Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Trollhalla: Pillaging Anyone?


The Review Crew's Take on
TROLLHALLA
# Players . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-4
Game time . . . . . . . . 35-50 minutes
Set up . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 minutes
Luck . . . . . . 5 . . . . . .Strategy
*Interplay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8.5
Visual Appeal . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Component Quality . .. . . . . 7
*Replayability . . . . . . . . . . . 8

*See "How we Rate" for a definition.

If you've ever wanted to hop on a ship, sail from island to island and pillage your little troll heart out, then Trollhalla is a game for you. But even if plundering has never been at the top of your to do list, we think Trollhalla should be.
To begin with, Trollhalla is just fun. How can it not be with trolls in horned hats, sitting in viking ships, calling upon the sea gods and fighting off . . . billy goats?
Such a clever idea, nicely pulled off with interesting twists in game play.  And by twists, we mean that literally.
Play goes like this: on each turn you place two troll tokens, either on boats or in sea lanes. Then things get interesting. The roll of the die adds just the right touch of randomness, and the play of the cards creates sudden--wait for it--twists as your boat flips and moves in a direction you didn't expect. Instead of valuable plunder, you end with with a billy goat, who kicks goods off your boat.
Since nearly everything you do in Trollhalla affects the other players, interplay is high. Take that as a warning if you have sensitive trolls in your family who won't enjoy having their fortunes turned upside down. Visual appeal was all over the board for us. Most of us liked the clever, cartoonish illustrations, but one in particular (it always seems to be the same one) said, "it looks like a kid's game."
Perhaps that's for good reason. Trollhalla is rated ages 8 and up. Call us kids, but we adults find it quite entertaining, too.


Jeff and Alison with game designer Alf Seegert at the opening release event for Trollhalla. (Yes, those are horns on Alf's head.)

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