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Subject: A curmudgeon reviews a dexterity game rss

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Michael Debije
Netherlands
Eindhoven
The Netherlands
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Toc Toc Woodman was ‘designed’ by Justin Oh and published by Gemblo in 2008. It is playable by a good number of players age about 6 and up (or so) and finishes in 15 minutes

What You Get

A big fat box with some really bad puns in the text and a cute illustration. Inside you get a bunch of tan plastic disks representing the tree trunk, each of which slots in four dark brown plastic chunks which represent bark, and one tree stump. You also get a plastic axe. The expansion gives you a gold core piece and four gold bark bits and a goldish axe. The pieces are quite well made and hold together well to repeat playing.

What You Do

This is a mindless game. You put four bark pieces on each tree trunk, and stack the trunks on top of the stump. Players in turn take the opportunity to whack the tree at any point with the axe, and then repeat with a second whack. If a bit of bark falls off, you score a point per bark piece. If you know off a core, you lose five points. Game over when all the bark is gone. The golden bark, if you have the expansion, is worth two points and the core minus ten. I honestly don’t remember what the golden axe does, but no matter- you get the idea.

What I Think


I don’t have many dexterity/party games. They are just not my thing. However, I got this one on the recommendation of a friend as one I could play with my son. And I can say I’ve yet to meet anyone who did not enjoy playing. There are lots of hoots and hollers, advise on where or where not to hit, and squeals as the axe contacts the tree. I am quite amazed at how well the pieces are balanced: they slide across each other just about perfectly, and are heavy enough to need a good tap, but light enough to make it a challenge. I am glad to have the expansion which adds the slightest bit of decision making. It plays fast and if everyone helps put it together, which they always do, the game setup is equally fast. So, from a guy who generally dislikes these types of things, it has been a hit with my family, group, and workmates and probably would be enjoyed by yours as well as long as you don’t expect more than it is.
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