Toy Reviews 2016

What happens when the hunter becomes the hunted? We are about to find out.

In Tally Ho!, a fast-paced game from Thames & Kosmos, a party of hunters and lumberjacks vie to eat a party of foxes, bears, ducks, and pheasant. For board game traditionalists, this game is certainly a break from convention!

Just like the world we live in, this game is divided between humans and beasts. Players ages 8 and up pick their side and then learn to master the rules of the forest to make the right moves.

Before starting the game, kids must slap all the tiles facedown at random on the board (except the center space). Each tile has different point values. For example, if kids manage to kill a bear they bag 10 points, and if they nix a fox they get five points.

However, each creature eats and hunts different things, and walks a different walk. The bear can only move one space at a time, while the fox can move as multiple spaces, and the tree can’t move at all. The lumberjack can only capture trees, the hunter can only bag animals, the bear can only snag humans, and the fox is restricted to pheasants and ducks.

In this match of survival of the fittest, all creatures may only move vertically or horizontally across the board—never diagonally. Also, the hunter can only kill if his gun points toward the prey. What’s common sense can become game strategy by trying to turn the tile in a way that it points toward the prey. It does take a while to digest all the rules of this game, but once the game starts, it flashes by faster than Barry Allen!

Best summer toys of 2016To begin, players have two options—either turn a tile over or move a face-up tile. Those playing as humans can only move the brown tiles, and those playing as animals can only move the blue tiles. The game requires strategy, but also revolves around chance, thanks to the unknown nature of the face-down tiles. Once the tiles are flipped over, players must strategize to make the right moves. At this point the game moves super fast, gaining momentum until both players have consumed as much prey as possible, or until the last tile has been turned over.

Players now enter the climax of the game. Each player must rescue his/her own tiles through the four exits around the board with only five turns remaining.

The final round of the game amps Tally Ho! into greater levels of excitement, throwing players into a tizzy by reversing the players’ roles. Blue players become brown, and brown players become blue, giving the hunted a chance to finally become the hunter. And just like an Agatha Christie novel full of suspense, action, and drama, kids keep the chase alive until the very end, when all tiles disappear off the face of the board.

Once the hunting comes to an end, players tally all their points to see who killed the most prey. In this strategic game, kids enjoy the thrill of the chase, while enhancing critical and strategic thinking skills.