WBG Score: 8/10
Player Count: 2-4
Published by: Helvetiq
Designed by: Théo Rivière
Toucan play that game. Actually it's up to four.
I love Helvetiq games. Everything they do is full of joy and happiness and Tucano is no different. This is the latest in the line of their small box family games, it puts the players into the shoes of birds in the tropical rainforest, and I love it!
The fruit of your own hard work is the sweetest
The idea in Tucano is simple. Collect the most points from the fruit you acquire during the game. This is a set-collection game at its heart, and it brings this mechanism to the table in a brilliantly family friendly way.
To set up the game, separate the Toucan cards, shuffle the deck and split it into two equal halves. Add the 12 Toucan cards into one half of the deck and shuffle them together, then place this half under the other half to form a draw pile.
Then lay out the three top cards from the deck face up on the middle of the table and place a second card half covering the middle card. And that’s it! You will be set up and ready to play in under a minute.
Players then take it in turns to pick one of the three face up columns and take all the cards from this column and add into their collection. Once each player makes their choice, they then must add one new face up card from the draw pile to each column. This means some columns will grow in number, whilst one column will always only have one card. But as not all cards are positive scoring cards, some column may grow quite large until the positive cards on it out-way the negative ones and make this column an attractive option.
Knowledge is knowing that a Tomato is not a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.
Plays continues until there is only one column left on the table, at which point all players total their points and determine the winner. The cards in the game offer a huge variety of scoring options and make the game a lot of fun. Let’s take a look at some of them!
There are some cards like the Banana card which score points to the player who has the most amount of them by the end of the game. 2 points per card if you have the most Bananas, or none if you don’t. This makes collecting them dangerous, but potentially very rewarding!
As you can see what each player is taking from each column, you can see what people are going for. So, you can track the other players somewhat. This is not a memory game, but there is an element of this here with the cards.
However, each player keeps their cards face up in front of them, so you can also see what each player has simply by looking! But, you do need to pay attention to what is being brought into each players hand as one of the Toucan cards allows you to flip all the fruit cards in front of you so they are hidden from all other players until the end of the game.
The Coconut is a more traditional scoring card. Wherein, the points you gain from it at the end of the game are determined by how many you have. Most cards work in the positive, as in, more cards, more points! Whereas the Coconut reverses this. Getting one early gets you a potential of eight points at the end of the game, but the chances you will get more through the game are quite high and each time you do, you lose two points.
Terreific Tucano transfers take-that to the top
Another of the Toucan cards allows players to give one of your face up cards to another player. If you have two Coconuts, and another player has one or two already, passing one of yours to them is a highly entertaining and point scoring opportunity in the game! This is one small area of take-that that exists in the game, but it is small enough to not affect this in a negative way for players who do not like this in their games.
The Rainbow card acts a joker card and can be turned into any fruit of your choice at the end of the game. There is only one in the deck so this is a very powerful card. The balance of this card, and all cards in the deck is perfect. A lot of thought has been put into this, that is clear to see. And the result is a beautiful balanced game that is a lot of fun to play.
Each game takes no more than 15-minutes and can be set up and taught to new players in under a minute. This is a perfect family set-collection card game that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys this mechanic or is looking for something light and easy to play with their family.
The card art is bright, vibrant, and very clear. Even to younger players on their first game, the iconography on each card is laid out as such that it is a very simple game to grasp. The images are varied enough that those with issues around colour differentiation would find each card simple to identify.
This game will help with maths, strategy, and forward planning. A great opportunity to have fun with your children whilst secretly teaching them a few things too! For younger children there is the benefit of shape, colour, and object recognition too. And of course, it teaches us the valuable lesson that too many Coconuts can be a bad thing!
I would highly recommend this game to anyone looking for a quick fun game to play with younger children from five and up. The game suggests six and up, but I enjoyed this a lot with my daughter who is five and she became very quickly comfortable with the game and rules and enjoyed it immensely.