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Hoity Toity
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Hoity Toity

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Product Awards:  

Ages Play Time Players
12+ 60 minutes 3-6

Designer(s): Klaus Teuber

Publisher(s): Uberplay Entertainment

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Product Description

Eccentricity is what makes the world go round. Well, your world anyway.

As a member of the pretentious Antique Club, you feel inexplicably compelled to outshine your other snobby friends. You are oddly convinced it is your destiny to become the antique collector with the most valuable collection -- by using any means necessary.

Outwit your fellow snobs to become the most Hoity Toity of them all. From Klaus Teuber, the creator of The Settlers of Catan.

Product Awards

Games Magazine Awards
Family Game Nominee, 2005
Deutscher Spiele Preis
1st place, 1990
Spiel des Jahres
Game of the Year, 1990

Product Information


  • 1 game board
  • 6 game figures
  • 12 place cards
  • 48 action cards
  • 51 collectibles cards
  • rules
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Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.5 in 10 reviews

What is it about these simplistic games?
January 23, 2007

Okay look, if you like simplistic games that don't take much thought, get a pen and paper and play tic-tac-toe or use your hands and play rock, paper, scissors. I'm sorry, but in my view if you spend $20+ on a commercially produced game that does little more than put these simple games in a nice box with nice cardboard game pieces you have more money than sense.

I've tried a number of these German style games and every single one (with the exception of Reiner Knizia's Lord of the Rings game) was a waste of money - played once and found too simple or too boring. I really don't see their appeal. This game is no exception. Maybe it's me, but I just don't get any immersion from games like this - the game themes always seem tacked-on. I'm no hardcore 20-page rules fan by any means, but when I spend $20+ on a game I want a bit more complexity than I get from a game like Monopoly.

Don't believe the reviews
September 06, 2006

I bought this game based on the recommendations from the other reviewers on this site. My group of regular boardgamers gave it a try and we hated it, even before we were even half way through we all had already decided it was going on the 'won't play again' list.

It has been several months since we played it so it is hard to remember the specifics. I think we felt that there were a lot of odd aspects to the rules which felt random and arbitrary. Bascially, the game feels like it is oriented towards kids or for family/casual boardgame players, but the rules are too complex to really appeal to them, while serious boardgamers who won't be put off by the odd rules will find the 'play' less than entertaining.

I am sure there are those who like this game, but there are many games out there so much better than this one.

Enjoyable Game.
March 10, 2006

though not one of our very very favorites, it is nevertheless a fun game, and something different to play sometimes. the board and graphics are fun. it is just a bit repetitive, which dulls the play a bit, but a fun game to play with people who are not quite as serious, and just want to have some fun.

i think there could be some variations with could help the game, and maybe they will come out with some new versions of rules, or enhancments to buy. who knows.

all in all, a fun game though.

Lots of Fun
February 02, 2006
This game is fun and quirky. It seems simple and almost too "fun" looking with the creative graphics, but ends up to be very enjoyable to play. The play structure is a lot differnt than so many games where you build and own things. This is just different, which is a nice change. You really don't konw what other people are doing. instead of luck from dice, cards, etc. you end up with unknown consequences directly from what other people decide. so there is luck, but only according to what other people do. it is very fun, and somewhat lighter than some heavy, quiet games. by all means, a good one to add to your game collection.
Bluff, Bluff, Bluff, Bluff, repeat.
September 10, 2005

A person once commented to me that Hoity Toity (Uberplay, 2004 -- Klaus Teuber) has one of the worst names of any game. This may or may not be true (I'm not a big fan of it myself), but the game itself has lasted over fifteen years. The original game, Adel Verplichet, has sold over one million copies and is one of Klaus Teuber's biggest successes (after Settlers of Catan, of course).

While some might argue that the game is showing its age (it's fifteen years old at the time of this writing), and that it's largely a slightly complicated version of Rock-Paper-Scissors -- well, maybe they're right. But I've found that this game is an excellent "gateway" game, one that people who don't play many games can easily learn and enjoy. It's a game of bluffing, pure and simple -- any other "strategies" are obvious and simplistic. I personally find this enjoyable, but some may find the mechanic of the game too repetitive.

