Team Up! Review

Team Up! (Helvetiq)

All of these boxes need to get out of the warehouse pronto and we’re charged by the pallet, so you and your team better maximize every square foot of space! Of course they need to be stacked as the orders come in, but we’re confident that you can do it. You can do it, right? Set in our online-retailer-controlled present and future, Team Up! is the game of cooperative block stacking.

The rules for Team Up! are simple. On your turn, you draw a card that tells you which block to place, either by color (and you choose shape) or by shape (and you choose color). Placing a block, they must touch at least one other block, have their colored side facing up, not extend past the boundaries of the pallet, identically shaped blocks cannot have two identical sides in complete contact with one another, and finally blocks cannot overhang an empty space beneath. Play continues this way with players cooperatively trying to complete as many levels as possible, scoring five points each.

The strategy comes with a limited number of blocks of each shape and color. When a card dictates to play a shape, it’s good to look at how many of that shape remain in each color and go for the one with more. If you draw a card and cannot follow the instruction, the card is placed face down on the discard pile and is negative points at the game’s end. It may come to a point in the game where placing the last remaining blocks is possible, but only under certain situations, and it’s better to call it quits and only suffer a negative point for each remaining blocks without racking up more impossible face down discards.

After completing a game and comparing your score to the very kindly worded scoring chart (which bottoms out with “you can do better”), the rules suggest clearing the pallet except for the starting blank block, flipping over the discard pile to create the new draw deck and seeing if you can beat your previous score.

Beautifully designed and executed, Team Up! is a smartly packed box full of boxes. The production value is great from the smooth painted block edges all of the way down to the neat little pallet. With simple to explain and quick to pick up rules, it’s a great, light cooperative game… as long as an alpha gamer doesn’t try to take control of everyone’s turn. (Helvetiq) by David C. Obenour