Toc Toc Woodman
- Designer: Justin Oh
- Players: 2-7
- Time: 10 Min
I’ve got one word for you. Timmmmmberrrrr!!! Yes… the dreaded sound still rings in my ears. Was I out in the deep woods… manhandling a 40-pound ax… performing one of the deadliest jobs on the planet? No! Are you crazy? I have a wife and kids. Instead, I was seated squarely in a dining room chair, holding a tiny ax and sizing up an injection-modeled stump the size of a banzai. But make no mistake. The experience was nonetheless intense.
Here is how Toc Toc Woodman works. As indicated by the whimsical artwork on the box (which also ironically includes the displacement of a woodland creature from his loggy home), you will be setting up a layered tower of disks representing the core of a tree. On the outside of the core hang chunky pieces of bark. Like Jenga, the object of the game is to remove elements from the tower, in this case bark, without knocking the whole thing down in a cascade of wood-like plastic bits. On your turn you will get two taps at the tree with an impressive enough looking ax. One point is scored for each piece of bark successfully removed, and negative five points for each piece of core. That’s pretty much it. However, it’s not the silly theme that will have you laughing out loud over the course of the game. That will come from watching your friends daintily tap at a precariously positioned disk ripe with bark and failing miserably in the process.
Toc Toc Woodman is a rare experience that lets a person travel back to their childhood. From the teetering plastic tree to the miniature-sized axe, each element of this game takes a swing at the foundations of your adulthood. The question is… will you let it? Sure, I guess you could just play Jenga. However, most groups can play three games of Toc Toc in the same amount of time and laugh twice as hard. Being a lumberjack takes a great deal of courage, and many will need to harness that same courage and swallow their pride to sit down at a table with a plastic tree. And I hope you do, because it’s a game I ‘wood’ hate for you to miss.
Pros: Funnier than Jenga, Faster than Jenga, Friendlier than Jenga
Cons: Harder to Find than Jenga
Want more insight? Check out Episode 9 – Super Dynamic Meeple Olympics from our podcast library.