By January 29, 2007

Hoity Toity Game Review

I recently acquired Hoity Toity, a game by Klaus Teuber, creator of Settlers of Catan. If you’ve been a longtime Gibberish reader, you know how much we love Settlers around here. I received Hoity Toity as part of my $10 “Tanga Trash” item sold during a recent Tangathon at Tanga.com.

The premise of the game is simple. Between three to six players take on the roles of antique dealers and attempt to win by building the biggest and best collections … or by stealing them. You may either go to the auction house to acquire more pieces, or go to a gallery to display (or steal) your collection. If you go to the auction house, you may either buy one of two possible items with cash or you can try to steal an item, as long as you are the only thief present. There are three possible actions at the gallery. You may display your collection. The best and second-best collections get to move forward on the game board. You may play a thief and try to steal an item from any display. You may also play a detective, which will send all thieves to jail. All players make their “moves” at once, but the events unfold in cascading order. If I display my winning collection at the gallery, I get to move forward. If a thief is played, they get to steal a part of my collection after I move. If a detective is then played by a third player, then the thief goes to jail after stealing an item from my collection. The game has a kind of rock-paper-scissors feel. You win the game by moving forward with a successful exhibit, you can add to your own collection by stealing, or you can counter thieves with detectives. Unfortunately, this methodology falls a little flat in smaller games.

Stilts, Lady Jaye and I had a chance to play Hoity Toity last Friday. Playing the detective in a three person game is almost a waste of your turn. In order for your detective play to be worthwhile, many things have to happen in your favor. Working backwards, a detective needs to be played on a thief. A thief needs to be played at the gallery. That means that if the two other players go to the auction house, you’ve wasted your turn. If the opposing players go to the gallery and don’t steal, then they automatically get to move forward while you stand there with your private dick in your hand. In a three person game, it’s much better to try to steal, or to try to win at the gallery.

The game rapidly became “are the other players going to play thieves or exhibits?” and once you near the end of the game it’s a mad dash for whomever has the best collection. I think this game would be much more fun with a full stable of players. It would allow for more variety in the game play, and would make the detective seem like a decent tactical move. However, with six people at the house, we’d play other games like Settlers, Cranium, Last Word, ImagiNiff, or so on. With so many fun games we’d rather play Hoity Toity sinks to the bottom of the list.

For $10 shipped (including a pencil holder from the animated movie Cars and a CD from a band I’d never heard of), Hoity Toity wasn’t a bad purchase. We may break it out again at some point to see how it flies. If you can only find it at full price and already have a roster of decent party games, I’d say pass.

Hoity Toity, I open my exhibit of:
Three out of five STFU mugs!
full STFU mug full STFU mug full STFU mug empty STFU mug empty STFU mug

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Posted in: games, review

2 Comments on "Hoity Toity Game Review"

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  1. drfaulken says:

    No, I was afraid to spin it. :\

  2. roclar says:

    It would be interesting to see how it played with more then three players. Biggest problem with the detective was the weak incentive for people to play thieves given that only three people were choosing between two locations. Were you considering a thief play, you’d have to guess where people were going and hope they too weren’t playing a thief as well.

    At least the Cars pencil holder was solid! Have you listened to the CD yet?