Publisher: Crash of Games (2014)
Game Designer: David Short
Number of Players: 2-5
Average Time: 5-10 minutes
Backyard Builders Treehouse
A Review by Gillian
Let me start off by saying that when Iain and I first sat down to play Backyard Builders Treehouse (hence forth known as BBT so I don't have to type that mouthful throughout), I knew nothing about the game. I read through the rules and they seemed familiar but I couldn't figure out why. Iain and I played a few games. Then, I explained it to Jim and he's like..."oh...it's Yardmaster Express". Well...yes it is. It is a revamp of Yardmaster Express. All the better for BBT that I didn't know that ahead of time...
I have only played Yardmaster Express once. Even though we own it and Jim has asked me many times to play, I just don't have any interest. I thought that I didn't like the game (gameplay and all)...but it turns out that I just don't like the design/theme...it just doesn't keep my interest. I'd much rather build a colorful treehouse than an all black train any day. We have played countless games of BBT since that first day and have enjoyed it immensely. It is just so easy to set up and play and with the achievements, the gameplay is slightly different each time. Awesome!
I love the artwork and the individual themes for each color (my favorite, of course, is purple). And the different ladders are so much fun!
After we finished our first game, Iain turned to me and said "it's like Monster Factory!". High praise coming from him considering his love of Monster Factory! And that first game kind of felt like Monster Factory...in that we didn't look through the cards ahead of time so we really were surprised by what our treehouses looked like in the end...we were excited by each new card and each new floor. However, after realizing, for instance, that each orange 2 floor has the exact same image...each purple 4 floor has the exact same image...you realize it's not quite Monster Factory. Sometimes you end up with multiple orange 2 floors in your treehouse. Once...in fact...I had a treehouse with 5 orange 2 floors in a row...which means I had 5 of the exact same floors lined up in my treehouse. Iain and I joked that I had quintuplets...
So...the one thing I would like to see...that would help with replayability even more...would be different artwork for each and every floor (yeah...I know...lots of work and such). I would love to be able to sit back at the end of a game and enjoy the unique treehouses we build each time. It's different with Yardmaster Express. Many train cars look exactly the same so having multiple coal cars and such that look exactly the same isn't a problem but with a treehouse...I want variety!
That said...it is a fun game for all ages and I look forward to many, many more games of Backyard Builders Treehouse in the future. Thank you, Crash of Games, for releasing a game I love!