When you have a hallway full of games there are often ones that you know you like but they just never get pulled out and played. I really have no idea why this happens but I think it’s like certain movies. You love them but you need to be in the right mood to watch them. And then when you finally are in that mood you’re like I LOVE THIS MOVIE! Well, that recently happened with TriBond. We played a little bit at the bar during the Toy and Game Inventor’s Expo (TAGIE) and it put me in the mood to pull out the TriBond box and make an evening of it. Who doesn’t like trying to find out how three items or images are related? It’s a great mental workout.
TriBond has been out for quite a while; in fact it was invented by college buddies Dave Yearick, Ed Muccini and Tim Walsh (inventor of BLURT!) more than two decades ago. In 1983 they decided to invent a game after they saw the success of Trivial Pursuit, but it wasn’t until 1989 that Ed came up with the idea of a “Threezer” riddle. Could they make a game based on the question “what do these three have in common?” They could and they would. Within weeks they created a prototype, named it TriBond and started a company called Big Fun a Go Go, Inc.
Now I wish I could say that it was an easy ride to success from there, but it rarely is for people starting up in the game industry. For TriBond to become a success took a bit of time and a ton of effort. In 1990, after publishing 48 copies of TriBond Dave, Ed and Tim showed it at New York Toy Fair and by the end of the show they had only sold 30 games. Obviously, not the success they were looking for. Stunned that their AMAZING game got so few orders they knew they had to do something to promote it. So they entered TriBond into every game competition they could find and lo and behold – it won some of them! Mensa chose it as “One of the top three new board games for 1990” and “One of the top five best new mind games for 1990.” Slowly they got new orders, reorders and a couple more awards but they still weren’t making any money – in fact they were deeply in debt to a bunch of investors including Ed’s dad. But in 1992 everything changed. They got Patch to license the product and Tim joined the company as their Marketing Director to help them promote the game. By 1993, you could find TriBond in mass-market stores everywhere and they sold almost 150,000 games before December 1 — a huge increase from less than 15,000 the year before. Since then, TriBond has been translated into 9 languages, sold in 14 countries and in 2000 it was inducted into the Games Magazine Hall of Fame.
Fast forward to 2010, which is right around the corner. TriBond will be celebrating its 20th anniversary. Very impressive and congrats to Dave, Ed and Tim!
TriBond is great for large groups and can be played in teams. I also like snagging the box of questions and taking it with me on long car rides and we play until our brains hurt!
~$25 and up at Amazon.com
2 or More Players (large groups play in teams)
45-60 Minutes (I know this is a LONG game for me to be recommending but you can always figure out ways to shorten the game or just play with the cards – still fun!)
Ages 12 and up