A board is placed in the middle of the table with a track heading from the "Club Room" (starting space) and going to the "Dinner Banquet". The spaces are split into groups of two or three, grouped into "castles" -- each with two numbers printed on them. Each player takes a starting piece of their color (placing it in the club room) and a set of ten cards of that color. A deck of fifty-one "collectibles" cards are shuffled and four dealt to each player. "Collectible" cards are one of six different categories, each a different color and having an associated letter ("A" through "F"). Each of these cards also shows a picture and name of the antique, as well as its age. The "collectible" cards not dealt to players are shuffled into two decks which are placed on the board with the top card of each flipped face up. The first round of the game is ready to begin.

In the first phase of each round, each player plays one of two different cards face down: either their Auction Hall or Castle card, indicating which "place" they will go this round. All cards are revealed simultaneously. Each player who "went" to the auction hall then plays either one of four cash cards they have, or one of their two thieves; again, these cards are revealed simultaneously. Thirdly, the players who "went" to the castle play either their "exhibit" card, one of their thief cards, or their detective card face down, revealing them simultaneously.

The actions in the Auction Hall are then resolved. The player who played the cash card with the highest value places it on the board on the "cash register" space and takes either of the face-up collectible cards, flipping the card underneath it face up. If one, and only one, player has played a thief card, they may steal the cash card that was played this round. If two or more thieves are played or no cash card is played, then nothing happens.

The actions in the Castle are then resolved. Each player who played an exhibit card must "display" some of their antiques. They do that if they have at least three cards that can be put together in an alphabetical order ("AAB", "DEF", CCDEEF", etc.) The player who shows the largest display receives the higher number printed on the space where their playing piece resides, and they move the piece accordingly. The player with the second largest display receives the lower number printed on the space where their playing piece resides, and also moves their piece accordingly. Anyone else displaying their exhibit gets nothing. Ties are broken by the display with the oldest artifact. Each player who played a thief now gets to steal one collectible card from each exhibit. The thief with the highest number goes first, etc. After all thieves have stolen, if any detective has been played, all the thieves go to jail. There are six jail spaces on the board, and the imprisoned thieves head for the first one, pushing all thieves in jail forward one space. If the thief moves out of the last jail cell (one is used for each player in the game), then he is returned to his player's hand. Each detective gets points equal to their position on the scoring track (a player in first place gets one point, while a player in fifth place gets five points.)

All players take their cards back and begin the next round. The rounds continue until one player's piece has landed on one of the final spaces of the banquet hall. At this point, all players "exhibit" their best display, and the player with the biggest gets eight points, while the player with the second biggest gets four points. The player whose piece is farther on the track wins the game!

Some comments on the game...

  1. Components: I have a much earlier version of Adel Verplichet, and Uberplay kept most of the components the same with minor changes. The quality of the stuff is higher, but it looks exactly the same. The artwork throughout the game has a "New Yorker" feel to it and definitely carries the "hoity toity" feel. The selections of antiques range from a porcelain pipe from France, to Humphrey Bogart's hat, to a chocolate advertisement from Switzerland. The collectible cards are very large and very easy to distinguish from one another. The cards that players use during the game are small, in contrast, and have a "1" or "2" on their backs, to show what phase of the round they are used in. I personally would have preferred that the backs of the cards be a different color, also for the different rounds, but it's no big deal. The board is very nice and very easy to figure out where the cards go, and the jail spaces are very clever and intuitive. Everything fits inside a large sturdy box (probably larger than it needs to be) with a nice plastic insert that holds all the components well.

  2. Rules: The rulebook, with seven full-colored pages, is an excellent one with many examples and illustrations. Paragraphs called "In a nutshell" are included throughout, which summarize the rules to that point, and are excellent for quick reference. I found that if I explain each phase slowly players catch on quickly and that Hoity Toity doesn't take long to teach. After one round, the entire game comes into focus for most people, and it's very simple to play thereafter.

  3. Colors: Each color has a different distribution of cash cards and thief cards. For example, black has a "6" and "7" thief, while purple has a "3" and "10" thief. Black has a $6,000, $7,000, $18,000, and $19,000 card, while tan has a $1,000, $12,000, $13,000, and $24,000 card. The way the distribution works means that there will never be ties, and that no color has a distinct advantage over the others. It's a clever system and works well. With clever use of thieves, players can supplement their cash cards with the high ones of their opponents.

