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23
4.5 out of 5 stars
Tobago
Format: ToyChange
Price:$51.14
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2010
Format: Toy
The premise is pretty straightforward: you and your compatriots are hunting the island of Tobago for treasure. The thing is, the maps to these treasures aren't maps at all, but collections of clues that are dispersed among all players via cards. Throughout the game, players add clue cards, one at at time, to four piles, each of which represents a treasure. Each card narrows the possible places on the game board where that treasure might be found. Once the location is narrowed down to a single spot, players can drive their miniature ATV there, pick up the treasure chest, and discover the gold inside. Except that the gold's not all for you; every person who helped narrow down the search gets a part of the booty.

There are other various elements, like creaky statues, the occasional cursed treasure, and magic amulets that help you defend against the curse or help you take an extra turn when you need it. The game ends when all the gold's been parceled out. Winner is the player with the most.

STRENGTHS

-- Beautiful board and pieces. Lots of the elements are made of wood, including some carved and painted items like statues and palm trees. If you're going to be spending an hour staring at and handling a game, it should look good, and Tobago does.
-- Relies more on turn-to-turn tactics rather than an overarching strategy. So it's not too overwhelming, and mistakes made early on can be overcome in later turns.
-- Involves just the right amount of cooperative game theory -- that is, basing your moves on how you think your competitors would play. This is an essential component of any quality game.
-- Variable board configurations. Because of the modular game board, there are 32 possible island configurations to play with.
-- Easy to explain. If you know how to play, it should take you 5-10 minutes to explain to a newbie. If you're starting from scratch, expect 10 minutes more. Which is pretty fast for this genre of game.

WEAKNESSES

-- Just a little too heavy of a reliance on luck. Your power in the game comes from the cards you hold, which are drawn randomly. You can exchange them, but it's a still a random draw. I'm not sure how they could improve this, and to be fair, it's a minor quibble.
-- Relies less on an overarching strategy than turn-to-turn tactics. If you're a veteran of strategy games and want something intense, this may feel too simple.

CONCLUSION

This is a great entry-level game for families and gamers looking for something a step up from, say, Risk. It's roughly on the same complexity level as Settlers of Catan, maybe even easier.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2010
Format: ToyVerified Purchase
This is a great game that we picked up through Amazon.com.
We had heard about it for a while and were very anxious to give it a shot. And we're very glad that we did.

Tobago is a great game with fantastic components. We love being able to determine where the treasure is buried - by playing clue cards that narrow down the possibilities. Then driving our ATV over to that spot and digging it up. And everyone that contributed a clue gets to share in the treasure find.

But what makes it really enjoyable to play over and over is that the board itself is customizable - with many different combinations of how to lay it out. And then you also get to choose where to place the cool statues, palm trees, and huts.

Check out how the game really plays by watching our video review.

You can also read more about our impressions on our game review site TheBoardGameFamily.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2010
Format: Toy
The previous review was very thorough and I agree with most of what was said. This game moves along quickly enough that the players don't have to endure long waits while co-players contemplate strategy. I'm not sure I agree that too much is left to chance. Strategic gathering and disposing of amulets can make up for the element of chance. Easy to catch on to and enjoyable to play in company as it's possible to maintain basic conversation while the game is being played. After the first play of the game, subsequent game setup is quick and easy, which is not always true for German board games. Maximum number of players is 4.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2010
Format: Toy
My entire family loves this game. We have played it with every member of my and my husband's immediate families, and everyone who has played it with us loves it.
The board itself is beautifully made, love the artwork. The pieces are a lot of fun, and also beautifully made. Love the treasure hunting, and the sense of cooperative play while building maps, but individual play to gain treasures. A lot of fun for everyone.
Definitely a game to be added to your collection if your tired of the run of the mill games and ready for something a little bit different.
Also, this game was an award winner for 2010. The "Spiel Das Jahres" (Game of the Year) award from Germany is a huge award for games to receive, and usually means a game is REALLY worth while, this game won that award in either 2009 or 2010.
Worth it!!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 26, 2011
Format: ToyVerified Purchase
I recently visited a small island paradise, which I will not identify. I will only tell you it begins with a "T". The island was beautiful, with varied features. There were lakes, rivers, mountain regions, jungles, scrubland and of course beaches. There were intriguing stone head statues. I also saw a few palm trees and some small huts. The natives are resourceful, and the only transportation available to visitors is ATV's made entirely of wood. I soon learned that they get poor mileage, and run out of fuel quickly. One native told me that some magical amulets could be found on the island, and that they somehow improved your mileage. They were right.

