Finding old games
Desert Island Games
Letters to the Editor
Three For All
Tribond took a fundamental puzzle paradigm— the common bond— and turned it into a remarkably successful board game. Now the publisher has dropped the board and developed the underlying concept into a party game which proceeds briskly and mostly successfully, if somewhat superfluously.
Two teams compete for points by identifying the common link among three items. The game doesn’t cut directly to the chase, however, and inserts a pointless preamble. I mean that both literally and figuratively. One player gives clues to each of the three items in the tribond. Anyone from either team can call out answers, and the clue-giver confirms correct ones. Yet no points are awarded during this process, and it doesn’t make the game more entertaining. It’s busywork— a way to extend the game’s perceived value without actually increasing player enjoyment.
Points only come from correctly identifying the common bond. Each team only gets one shot at this, but anyone can take that shot by slapping the “buzzler” to stop the entirely superfluous clock. A correct guess earns 1-8 points, while an incorrect guess incurs the forfeiture of an equal number. If the wrong answer was an attempted “steal” by the team opposing the clue-giver, the forfeited points are actually paid to the clue-giver’s team.
Score is represented by placing marbles in a triangular scoring tray. A team wins by being the first to fill its tray.
The best thing about Three For All is that it accelerates the pace of the Tribond board game, making it appealing in party environments or with players of limited patience. But if you’ve already got Tribond, there’s really no need to purchase a separate game for that purpose. You can easily play the same game using the cards from the board game. The marbles, scoring tray, and buzzler are unnecessary chrome. The activity of solving tribonds is a very satisfying one no matter which milieu you choose.
The Game Report Online - Editor: Peter Sarrett (firstname.lastname@example.org)