  4. Bluffing: Every round consists of very little strategy but almost solely of bluffing. If you are the only player to go to the castle, it's automatic points for you -- just show a small display and take the points with a grin! If you are the only player to go to the auction hall, then you can spend your smallest cash card for a "collectible" card. In a five or six player game, being the only person at a certain location is very improbable. So, players usually have to guess what the other person is going to play at their location. At the auction hall, a player can play their highest cash card, hoping to beat everyone else and get the item they need for their collection. At the same time, maybe a thief would be better, because the other players may be playing their highest cash card, and it would be certainly nice to add that to one's collection. But if two people play thieves at the auction house, then no one gets anything. A lot of howls and growls can be heard during this phase. Of course, that's nothing compared to the actions at the castle. Should you display your collection there, trying to get points? But what if everyone else plays a thief and each of them take one of your cards? But thief isn't the best option either, because someone else can play a detective, causing you to lose your thief, and them to get points. Playing a detective is also by no means assured, since if no one else plays a thief, you get nothing! Whew!

  5. Strategy: There are a few things a player can do strategically, but most of the choices are obvious. When stealing a card from another player's collection, one should take the one that hurts him the most. For example, if Sam is displaying a "ABBCDDEE" collection, it makes sense for me to steal the "C" card, as it hurts him the most, cutting off three other cards from his collection. Sometimes a player may take the card that they need more (I might REALLY need an "E" card), or take the card that is the oldest (there are a lot more ties than you might think), but hurting the opponent is usually the best move. Other than that, the game really comes down to playing the right card at the right time. It's great if you are the only person to go to a location, or if you play a detective card and everyone else plays thieves; but that's not strategy as much as it is guessing the opponents' actions.

  6. Fun Factor: Probably the only reason Hoity Toity isn't as big of a hit as Teuber's other game (Settlers) is that it is the same actions (hide cards, reveal cards, resolve actions) over and over and over again during the game. If players move slowly, the game can drag out and become monotonous and dull. But if things are kept lively, and players play cards fast and immediately, I've found that the game stays fresh and interesting and finishes in a much shorter time. The fun in the game comes from playing the right card to hurt your opponent (stealing his highest cash card, sending his best thief to jail, stealing the best card from someone's collection, etc.) This kind of interaction may annoy some people, who simply want to play friendly games, but for those who like to directly affect their opponents, Hoity Toity is an excellent candidate.

  7. Players: The game is so much better with five or six players that I will probably refuse to play it with four or less in the future. It's simply not as interesting, as players will often not compete for certain things. In a five player game, if you are the only person going to the castle, it's an amazing feat. In a three player game, it happens all the time and generally makes the game less interesting. I won't even attempt the two-player variant included in the game.

Hoity Toity is a very interesting game, fun especially for those who enjoy games in which they can bluff and affect their opponent. There's probably a large group of people who wouldn't like the game (I've run into a couple) because of its repetitive nature. There have been complaints that the game just doesn't have enough options to keep it interesting. But for myself and most of whom I've played it with, the game is a simplistic bluffing game with a small variety of options -- something that is fun to pull out once in a while. Hoity Toity isn't a great game, but it's still a fun classic that has survived for fifteen years and can hold it's own against other light games. Besides, it's fun to steal your opponent's cards!

Tom Vasel
"Real men play board games."

Rock, Scissors, Paper deluxe
July 25, 2005

While this game has more in it than Rock, Scissors, Paper, it is basically a variation on that most simple and random game. Even so, I did have a good time playing it. I have to admit that it is fun to be a rich aristocrat spending his days sealing art from his friends. At the same time, I expected more from a Spiel des Jahres winner.

Classic game reborn
July 22, 2004

Most current gamers received their indoctrination to Eurogames through Bohnanza or Settlers of Catan. Those of us of a slightly earlier generation were introduced through the Avalon Hill release of Klaus Teuber's Adel Verpflichtet, also known as By Hook or By Crook.

