How steady are your hands? How about after one too many Pixie Sticks? Tumball, from University Games, is a nerve-wracking bead-stacking game that will put your skills to the test. The game is for two to four players, recommended for kids ages 5 and up.
Assembly is easy—the game comes with a base and a tall piece with a hook onto which you attach the plastic hangers. Attach the multicolored plastic balls to the ends of the hangers, so that it creates what looks like a cluster of gumballs floating in the air.
Each player gets an equal share of white beads, which are slightly smaller than the colored ones that make up the floating cluster. Players take turns stacking the white beads onto the suspended cluster using a wand, which is a long white stick. The white beads have a small hole in them, so to pick them up, kids will stick the wand through the bead to lift it and transfer it on top of the floating cluster. Since the colored balls are suspended from above, as more beads are placed on top of them, they slowly spread further and further apart, and eventually too much weight—or one wrong move—will cause all the beads to spill through.
The idea is to keep a steady hand and try to assess where to place the bead without causing the cluster to break! Whoever breaks the cluster has to add all the fallen white beads to his or her collection, extending the life of the game. The first person to get rid of all of his or her beads wins!
The beads are pretty lightweight so the cluster can hold about eight or nine of them before breaking through, but with young kids playing, it’s more likely to break due to shaky hands or getting overexcited, which makes it more fun to play! And when the cluster does break, the beads will go bouncing and rolling every which way, adding another element to the game when all the kids have to run around to chase down the pieces. A little active play goes a long way, adding more zest to family game night!