Just in case you're new to the site, there's one genre of game that immediately captures my attention, beckoning me to play every title within it's realm. (My loyal readers know where this is going.) Yes - that's right. I love dexterity games! So, none of you will be in any way surprised that I asked for a review copy of Toc Toc Woodman. (Though, to be fair, I also like rhyming, so I prefer its alternate name of Click Clack Lumberjack.)
Toc Toc Woodman is simple (because it's a dexterity game). You start the game with a tree made of plastic. Upon each section (or "ring") there are four pieces of bark that are carefully balanced. Players alternate taking two turns hitting the tree with a giant plastic axe (that is about the same height as the tree, so the lumberjacks are obviously giants that are trying to make toothpicks with these tiny trees). Each piece of bark that a player knocks off is worth one point, but each center ring that a player knocks off is worth negative five points. The game is played until all of the bark is removed from the tree. (Because that's how real lumberjacks do it - they don't need that junk in the middle of the tree. It's all about the bark. I think they're trying to make the world's least efficient piece of armor out of it.)
Now that you know how to play the game, I suppose I'll tell you what is good about it. First, the components are very well done. The pieces all slide very easily, which is incredibly important with a game like this. (It would be awful if you knocked a piece off, but then it wouldn't fall because it got stuck.) Also, the axe is nice, and, though I joked earlier about how tall it is compared to the tree, the length really does help you swing it at the tree more easily.
|A delicate situation|
The other beauty of dexterity games? There's not really that much to say about them, so I get to keep the reviews short and sweet... and on that note, let's move on to the cons.
The two cons that I have for Toc Toc Woodman are both related to time. First (this one is pretty trivial), the game is a bit of a nuisance to set up to play, since you have to assemble each piece and then stack it without the pieces sliding back off. If you're playing with a few players and they're all helping, though, then this is mitigated.
Second (also trivial), the game can take a bit longer than it should if players are overly careful when they play. So, you have to strike a balance between playing to win (aka not losing points by knocking things over) and actually playing the game. If you hit the tree, and it moves less than a millimeter, then you're probably playing a bit too safe - pick up the pace so that we can play it five more times, please.
Overall, I give Toc Toc Woodman an 8.0/10. I really enjoyed it, and it is a happy new addition to my growing library of dexterity games. However, it doesn't have that "special something" of games like PitchCar and Crokinole. But, that's not to say that I don't intend to keep playing it - I do.
If you like dexterity games, then you're in good company! Because I like them too! You should check out the games I just mentioned, but also check out Catacombs, Bamboleo, and AttrAction.
I would like to thank Mayday Games for providing me with a review copy of Toc Toc Woodman.