### Tongue-Tied: An Experiment with Path-Building Games

I've been exploring tile-based path-building games recently to see if there's any fresh meat left on that bone. I started a GeekList last week so the hive mind could share their thoughts on these kinds of games. Turns out there are many, many more than I expected. Still, all the themes seemed to be either abstracts or somehow related to trains or transport. Makes sense, since you're effectively building "roads," but of course I got to thinking about some different themes.

Here you can see my first pass at a game I'm tentatively calling Tongue Tied, inspired by the Pokemon Lickitung. Download the first set of printable cards here.

The theme is that a bunch of creatures with long tongues are trying to grab their favorite foods. The game is played with the cards you see above, which have six exits each. The paths feature either a mushroom, apple or candy. The backgrounds are either squiggly lines, straight lines or checkers. Here's how to play!

First, randomly deal to each player a hand of three cards. Then deal a 2x2 set of cards to start the board.

On your turn, you may do the following.

On your turn, you place a card down adjacent to another card on the table as shown. You can't turn cards sideways, they're always placed flush against each other.

Smileys show what they're hungry for. In the above example, the smiley is looking for mushrooms. Good thing its already got two mushrooms on its tongue!

Some Smileys want types of tongue segments. In the example above, this smiley wants long straight segments of its tongue.

Or in this example, the smiley wants tongue segments that are on a checkerboard background.

Two smileys may not be connected to each other. Only one tongue per smiley!

If you complete a tongue, you score 1 pt for each of that Smiley's preference. If the end of the tongue shows a "x2", you score double points. In the example above, the smiley wants long straight tongue segments. It only has one such segment, so that would normally score only 1 point, but you score 2 points because it ends in a "x2."

At the end of your turn, draw another card.

The game ends when the last card is played. Whoever has the most points at the end of the game wins!

Alternate themes I'm considering:
• Frogs: Their tongues extended around a pond, snatching up different types of flies.
• Bumblees: Flying around various fields stopping at particular flowers.
• Migrations of Dinosaurs: Stopping at particular locations, traversing various terrains.
Or I can stick with this weird Lickitung idea. I dunno. Your thoughts?

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Daniel Solis
Art Director by Day. Game Designer by Night.