Taiga review by Colin Young

Written by Colin Y / Published July 10th, 2012 / 0 Comments

               The charms of Jacques Zeimet’s new memory game, Taiga, are readily apparent as soon as you open the box. The wee wooden tokens, the adorable animal art and the colourful circular tiles; the cute components are very disarming, suggestive of a simple exercise for children. In truth, Taiga provides players of all ages with a challenging game of image and recall.

Ten double-sided circular tiles form the board and depicted across the twenty surfaces are four images each of five different woodland creatures. On their turn, a player must find the four images of a particular animal, determined by a drawing from a wonderfully illustrated stack of cards. Every correct flip is rewarded with a wooden token, the fourth and final rewarded with the card itself, worth two tokens. Flip falsely, and you lose a token. Victory goes to the player with the most tokens after the final card is captured - they can consider themselves the sharpest-eyed camper at the table!

While there is a limited amount of animals and tiles, finding the featured fauna is easier said than done. The tiles are constantly being flipped, one turn after another, creating the fanning effect of a round of Three-Card Monte. (“Find the red fox, find the red fox, everybody’s a winnah…”) However, keeping one’s eye on the prize also requires a little deductive logic: on the reverse of an animal’s set of tiles are pictures of the four remaining animals. Therefore, if a player finds a fox by flipping over an owl tile, any other owl tiles can be ruled out as having more foxes. This added mental exercise tempers the game’s rigorous memory-work and creates a better designed and more rewarding push-your-luck mechanic. 

The charms of Taiga will undoubtedly bring children and adults alike to the table. It is, however, simple yet strong gameplay designed to test multiple mental faculties that will keep them coming back to this particular forest.

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