The gameplay is a funky little game of rock-paper-scissors using a motif of eccentric art collectors. Players decide on each turn to go either to the castle or to the auction house. Those going to the auction house will get the chance to acquire new pieces for their collection or possibly to steal the winning bid from the auction winner. Those going to the castle will either exhibit a collection in order to move forward, steal artwork from exhibitors, or possibly send their detective into the fray which can result in moving forward as well as imprisoning any theives caught.

It is the constant double-think that keeps this game entertaining, and the more the merrier. The game was originally designed for up to 5 players but it was recognized long ago that it could easily accomodate six players. The current edition here adds in the components for the sixth player and keeps the game wild and woolly.

This is an excellent gateway game, one that has appeal to both gamers and non-gamers. The artwork is well done, and the gameplay is literally award-winning.

Highly recommended.

A Lot of Fun. Good game, forget what 'gamers' say.
July 22, 2004

I remember when I first played this game with a group of gamers. We were all enjoying ourselves and having a good time. I was amazed that at the end these 'experts' were picking the game apart! This game is well designed and a lot of fun. Not as much skill as other boardgames, but enough to keep things interesting. Should be a classic!

Fair Fare for Four or More.
May 21, 2004

One of the most appealing aspects of German games is the fact that there isn't much down-time. Players are involved in the play even if it is someone else's turn. In one of the most popular German games, 'Settlers of Catan', players are accumulating goods and trading/haggling with the active player throughout the game. In 'Puerto Rico' the active player only gets to do slightly more than everyone else during his turn. 'Hoity Toity', previously released as 'Adel Verpflichtet', takes this type of play to the extreme (in a good way).

In 'Hoity Toity' all play is simultaneous. It is never any one person's turn. Players take the role of art collectors trying to accumulate the largest collection by any means necessary. Players can steal from each other or buy art legitimately.

Each round players first reveal a card of their choosing indicating where they will go, either to the auction house or to the castle. Players who went to the auction house simultaneously reveal another card indicating whether they will buy a painting or attempt to steal money from the cash register (money is very tight).

After the auction house is resolved players who went to the castle reveal cards indicating whether they put on an art exhibit, or steal from other's art exhibits, or play a detective to catch thieves. Players only move forward on the board if they have art exhibits, or catch thieves, with exhibits being the fastest way to advance.

Hoity Toity is definitely a game that excels with more players. Four would be the minimum I would play with and six optimal. Play has little, if any, strategy. The fun is trying to outguess your opponents. It is a game that will cause your brain to strain as you second guess the choice you made and wonder if you should play a thief or play honestly and try to score points.

Hoity Toity is fun and it is a good choice for a mixed group of 5-6 gamers and non-gamers. As fun as it is, Hoity Toity doesn't have much more to offer, it is not deep at all. Gamers will likely grow tired of Hoity Toity after a dozen or less games. There isn't much intellectual stimulation here.

To steal a line from Yirmeyahu Avery's review of Adel Verpflichtet, '(It) is not a purchase I would make on a tight budget.' I agree.

Grab this -- By Hook or by Crook!
April 15, 2004

This is the latest Uberplay re-print of the classic German game 'Adel Verpflichtet', also known as 'By Hook or by Crook'(by Avalon Hill). The main difference between this and those earlier versions is that 'Hoity Toity' is now a 6 player game rather than 5 player. Otherwise, the rules are pretty much the same.

How does it play? Great!

My group fell in love with this just recently and now we cant stop playing it. We can usually get in about 2 or 3 games a night, each game lasting somewhere between 30 minutes to an hour. (We always play with the full 6 player maximum.)

Whats the appeal? It seems to have the perfect blend of all the right ingredients: quick playing time, easy to comprehend rules (5 pages), simple mechanism, good play balance, minimum luck factor, and very little player downtime. In addition, the cleverly crafted card playing mechanism, a variation of 'rock,paper,scissors', balances the game well enough so that everyone stays interested till the end. Add to this the constant 'Bluffing' and 'out-guessing' elements and you have a nearly perfect multiplayer game.

I should also mention the good quality components: nice wooden playing pieces, large sturdy cards and solid board. The rulebook is also well written and easy to comprehend.

'Hoity Toity' is one of those games that should have broad appeal to family gamers, veteran boardgamers, and be simple enough to introduce novice gamers to. Overall a good investment.

Other Resources for Hoity Toity:

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