Monday, August 29, 2016

Using Critical Thinking Skills to Build Magical Hat Stacks With Top That! {Review and Giveaway}

We have been having a blast playing a couple of new games from Blue Orange Games. I will be sharing about the first one in this post, and then later this week I will be writing the review of the other. We were sent Top That! and Gigamons:

Today I will be sharing about Top That!, a fun, fast moving game where players need to build a hat stack following the specifications on the card.  

Here, let's take a look:

This game can be played by 2-4 players, each of whom will have a set of the hat-stack building components. See how they nest together so perfectly for storage.

Top That! comes with a set of 55 Challenge Cards, and 4 of each of the following: Black Top Hats, Red Cups, Orange Tubes, Green Coins, and White Rabbits. Lastly, there is a fold-out booklet of illustrated rules. 

See how all the pieces fit inside the Top Hats:

Here is a look at the challenge cards.

The concept is quite simple. The top card is flipped over, revealing the challenge. The players race to be the first person to stack the correct pieces. They do not have to be in any specific order, but you have to make sure you don't use the pieces that are not included on the current card, and you have to be aware of which pieces need to be hidden and which ones need to be visible when viewed from the side. 

We know which pieces need to be hidden, because they are the ones that are colored gray on the card. The pieces that are to be visible are shown in color. Only the pieces shown on the card are to be in the hat stack.

Before the game begins, the number of points needed to be the winner is declared, or you can play until the deck is gone. The player with the most points/cards wins.

Let's look at an example:

In this challenge there are 4 pieces that need to be used: the hat, the tube, the cup, and the coin. The rabbit is set aside. It is up to the player to decide how the stack is formed. The orange tube could have been placed directly on the hat with the cup on top of it and the coin finishing it off. Technically, the hat could have been on top if it was placed upside down. 

Sometimes it takes a bit more thinking to figure out how to stack the pieces, making sure the right ones are hidden. 

The first person to complete the stack calls out, "Top That!." If the stack is correct, the player gets the card as a point. If any mistakes were made (including a piece that wasn't on the card, forgetting one that was, having one hidden or visible that was not supposed to be) the remaining players continue building their stacks until the next one completes theirs and says, "Top That!."

Someone was quite happy to beat her sister.

Tabitha is actually quite fast, even beating me quite a bit of the time.

Here, let's take a closer look at a challenge.

Could you see which pieces were to be used?

The orange tube was to be set aside.

So, do you think the stack pictured above is correct?
No, it is not. The red cup is in gray on the card, as is the rabbit.

Here is the correct stack:

Both the rabbit and the red cup are under the top hat.

One thing we haven't done yet, is tried the advanced play options. If you notice on the cards, sometimes one of the pieces is surrounded by yellow stars.

There are two options for advanced play. 

Option 1: The piece surrounded by yellow stars needs to remain empty (so the player needs to make sure hidden objects are in a different piece. 

Option 2: The piece surrounded by yellow stars must have a piece inside it.

I'm thinking of insisting that Tabitha and I play using the advanced play instructions, so the younger children have a better chance of winning.

The children are so fascinated by this game. They love to play it again and again. We have even included Harold, when he wants to play. He prefers to play one-on-one with a parent so he doesn't get frustrated as he can't keep up with us. When I play with him alone, we will take turns looking at the card and telling each other what pieces need to be set aside. The leader will then show the other player which pieces go where. Harold can figure it out pretty well, as long as he isn't rushed as he would be while playing the actual game.

This has become a very popular game in our household. I love that the children are using critical thinking skills to build the hat stacks. And of course, it is a great hands-on game, helping children to develop fine-motor skills. Though the game is designed for ages 6 and up, I am glad I was able to figure out a way for our 4 year old to play as well. I can definitely see where the 6 and up age designation makes sense, as players need to be able to make quick judgments about the pieces and get the hat stack built up.

This is a game I highly recommend for fun family times and educational development. I also enjoy the fact that it is simple enough that I can leave the children to play by themselves if I need to get work done.

 Great news! I have been given the opportunity to offer a giveaway for one person to win Top That!

All you need to do is enter in the Rafflecopter form below. 
There are only 2 simple mandatory entries, with the remainder of the entries being optional. 
Remember, you do not have to do the extra entries, but they will increase your odds of winning. 

This giveaway is open to US residents 18 and over. 
The giveaway runs August 29th through September 11th.

Thanks for stopping by, and good luck!

 By entering the giveaway, you understand and agree that your contact information will be shared with the sponsor.

Disclosure: I received a copy of Top That! from Blue Orange Games in exchange for my honest review. No further compensation was given. This did not in any way influence my review. I only recommend products I use personally and feel will be a good products for my readers.


  1. My son loves magic! Don't have a favorite trick though.

  2. If someone could actually pull a rabbit out of a hat and make it look good lol! This looks like a really great game!

  3. I like a good magic show. Disappearing cars and tricks like that.

  4. My grandson would love this. His favorite is disappearing tricks.

  5. No, there is no magic here but I like to watch it.

  6. No favorite acts, but my son is always asking for a magic kit.

  7. We've been watching a show where a magician reveals the illusions and sleight of hand secrets. We have no favorite trick, but it's all very interesting.

  8. I don't have a favorite magic act, but my daughter enjoys all sorts of magic tricks.

  9. i don't, but my daughter loves magic. we used to live in las vegas and she would love to see the magic acts.

  10. No favorite but my son loves magic tricks.

  11. I actually had the saw in half. Thank you


  12. My son is REALLY into magic right now! He would love this! My favorite act is the sawing a person in half or reading minds. Thanks for the chance

  13. I love all magic but there is this trick when I was little that a babysitter did. She pushed a penny through her neck and it popped out of her mouth. It turned out to be so cool that I tried to do it and ended up choking on a it was still a cool trick

  14. I've always been intrigued by magic I'd say my favorite is the disappearance act

  15. No personal favorite, but my son who is big into magic loves levitating tricks. Thanks for the chance to win.

  16. my favorite magic act is when my son has me pick a card and then he can tell me what my card was without looking.

  17. I love disappearing tricks, card tricks always are fun!

  18. My favorite magic act is sawing a lady in half.

  19. It's old but I like the rabbit out of a hat. My daughter loves magic and always wants to learn tricks.

  20. Disappearing crayons magic trick

  21. My favorite is Criss Angel's MindFreak show
    Thank You

    Fiona N

  22. i dont have a favourite trick but my son loooves magic now

  23. My favorite magic act is when they make things disapear

  24. Just this past April, our extended family went on vacation and their was a magician on the cruise. Everyone LOVED his card tricks and snake act!


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