Theme&andn’What is it?
Not everyone needs one
Ton Ton has no specific theme to it as it is solely a game centered around mechanics, like games of this type.
Lots of good influences
Reading the rules and looking at the game, it feels like the designer has played a lot of classic trick taking games like spades, hearts, rummy, and tichu.
Short are the rules but mastering is long
The goal of Ton Ton is to acquire the most points by the end of the third round.
Each player gets a scorecard and scoring clip to keep track of their own score. Randomly choose the goal cards, shuffle, place them face down, then turn over the first. Shuffle face down a number of different colors of cards based upon the number of players in the game and each player takes eight cards. The first player is the one with the red 8 and takes the First Player card.
A round is made up of seven tricks to play (seven of eight cards will be played in a round). Each trick is played, starting with the first player to play a card, and the other players must either play a card of the color of the card played by the first player or another card if they don’t have a card of that color. The player with the highest cards wins the trick and the cards are placed in piles, by color, in front of the player with the lowest card on top.
Once seven tricks have been played, the players count their score and evaluate what they have against the current round’s goal card, incrementing the clip accordingly.
The cards are reshuffled and dealt to the players, the First Player is determined, a new goal card is revealed, and a new round commences.
Lots of game in little package
Ton Ton is made up of cards and the score clips. The cards are cut into thin, narrow cards about ⅓ of a regular playing card. The cards are a thin card stock with a matte finish. The score clips are small and made of plastic, both easy to break and/or lose. The box is very nice, sturdy with a magnetic flap to keep everything in place.
The art of Ton Ton is limited, five different colors/types of cards with a unique design to them and the game box. They are intricate and beautiful, what I like in games with an Asian motif. My only disappointment, if you can call it one, is that more art wasn’t included given the limited components.
Take those tricks, score those points
This game, though simple in nature, offers a fair amount of randomness where you don’t feel like you’re playing the same game twice given the First Player changes every round, the goal card changes every round, and the goals for a given game can be different.
It’s about right, get ‘em while they’re young
The age range is 8+ and the weight of the game is front-loaded for each player as they learn the game. Once you’ve got the rules down, then you can pour more brain power into strategy.
Nice change of pace
Ton Ton is a beautifully made and quick game for those with a trick taking itch. It falls naturally into collections that have games previously mentioned. While the game is simple, I wouldn’t call it an intro game because the strategy is a bit on the tricky side (ha ha!). It will make a nice change of pace for those who like to whip out a quick card game for lunch at work, biding time in an airport, or whiling away a lazy afternoon.