In Top Pop, each player is the owner of a soda pop company in the 60’s, trying to increase his influence and reputation in the big cities of the USA!
2-5 players, ages 8+
Playing time: 30-45 minutes
Designers: Mark McGee & Joshua J Mills
Artists: James Churchill & Christina Pittre
Publisher: Talon Strike Studios
Now live on Kickstarter:
Each player starts the game with a company board in front of him, and a hand of 3 cards. The cards represent cities across the USA, and you play the game with different sets, depending on the player count.
You start your turn by placing one of the city cards from your hand in front of the company board of a player.
Next you collect caps: If you placed the card in front of yourself, you collect one cap in a colour of your choice, if you placed it in front of another player, you gain an additional cap in that player’s colour.
You place caps on the city cards, always with your colour on top. Your stack must be higher than other stacks on the card, and it must contain a cap of the player who previously had the highest stack. You can place as many stacks as you want, but no more than one per card.
You end your turn by drawing a new card.
If at the start of your next turn any of the city cards still has a highest stack that’s yours, you collect the card, and the player who the card was in front of receives your stack, except if it was your own. Other stacks on the card return to their owners. The end gets triggered when a player wins their 6th card!
At the end of the game, there’s a majority scoring for each city, and you’ll also receive points for the diversity of the card you collected.
Top Pop is definitely one of those games with more depth than appears at first glance. The placing of the stacks feels very tactical as you’ll have to make the most of your available caps, and you won’t always be able to claim that one card you really want. The fact that you have to put the color of the highest stack when placing your own stack is an important element and really makes this game a fun puzzle to explore!
The rules of Top Pop are easy to grasp, and every step of your turn is nicely summarized on your company board, accompanied with the endgame scoring. I think the artwork captures the vibe of the sixties in an excellent way, and I’m very eager to see the stackable caps of the final version, replacing the wooden disks of this prototype.
Top Pop also comes with a couple of variants like city powers, in which players receive a special power when winning a card of a specific city, and also scenario’s, which definitely adds to this game complexity and replayability!
Top Pop is now live on Kickstarter:
***We played Top Pop with a prototype copy of the game, the final version will be different from what you see in the photos***