If you love a game combining dexterity, tension and hilarity, then look no further than the balancing, wobbling game of Topple. The Topple rules are pretty simple: put your pieces on the wobbling board to score points, but don’t make it Topple!
Great for all ages, this three-dimensional board game uses STEM skills and dexterity, all while having fun. It’s a game you can come back to over and over.
As a game of dexterity, it’s quite similar to Jenga, Don’t Spill the Beans, KerPlunk, Operation or Pick-up-Sticks.
Related: 45 Fun Indoor Group Games for Kids
If you’re new to Topple, don’t worry, we’ll take you through it step-by-step and you’ll be balancing that Topple board in no time. In this guide to Topple we’ll talk you through the objectives and rules of the game including how to get set up, how to score and how to win.
What is Topple?
Topple is a great game of strategy and risk. The aim of the game is to strategically place your pieces on the wobbly board to score well, without toppling the tower.
Number of players: 2-4
Difficulty: very easy
Length of Play: 20-30 minutes, but you can set a lower or higher target score to make the game longer or shorter.
Main Objective: Reach the target score without toppling the board.
Why we Love Playing Topple: The best thing about Topple is the nail-biting tension as you carefully place your piece to see if you can do so without toppling the board, followed by the shrieks of hilarity as the whole lot comes tumbling down.
Topple Game Components
The Topple box contains everything you will need to play Topple, with the exception of paper and a pencil to keep a note of the score.
The contents of the box are:
- 48 colored playing pieces (12 each of 4 colors)
- Topple tower
- Game base
- Game stem
- Playing die
- Pencil and paper for score sheet
Set up on a flat surface. The stem is then slotted into the base and the Topple board balanced on top.
Topple Rules and Game Play Instructions
Each player chooses which color they will play and takes all the pieces of that color.
Decide together what your target score will be to end the game, e.g. 100 and choose a score-keeper. The higher your target score, the longer the game goes on.
Roll the die to decide who will go first. Play then continues to the left.
How to Play Topple – Video Tutorial
When it’s your turn, roll the die – the number you roll will determine where you must place your piece. The Topple board is divided into numbered levels. If you roll a 1, you must place your piece on the center spot, roll a 2 – 5 and put your piece on the corresponding level, roll a 6 to put it anywhere on the board.
The aim of the game is to add to rows or stacks of playing pieces to score points. All the while, being careful not to Topple the board. You may not touch the Topple board or any other pieces – just the one you are placing.
If you cause any pieces to fall off their stack or from the board, this is called a Topple, whether it occurred by placing a piece during your turn, or by the table being knocked.
The round ends when a topple has occurred or when there are no more pieces to play. At the end of the round, any remaining pieces are removed from the board, play starts again, and scoring continues.
How to keep score in Topple
Scoring in Topple is a bit challenging the first couple of times, but you soon get the hang of it and the game becomes a lot more about scoring strategy. My nine and eleven-year-old were soon trying to work out how to place their pieces to score more points and maintain the balance of the board.
Score 3 points by completing a row of five pieces in any color, whether diagonally, horizontally or vertically, and an additional bonus point for each playing piece of your own color that’s on top of the stacks in that row.
Score by adding a piece to one of the stacks in a row that already exists. You score one point for each piece of your color on top of the stacks in that row.
Additional points can be scored for adding a piece to a stack that already has 3 or more pieces.
If you add a piece to a stack that already has 3 or more pieces, you score a point for each piece of your color in that stack.
Strategy – By placing carefully, you may find that you are able to score on multiple rows and maybe a stack as well.
If a Topple occurs, the player that caused it loses 10 points. In addition, if they caused the Topple during their turn, the player whose turn it was before scores a 3-point bonus!
As you can imagine, it gets very tense when you place a piece and the whole board begins to sway and wobble. All the players watch to see if it will Topple!
How to Win at Topple
Once you have reached the target score (set at the beginning), play continues until the end of that round – when all the pieces are used or a Topple occurs. Whoever has the highest score at the end of that round is the winner.
Alternative Game Play
Two player version – Each player takes 2 colors and scores them separately. For example, if you are pink and yellow and you play a pink piece to score, you get points for the pink pieces only. You can choose which color to play.
Simpler (no score) version – If children are playing together without an adult, or a younger child is playing, it can be easier not to worry about keeping score. Instead, place the pieces as per the die, but whoever causes a Topple is eliminated from the game.
Frequently Asked Questions about Topple
What material is the Topple game board made from?
All the pieces are made from brightly colored, durable plastic. There is also a version called Topple Chrome, with a sleek shiny blue Topple board.
What age is Topple suited for?
It’s advertised for six years up and is ideal for generations to play together. With no general knowledge questions and minimal maths skills needed, there are no limits on enjoyment with this game. The play pieces could be very dangerous if swallowed so should be kept away from toddlers.
Can I still play Topple if I’ve lost a couple of play pieces?
Absolutely. Your play rounds will be a bit shorter but provided you haven’t lost so many that it impacts on your ability to score or make the board wobble, you should be fine.
What if two people both have the same winning score at the end of the last round?
This is one of those occasions where you must call it a draw – or have a re-match!
Similar to Topple: Other Family Games to Have Fun With
Another great cross-generational game, this time for just two players, you might consider the classic Guess Who? We love the animal version!
Trouble is another fantastic board game for 2-4 players, this time involving popping a central die and moving your pieces around the board in a frantic race to get home.
We’ve had hours of family fun and laughter with Hedbanz – a question and answer game to guess the subject of a card stuck to the front of your head.