At a Glance: Villa Paletti is an exciting dexterity game of increasing intensity, as you displace pillars on the lower levels to build the higher levels.
Villa Paletti is a dexterity game for 2-4 players that was published back in 2001 (weird that 2001 is “back then” now). This tower-building game starts out with 1 base level of columns in 4 different colors, and as the game goes on, players will take one of the lower-level columns and move it to the topmost level. Whenever a player feels the tower will collapse if another column is moved, they can suggest a new level be placed on top. If the players approve, play continues. If a player objects, then the onus is on the objector to displace a column. The columns score a bit differently depending on their size, and whoever has the highest point total at any point on the topmost level, takes the Master Builder Seal. The Seal can change hands frequently, but the goal is to have the Seal once the tower falls. However, if the player with the Seal caused the tower to fall, then the winner is the previous player who held the Seal.
The game does have a theme, though it’s a shallow tie-in. The backstory is that there was a man named Paletti, who wished to finish his grandfather’s tower. Since he was hurting for money, he decided to take the pillars his grandfather had already built and simply reuse them for the higher floors. Of course, this means that the tower will become more unstable as the game progresses, which is to be expected in this type of game. There is more strategy here than your average tower-building, Jenga-style game. This game has been translated from the original German edition, and there have been a couple of rules variations spring up. In the original game, you are only allowed to move a column in your color. In the English version we have, you simply get a bonus if you choose to move your color, but all colors are fair game. Each is interesting, but I think the original rules are more challenging and strategic.
Villa Paletti won the German Spiel des Jahres award for Game of the Year, which generally means you can count on it to be great for the whole family. That is certainly the case here. It is a very welcoming game for all ages, including young kids. The pieces are absolutely top-notch, solid wood. The tower looks amazingly cool as it gets taller, and kids love to just play with the pieces if they want. Villa Paletti is by far one of my favorite dexterity games out there.
This is the edition that we have: https://amzn.to/2CQeMoM
Dexterity Game – Probably self-evident, but this is the common term for a genre of games where the main mechanic involves players’ physical reactions and coordination.