Home > Making Games > Up, up and a… oops!

Up, up and a… oops!

September 20, 2014

A week or so ago, Miss B returned from After School Club bearing a pile of what, to the untrained eye, might have appeared to be a bagful of junk: small boxes, plastic cups, toilet roll tubes, and so on. This stuff all had a purpose, though, and she spent quite a lot of time explaining how all these objects were part of a game which involved stacking the various items on top of each other.

Testing the Mk2 Tumbling Towers rules.  Even with a broken arm, Miss B is better at this than me!

Testing the Mk2 Tumbling Towers rules. Even with a broken arm, Miss B is better at this than me!

Since then, Miss B has been hard at work developing her idea. She recently broke her writing arm and has it encased in plaster from bicep to hand, which has made everything a lot harder, but some of the development time has been spent painstakingly typing rules into a text editor on my computer.

This evening, though, we had the grand unveiling of the game, Tumbling Towers. The game was set up with an initial base of a cardboard box balanced on top of three toilet roll holders. Players take it in turns to stack seven plastic cups on top of this base, and successfully doing so, with the tower staying for a count of ten, results in scoring one point. Before starting the stack, players roll a die to determine whether or not they have to add an extra bit of card or paper into the tower.

We had a couple of goes at this each and then had a discussion about how to improve things. We agreed that it would be more fun if we took it in turns to add objects to the tower. Miss B had been intending to have a deck of cards indicating what object from her stash should be added to the tower, but hadn’t got around to making them (the broken arm making this difficult) so we came up with a scheme where we put the objects in a row and rolled a die to decide which one was to be used next. We also decided that objects could be stacked on the base any way we liked, as long as the new object didn’t go inside another object.

This proved to be quite a lot of fun. Of course, not all objects are equal and getting a penny or a button made your like a lot easier than if you got a cup or an Altoids tin. I have suggested that this could work really well if we had a selection of different shaped wooden blocks instead. Miss B isn’t sure right now as she likes her box of random junk — and who can blame her?! She says that she would love to get this game published one day. Maybe she will…

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  1. Barnetto
    September 22, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Keep working on it… Rhino Hero is a lot of fun so there is no reason this shouldn’t be too.

    Looks like a keeper either way!

  2. Rob
    September 22, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Thanks. 🙂

    Stacking and balancing games are popular in general: Jenga, Animal Upon Animal, Buckaroo (to an extent), and so on. There’s always room for one more!

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