I met a nice group of people, and they spoke of finding pieces of maps scattered around. We explored and found some, and began sharing our pieces with one another. Turns out the completed maps lead to buried treasures. I can be a bit greedy, so I started keeping some of my pieces while I tried to guess the locations before sharing my information with the others. There's no other way to say it. I wanted treasure. Let's face it. I need it more than anyone else, in my view. But my greed came back to haunt me, as often occurs in life. I found one treasure and grabbed it all for myself, but it was cursed. And I lost it all. I'm sure you've heard it before, so I expect no sympathy. A bit of understanding will make me feel better, though, because someone else benefited from my misfortune. One of my supposed "friends" on the island.

So I returned home with some good memories, and some not so good. It's all my fault. I should have visited the island just to enjoy it, because there was plenty to enjoy. But it turned out to be a little more complicated than that, and I couldn't resist the challenge. I did not return rich, but instead felt enriched. Or so I tell myself now. After all, few people return rich after taking vacations, right? Maybe you'll be one of the few. Make sure you know your island "friends" before you go sharing all your little map pieces you find. Humans find ways to ruin a lot of things, even island vacations. Betrayal, deceit and greed find endlessly creative ways to take over generally good people, given the right circumstances. Like being on a little island that starts with a "T". I loved it and hated it. How is that possible?
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on November 5, 2014
Format: Toy
This is quite an original game that I knew nothing about going in. It all started with me being handed a palm tree, stone head, and hut and being told to plop them down anywhere on the map. What followed was a sort of build-you-own treasure map experience. The game is played by playing clue tokens on one of 4 treasures to narrow down the treasure's location and moving around a map to collect those treasures. There are a couple other elements like cursed treasures and magical medallions but that's basically the entire game.

As you can tell from that description the game is simple and easy to teach. It also played reasonably quickly. With setup and explanation a game with 3 people took only 75 minutes. While I've played games with deductive reasoning elements before the theme and way this game handled it made it feel very new and I had a lot of fun. Despite the simplicity there are also a lot of interesting choices to make just under the surface.

It also deserves mentioning that the production values of this game are phenomenal. The pieces are all solid, beautiful and well-made and it comes with a modular board with an advertised 32 different configurations. And all without a Splotter price tag.

It's not a game I'd want to play all the time (which is the only thing keeping me from throwing it on my wish list right away) but it is a fun and engaging experience with very fresh feeling gameplay.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2011
Format: ToyVerified Purchase
I bought Tobago having never seen or played the game because board game sites rated it so highly. I am glad I did. The board and game pieces are island themed and well made. Tobago combines strategy and luck. Players use cards in their hand to limit possibilities for the location of hidden treasure. Once a treasures location is narrowed to only one possibility, you race to retrieve it. My 11 year old daughter loves the game.
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on September 5, 2014
Format: ToyVerified Purchase
This game is a ton of fun for adults or children, with children you would just need to remind them what the cards mean but its all in the book. I was so happy to receive this game in perfect condition and very quickly! The game is based around finding treasure but the treasure is buried where the players sloly build up to narrow down where it is. I love the pieces in this game and it is a ton of fun!
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on June 12, 2014
Format: ToyVerified Purchase
The players work together to narrow down where the treasures are by putting clue cards on each treasure until there can only be one place left on the board that it can be hiding then the race is on to go collect it and snag some magic amulets along the way. Why do you need the amulets? Some of the treasures are cursed and the amulets let you avoid the worst of it and have other benefits as well. Everyone who contributed a clue to where the treasure is located shares in the loot along with the person who finally unearths it. Tobago is great family fun but can be hard to find in print at times. There are lots of little pieces so you may need a few more sandwich size zip lock bags to keep them all separated.
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on October 14, 2013
Format: ToyVerified Purchase
Awesome game heaps of fun and replayability as it is different every time.

A great game for both experienced gamers and those new to the hobby.
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