By University Games

Reviewed for Second Grade, 2008

Villa Paletti

Hit the road, Jenga. Villa Paletti is the next incarnation of nerve-tingling, risk-taking, balancing fun! When an Italian named Paletti ran out of money in mid-construction of his sky-scraping villa, he decided to take columns from the lower levels and use them on the upper ones. The result? A game of major architectural daring, as players try to remove columns from the bottom and reuse them on the top levels, without causing the whole thing to topple! Although an in-depth point system will keep older kids and adults engaged in strategy, younger kids will get a rush out of simply removing and replacing the colorful columns, all the while working on concentration, hand-eye coordination, and geometric awareness. Sure to remain a family favorite long after the final columns fall. (University Games, $29.99)