Triple Town Board Game?

My first Triple Town floating castle!
Like many, I've been a enjoying Triple Town for iOS. And, like many, it's got me thinking about a multiplayer board game adaptation for the mobile game. If you recall, my obsession with Jorinapeka led to Utara, so you could say I have a history. :p

Stuff You Need
2-4 players.
3 Meeple pawns for each player.
A 6x6 grid board.
An Utara die (or a d6. 1,2,3,4:N,E,S,W; 5:Sun; 6:Moon)
Put 36 grass tiles, three bush tiles, two tree tiles and one house tile in a bag.
A separate tile supply of bush, tree, house, mansion, castle, and bear tiles.

One house, tree, rock, bush and two grass tiles randomly placed on a 6x6 grid.

On your turn
Step 1:
Draw a tile from the bag and place it on the board. You may put a meeple on that tile. If that tile makes a match of three or more, they consolidate to create an upgraded unit, per standard Triple Town rules. Any player with a meeple on a tile that gets consolidated keeps their meeple on the new upgraded unit. Thus, after several consolidations, it is possible for multiple meeples to occupy the same tile.

Step 2:
You can remove one of your meeples from the board. Claim points based on the value of the tile it occupied.

Step 3:
Roll Utara die. Moon: Put a bear on the board. N, E, S, W: Move all bears one space that direction. Sun: Remove tile of your choice.

When the board fills up, player with most points wins.

Possible Retheme?
This mechanic reminds me of the old game Sim Earth. In that game you're terraforming a new planet across many geological epochs. One of the basic units was a comet, to create water. Match water to create an ocean. Match oceans to create a microbe. Match microbes to create fish. Match fish to create... And so on. Title? maybe 3io? A play on "three" and "bio."


  1. Crossed my mind too, but I thought it would take a whole bucket of tiles for all the combos you can make between elements, so I dropped it. But no doubt it could make a good game with some work on the adaptation.;)

  2. Not as many as you might think! At most, you would only need 36 grass tiles. Make them double-sided, so you can flip them over to create bushes. Also make double-sided tiles for trees/houses, mansions/castles, bears/gravestones.

    All that being said, I wonder if it's better suited to a trick-taking card game. On your turn, play a card. Each player takes turns following suit? If you follow suit with a third card, you can take the trick and make it a new unit. (Three grasses make a house, etc.) Perhaps with some points for each player whose cards comprised that trick.

  3. i would go with more than 36 tiles only. if spaced on your paper properly you could achieve roughly 88 tiles on an 8 1/2 x 11. for one-sided, try 36 grass tiles, 12 bushes, 6 trees, 2 houses, 2 rocks, 2-4 remover tiles. of course bears would be in the mix (8 or so) with the bear on one side and a grave on the other. then you could have a number of double-sided tiles with trees, bushes, houses, mansions, castles, cathedrals and churches. the one-sided tiles would all be placed in a bag, and drawn one at a time and placed at the player's discretion. the two-sided tiles would be out and available as pieces are combined. play should go on until the player can not place any more pieces. when combining tiles place the upgraded piece wherever the last of the three (or more) combination pieces was placed. also a spinner could be incorporated with four directions (up, down, left, and right) each turn where there are bears present the player would spin the spinner and move the bears in that direction (possibly number the bears and move them in order from 1 to 8?).

    start the game with 6 random pieces, and use 2 d6 to determine where to place each piece, since the game board is a 6x6. each dice could be differently colored to determine rows and columns when placing.

    play could continue until the board is filled, then have a scoring system such as grass = 1 point, bushes =4, trees = 13. the scoring system should make it beneficial to combine pieces, but in my opinion shouldn't be worried with until the game is over, at which point players tally up their scores.

    now for multiplayer, eveything should stay the same except the bears. each player's set of bears should be color coded. whenever say, you, for example draw a bear, you roll the 2 d6s and place it on the other player's board accordingly (if that tile is occupied, roll again obviously.

    also don't forget the reserve space, where you can hold a tile and not place it (limit 1).

    the sky is the limit with a game like this. instead of the standard triple town tiles, you could make medieval tiles, egyptian tiles, scary monsters, fantasy, etc, and make all the sets compatible. $$cha-ching$$. certain sets could have unique pieces or abilities. ex: an orc set could have a tile that when pulled from the bag eliminates all of the other players' tree tiles. the scary monster set could have a cool vampire tile that turns all creeps (bears) into graves. in addition to creeps (bears) you could have healers that revive your fallen creeps on other boards.

    i should really stop talking and go produce a board game.

  4. sorry, i forgot to mention this would be more like an impulse buy at the register, since it's merely tiles and a small game board and if you went with the expansions route. $9.99 for something that costs a buck to produce. no need for a game box just make the tile bag big enough to hold it all (7x7). awesome sauce.

  5. Funny, I was just thinking about this the other day. Specifically, how to use the Utara die better.

    Okay, some of the tiles have a bear icon, meaning as soon as they come into play, they get a bear tile on them. When you roll the Utara die in Phase 3, move all the bears that direction. If you roll a moon, all the bears go to sleep. Turn them over to the sleepy side.

    The bears will not move again until you roll a sun or you are able to trap the bears to make a church.

    Aw heck, who needs a custom die? Just put a sun, moon, N, E, S, W on the tiles too. The draw is the randomizer.

  6. Before you go out and produce anything, you ought to talk to Dan Cook, the creator of Triple Town. :P

  7. i recall reading an article where the creator of triple town filed suit against a game called yeti town or something like that. yeti town was apparently was the same all the way except the graphics. im not sure about the sun/moon thing. but the bears need to die when they aren't able to move, so putting the grave on the other side of the tile makes sense. from what ive noticed in the game the bears move randomly (or wherever you don't want them to go.

    i believe if you totally revised the art to different things/themes (forget how much games have to be changed to avoid copyright ??30%??) adding multiplayer aspect makes it use a similar mechanic, which the mechanic itself is not copyrighted. not sure how the lawsuit turned out.

    it is making a board game from a video game so not sure how copyright is affected there. wotc or wizkids got into a lawsuit or started one over patenting constructible miniatures. they actually got the patent, though it's somewhat vague. it does seem to generally cover making constructible game pieces though.

    if i understand it correclty you can have a constructible miniatures game you make, but you can not have the pieces referrence losing/gaining points. i know this info isn't relevant to the post and in the interest of not starting a copyright debate i'll quit here.

  8. After a whole five minute attempt, I couldn't see a way to put more than 18 grass tiles onto the board without making a triple, with the following pattern:


    Unless I'm wrong about this, the maximum one would need of any particular tile would be 18. Except bears. Theoretically they can occupy 35 tiles, provided you don't have the "save" space in the upper left.

  9. It's more about the probabilities of drawing tiles than how many of those tiles could be placed. So yeah, you could do 18 grass tiles as long as there are still relatively few of the other tiles.


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