The city is looking for a new building to reshape the skyline and you’ve been contracted to build this new masterpiece. LOTS is a competitive dexterity game where earning points leads to the title of Master Builder. Grabs some friends and let’s get building.
Building in 3D
Each game of LOTS will begin by choosing a building footprint card that sits on the small board in the center of the table. Each player rolls the die to determine what Tetris-style block they start the game with and will be given a Crew card. These cards give players perks that can be played to adjust a rule or score additional points.
At the start of your turn you’ll roll the die and pick up that specific shaped block. You must place one of the two blocks on the structure being built in the middle of the board. Blocks must stay within the footprint of the building and will score points in two ways:
Like colored blocks – When you add a new block to the tower, you’ll score 2 points for each like colored block it touches.
Completing a layer – When your block completes a layer of the tower, you’ll receive 5 points for each layer that is finished on your turn.
Crew cards also give players additional scoring opportunities. Scores are recorded by moving your colored meeple around the scoring spacing on the board.
LOTS has a great catch up mechanic that awards the player in last place a single purple block that can be played on their turn. These purple filler blocks are incredibly helpful when trying to complete layers of the building. Purple filler blocks are spaced around the board every 6 or 7 spaces which can lead to multiple players attaining these blocks. Because of this, it’s very rare for players to be “out of the game”.
A Balancing Act
LOTS is a dexterity game at its core so a steady hand (and table) are necessary. As the tower height increases, you’ll need to be cautious as you add a block on your turn. This creates plenty of tension as players climb beyond 20 and 30 points.
The placement of every block matters. You don’t want to leave room for the next player to finish a row and score 5 points. If a player causes pieces to fall off the tower during their placement, those blocks are removed from the game and the player takes a score of 0 on their turn. You’ll want to focus on precise placement as the tower grows.
The game ends when a player reaches the winning number of victory points for the number of players in that game or when 3 of the block supplies are empty.
A Great Family Option
LOTS is a really excellent game for families. I remember growing up playing Jenga in my house as a kid. There’s something about dexterity games that levels the playing field when kids and adults play together. Kids use those fine motor skills to beat the parents that are sometimes a little more clumsy.
I’ve rarely felt like adding a new block was impossible without disrupting the tower. There’s definitely a tension to the game but it never feels like it’s too much.
The wooden tetromino pieces are made from a solid wood that will last. LOTS difficulty level is determined by the building footprint card that gives you 8 different options when setting up the game. I really loved seeing the diversity on the Crew cards. These cards show a wide range of characters working on this building. I really appreciated this attention to detail.
My only gripe about LOTS has to be the size of the board itself. The score tracker runs along the edge of the board with the tower being built in the center. All this leads to things feeling very tight. Because I’m a big guy, I feel like my large fingers are always one step away from causing a disaster as I move the meeples around the scoring track. The board folds nicely and fits well into the cube-like package, but I would have loved a slightly bigger board.
Overall, LOTS has really impressed us. It’s a dexterity game that isn’t totally reliant on a steady hand. There’s plenty of strategy in placement of pieces and choosing whether you’ll set up another player or add to the overall difficulty as everyone builds the tower. A great attention to detail in the cards and excellent component quality make this a game that will hit the table over and over for our family.
You can pick up a copy of LOTS at your local game store or purchase a copy through Amazon today.
This game was provided to us by the publisher for review. Read more about our review policies at One Board Family.
- Plenty of strategy for a dexterity game
- Catch up mechanic works so well to keep players in the game
- Love the attention to detail with diverse characters on the cards
- Quick play means playing back-to-back games
- Small board size can be a little annoying
- Must have a stable surface to play
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[…] LOTS is a competitive building game that uses chunky wooden tetromino blocks. Our family really fell in love with this game from designer Zach Connelly. LOTS: Filled In is a roll and write follow up to this great family game that keeps the same playful style. […]