List Price: $12.00
Your Price: $9.60
(Worth 960 Funagain Points!)
Notify me if/when this item becomes available:
(you will be asked to log in first)
from 1 customer review
Please Login to use shopping lists.
Clocktowers is a game for 2-4 players in a competition to complete the most clocktowers in the city before time runs out. Players must complete the towers as cleanly as possible, making sure that mice and cats don't make the towers home. Of course there are other catches -- do you have the right height for the building and do you have the proper colored roof? Clocktowers plays in 20-30 minutes and can be played by ages 8 and up (although there's enough skill involved that kids shouldn't beat their parents too often!)
I’m still a bit annoyed that Capitol, a game about building towers in ancient Rome, hasn’t been reprinted – and thus difficult to find. Not everyone enjoyed it, and more than a few complained about the scoring component; but I found it unique and very enjoyable. When I bemoaned the lack of availability, several people mentioned Clocktowers (Jolly Roger Games, 2004 – Alan Moon and Aaron Weissblum) as a game that was basically the card game version of Capitol. Well, I didn’t feel the need for a card game version (I’d almost always prefer a board game to a card game) but was interested, especially as I’ve noticed a noticeable jump in the quality of Jolly Roger games lately.
After playing the game, I won’t be converting over to the card version anytime soon, and many of the things I really enjoyed about the board game have been stripped from this game. At the same time, it’s very light and easy, and an enjoyable way to spend a short period of time (games take about twenty minutes). However, Clocktowers has the odd feeling that it’s much more involved than it really is, and players often are forced into choices that may make them feel as if the game is playing them. It’s certainly not a bad game, but it’s almost too light and allows players to really mess each other up during play.
The game consists of three decks of cards – a deck of roofs (four each of five different colors), a deck of clocks (nine of which have a mouse in them), and a deck of building stories (one or two floors – some with a mouse or a cat). Each player takes one story card with a cat on it, one story with a mouse, and one clock that contains a mouse. The rest of the cards are shuffled and placed face UP on the table in three separate decks – with five story cards and three roof cards secretly removed. One player is chosen to go first, and then play proceeds clockwise around the table.
On a player’s turn, they must play a card from their hand, then draw the top card of either deck. Players are playing cards face up in front of them, creating towers. Each tower must consist of at least one story, then a clock and roof. Players can continue adding stories, but once they place a clock, only a roof can go on top of that. When placing a colored roof, players must check any other completed building (if any) with the same colored roof already on the table. The first building of a color must be one or two stories tall. After that, each succeeding building must be exactly one story higher. Players cannot add a roof to any building that does not fit these requirements. A player can discard a card rather than playing one if necessary.
After all decks have been discarded, and all players have used all their cards, the game ends. Each player then scores for each completed tower, and incomplete towers are simply discarded. Scoring depends on cats and mice in towers; a tower with neither is worth five points. Cats only scores four points, and having both is worth three points. A tower with only mice is worth only two points. All the points are added, and the player with the most is the winner – with a tie going to the player with the highest mouse in one of their towers.
Some comments on the game…
So my recommendation is mixed. If the theme sounds interesting, and you want a small, easy to setup and play card game, this is a jolly way to pass twenty minutes. But don’t expect much strategy, the game is an easy-going thematic card game, nothing else. While I’ll play it on occasion, I’m often looking for something that has a bit more tenseness to it – one where the choices matter a bit more.
“Real men play board games”