Game Review: Tier auf Tier

Hey, wait a minute, that game title doesn’t make sense! Well, that’s because this week’s review is of a little gem that’s imported from Germany. Tier auf Tier is German and translates into “Animal upon Animal.” It’s a fun little dexterity game that is always good for a little tension, a little uncertainty, and a lot of laughs.

Tier auf Tier

In Tier auf Tier, 2-4 players are trying to get rid of their adorable wooden animals by stacking them on a precarious animal pyramid. The game plays quickly — 5-10 minutes — and you’ll find yourself saying, “Just one more time” more than once! The game is targeted at children (age 4+) but I think it’s just as much fun for adults who are looking for a dexterity game that’s not Jenga.

In a nutshell: When you open the box for Tier auf Tier, you’ll find instructions (don’t worry, you don’t need to know German — there’s an English translation included), a 6-sided die, and 29 wooden animals (which are rather cute — just click the back of the box below for a glimpse). The animals consist of: one crocodile, which serves as the pyramid base, and 4 sets of seven other animals (toucan, lizard, penguin, monkey, hedgehog, snake, and sheep).

Each player takes a set of animals, and the crocodile is placed in the middle of the playing area as the base of the pyramid. Play begins. On your turn, you simply roll the die and follow its instructions. The general idea is that you’re building an animal pyramid and you will need to stack your animals on it without causing a collapse! Depending on what you roll, you’ll have to take one of the following actions:

  • Place one of your animals (carefully!) on the animal pyramid.
  • Place two of your animals (even more carefully!) on the animal pyramid.
  • Place one of your animals next to the mouth or tail of the crocodile. This animal becomes part of the pyramid base, expanding the building surface.
  • Give one of your animals to another player, who then has to place it on the pyramid.
  • Allow other players to determine which of your animals you have to put on the pyramid.

If you cause a collapse or partial collapse of the pyramid, stop what you’re doing! You’ll have to take up to two animals back into your supply and hope that others cause collapses too, so that you can catch up!

The first person to get rid of all their animals wins the game.

We’ve really had some fun with this game. It’s always nerve-wracking to me to try to figure out where and how I’ll place my animal(s) and I always find my hand shaking as I try to carefully place it on the pyramid. C. also told me to be sure to point out that not only is it a fun game to play, but the animal pieces are fun for kids to play with — little ones can make up imaginary scenarios and older kids can see how big a pyramid they can make on their own.

It’s a bit pricey for a little game, but if you’re looking for a Christmas gift for your nieces or nephews, or if you just want a clever dexterity game to add to your game shelf, keep this one in mind.

Here’s C., attempting to place his lizard on our pyramid without
causing an animal landslide!

In summary:

Tier auf Tier

Number of Players: 2-4
Time required: 5-10 minutes
Ages: 4 and up
Where to buy: Since this game is an import, it can sometimes be hard to track down, but I’ve seen it recently at Time Well Spent. It also shows up at FunAgain Games and GamesSurplus at times.

Callapidder recommends it: When you’re looking for a quick, fun game that kids have just as good a chance of winning as the adults — maybe even a better chance, with their little fingers!

Read more of Callapidder’s Game Reviews by clicking HERE.


  1. That looks like fun but surely you’re not up this late trying to improve your skills so you can beat C.? just kidding! Definitely a niece/nephew game, I can see! Thanks for sharing. And a good reminder to me to snag a few games to take with us on vacation to keep Casey amused.

  2. Corinne says:

    Thanks for this – we are always on the lookout for short yet entertaining games everybody can play. This looks perfect and might also make a great Christmas present for my niece!

  3. Kili @ Live Each Moment says:

    Ok totally off the subject, but I was reading an OLD post of yours and just was going to say I too have been behind on blog reading. Baby is here, 10 days old now and I had more blogs on my bloglines to read than I care to admit! Glad to be back and I’ll finally catch up reading your blog and many others! LOL

  4. Bloggin' with a basket o' clothes at my side says:

    I lovve your blog. This is my first time visiting.

    My son says Callapidder the exact same way.


  5. That game looks like SO much fun – I like the little animals!

  6. Jennifer, Snapshot says:

    That does sound fun. I’m glad that you mentioned that the directions were in English, because that was my first thought, LOL! The picture of C. clarifies it, too.

  7. You can also find this game on the toys r us website. What a very cute game. I think we will be getting this one, thanks for the review.

  8. Org Junkie says:

    Katrina, that one also looks great and fun. Thanks!!


    I have…and love…Jenga. I will be getting this game…for me & my husband to play. :-)

  10. I love your game reviews! I’m stocking up my Wish List at Amazon with new games for Christmas gifts!

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