Do you have the stealth of a rogue to sneak a peek at your presents without being Troll Slapped?
|Designer(s)||Robert Bryce Milburn||Artist(s)||Pedro Villarejo||Publisher||
Most of us have stories of when we were young trying to sneak a peek at presents whether that is Christmas, Birthday, or some other type of present. Troll Trouble is all about trying to be sneaky while making your way to the Christmas tree to sneak a peek at your gifts under the tree. However, this Christmas, you may get something worse than coal for being naughty; you may find a hungry troll who is ready to eat you. This game combines light elements of set collection and dexterity.
The game comes in a standard size card box and includes 52 cards. The box is colorful and glossy; I like the simple artwork on the box. It definitely has a little creepy factor, but not too much. One thing I was very happy to see and wish all card box of this type would include; the little cutout for your thumb to be able to more easily open the box. I have fought and accidently ripped these types of card boxes when the game was packed too tight. Big kudos for such a small thing.
The game includes the following components:
- 52 Cards
- 38 Kid Cards -
- 14 Bedroom Cards, 12 Hallway Cards, 12 Tree Cards
- 14 Troll Cards -
- 38 Kid Cards -
- Rule Sheet
The cards, like the box, are very glossy and pretty slick; they are not the thickest cards, but they seem to have a decent bit of give to them when I tried bending them without resulting in a crease. The artwork on the cards are pretty good easily illustrating a kid sneaking to peek. There is a total of 7 different illustrations as the cards reuse the same artwork across the matching card types. Overall, I think the cards are certainly pretty good.
In this game, you are going to be trying to either knock out each of the other players by using Troll cards (one player remaining) or collecting three gifts as children. The game is very simple with only three actions the players may perform throughout the game.
- Shuffle all of the cards together and deal out 5 cards to each player. Place the rest in the center of the table to allow each player to reach the deck easily (this will be important).
- Place cards around the deck to be used as gifts; the count is based on the player count:
- 2 Players: 5 Cards
- 3 Players: 7 Cards
- 4 Players: 9 Cards
- 5 Players: 11 Cards
The youngest player will go first.
On a players turn, they first start by drawing a single card from the deck or another player's hand.
Next, they have one of two types of actions they may perform on your turn (select only one):
- Play - This action allows you to play cards from your hand to start a single new set or to add to a single existing. You are trying to create sets of cards with Bedroom, Hallway, and Tree all with matching children cards (boy or girl). You can play as many cards as you want (up to three technically) to a single set.
- Reach - While you have a full matching set of Bedroom/Hallway/Tree cards in front of you, you may attempt to take a peek at a present by quickly taking a "gift" card from around the deck of cards. However, the other players may be trolls in hiding and may attempt to snatch you up. See the Slap action below to see how the Reach action is challenged by Slaps.
Once you are finished with your turn, play continues with the next player.
Actions on Other Player's Turn
- Slap - If you have a Troll card in your hand and another player is "Reaching" for a gift card, a player may slap at another players hand or the gift they are attempt to take.
- If the Troll is able to hit the gift card the Child is attempting to take before the Child touches it, the gift remains on the table and the Child's turn ends. The Troll card and the set of Child cards used by the child are discarded.
- If the Troll is able to hit the gift card the Child has in their hand or the Child's hand itself, that child is eaten by the Troll and is eliminated from the game. All of that player's cards are then discarded along with the Troll card.
- If the Slapping player does not actually have a Troll card, the Slap does not count and the Child may take the gift.
- If the child is able to get away with the present without be slapped by a troll, then the player is able to peek at the gift and keeps it.
The game ends if one of two conditions are met:
- A single player has managed to sneak a peek at three gifts; they win!
- Only a single player remains in the game; the other children were eaten by the troll. The last player (troll) standing, is the winner!
It is a cute and simple game. It mixes simple card play mechanics with quick dexterity gameplay. I think the theme is pretty good, but man, that Troll is creepy. I could see some children simply not liking the game because of the troll's creep value. It is very quick to learn and get started which is a big plus.
I do feel like they could have revised the rules a little bit as there is some ambiguity with some of the rules. One such being what happens to get a gift that is successfully taken. Does it go to the player's hand or sit in front of them as score. I would imagine it would sit in front of them so you can properly keep track, but the way the rules are written, it is not clear. There were a few other minor things within the rules, but that was the biggest thing I remember encountering during our playthrough.
Overall, it is a good game that likely won't have a lot of lasting power throughout the year, but it could be a fun one to crack out around the holidays. Be sure to check out the Troll Trouble Kickstarter that is live until December 31, 2021.
We received this prototype in order to write an honest review; all reviews reflect the honest opinions of the writer.