Animal Upon Animal by Haba

I’m a big fan of playing games with kids that are not purely luck based with no strategy. I don’t understand the point of games like Chutes and Ladders or Candy Land where there is no decision making of any kind. What is that supposed to teach children other than to hate games?

I love games that are simple, yet allows skill and/or decision making to be primary.  Games of chance and luck have their place, don’t get me wrong, but I like a game that can be won or lost based on my own actions.  Games like this can be enjoyed by children and adults alike.  Animal Upon Animal is a game that is obviously themed for children, but can truly be played by anyone at any age.

No setup, rules explained in 30 seconds, and turns taken so quickly that no one can lose interest.

Each player takes turns drafting their “hand” of animals from the box at the beginning of the game.  Then players roll a six-sided die that determines how many pieces (one or two) that they must play, or if the other player tells them what to play, or if they give an animal to someone else to play, or if they add to the alligator at the bottom of the pile.

That’s it.  If you knock down the pile, you have to keep up to two of the animals that fell.  First person to empty their “hand” of animals wins.

From Board Game Geek:

The animals want to show how good they are at making tall pyramids! They must be skillfully careful: Who will position the penguin on top of the crocodile, the sheep on top of the penguin, the serpent on the sheep? The hedgehog wants to stand on top of the pyramid but the height is making him dizzy.

Tier auf Tier (a.k.a. Animal Upon Animal, Pyramide d’animaux, and Dier op dier) is a simple stacking game, listed for ages 4-99, with 29 cute wooden animals.

Each turn a player rolls the die and either places one or two animals on to the stack of animals, passes one of his or her animals to another player for them to place, or places an animal on the table, extending the base for other players to build upon. Of course, if any pieces fall off whilst you are building, you get up to two of them back. The first player to have used all of their animals wins.