with the player spinning the top on the gameboard with three marbles on the board.  Once the top stops, add up the score.  The next player does the same, trying to beat the score of the previous player.  If the player does, play continues to the next player.  If the player doesn’t, then he loses a life and that player is the one who starts the next round.

Challenge 

Players spin the top in an attempt to knock marbles into each of the holes.  First player to do this wins.

 

Write the players’ names down on the scorepad and decide who goes first.  Gameplay starts with the player spinning the top on the gameboard with all 12 marbles on the board.  Once the top stops, mark on the scorepad which holes the marbles landed.  Play then moves to the next player to do the same.  Ignore holes that were scored in previous turns.

 

Initial Impressions

We thought the game looked pretty simple, easy to understand, and play.  Spin the top, hit the marbles, take over the world!

Game Build Quality

This game consists of a top, 12 marbles, a scorepad, rulebook (multiple languages), and game box.  The top is made of a sturdy wood and the paint appears to stand up to the abuse that this piece will be subjected to.  The marbles are standard plastic marbles found in other family games.  Incidentally this game makes interesting use of the box as it also houses the gameboard itself.  The box part is well-made and the board within is made of a heavy card stock.

Artistic Direction

This is a low-key family game and the design reflects that.  Neutral, standard colors.  Basic grid for scorekeeping.  This doesn’t need to be something flashy or attention grabbing because you get that from the intensity of the gameplay.

Fun Factor

Fun most certainly can be had with this game.  Who doesn’t like a good game of knocking your sons’ marbles?  Oh, Topspin you mean?  Well you can really get into it and the more players you have, the more competitive and raucous the game can get.

Age Range & Weight

Age range says 8-99 but I believe this game can be played by younger kids since you just need to be able to spin the top.  Kids of course can’t be too young as the marbles are small and can be easily swallowed.  Game weight is pretty light as the rules and mechanics are straightforward and there isn’t much strategy required to win.  As it is a dexterity game, with practice you could become better by using some tricks for knocking marbles around in a certain way or use the rules for tossing in marbles after spinning the top.

Conclusions

Like Yahtzee, this game is a nice little distraction to play with young kids or something to do during a party as a tournament.  I wouldn’t play it with my adult gaming group but my boys (teenagers) liked playing, especially when they get to beat up on the other or their dear ol’ dad.