Buildzi by Tenzi is a block-stacking game with elements similar to Tetris and Minecraft. Families can enjoy this colorful game together or solitarily.
Minnesota dads, Josh and Luke from the YouTube channel I’m Game If You’re Game (IGYG), have partnered with us to share family-friendly indoor games to add to our family game nights. If you love new games but don’t always know how to choose your next family favorite from the different games available, follow IGYG for reviews and content considerations for some of the best new board games out there. Today, we are looking at Buildzi, a block building game by Tenzi.
Buildzi Building Game
What do you get when you combine Tetris and Minecraft into a party game? You get Buildzi! The Buildzi game is an indoor game designed for one to eight players and uses brightly-colored, tetris-like blocks, cards and many variations of game play. There are lots of ways a family can play the game.
The developmental considerations will depend on your mode of play, but these are some of the skills Josh feels are learned when playing this game.
- Social Skills: Because it is a fast-stacking, real-time game, the pressure to compete against others can be tough for some kids.
- Communication Skills & Cooperative Play: It can be a great team game that helps players develop cooperative skills, describing images, shapes and colors to someone else.
- Spatial Reasoning Skills: The solo mode helps kids develop dexterity, fine motor skills, spatial thinking and eye-hand coordination, all while they build an EPIC tower to the sky!
The manufacturer recommends this indoor game for ages 6+; IGYG suggests ages 4+. It will definitely depend on each individual child’s personality and coordination. While I don’t think you need to worry about choking hazards, I would recommend keeping the game up and only allowing small kids to play in a supervised situation, mostly because you don’t want all the blocks and cards scattered around the house. Most elementary aged kids and middle schoolers could keep this game in their own rooms and play on their own.
The game comes with:
- 32 Buildzi Blocks with 4 sets of 8 different colored shapes
- 32 double-sided tower cards
- 32 tower cards.
Ways to Play Buildzi
For most games flat-stacking is not allowed and shape blocks must be placed vertically. Because Buildzi is a speed building game, you are going to want to play on flat wooden tables or another stable base. These are some of the ways you can play:
Put all the blocks in the middle of the table, someone says, “GO!” and flips over the top card of the color side. Then it is a race to see who can build a tower that matches the card first. The line on the bottom of the card represents your table top. When the first person finishes, they yell “Buildzi!” to win. Josh recommends deciding in advance how many rounds you will play. Keep track of wins to decide the overall victor.
Advanced Variation: For a more challenging game, use the yellow and black side of the tower card that doesn’t show individual colors of each block.
Place all the blocks in the center of the table, mix up all the block cards and deal eight to each player. When someone says, “Go,” the players begin flipping over one card at a time and race to build their own tower. Players can stack blocks in whatever vertical way they feel makes the most stable tower (again, no flat stacking). The first person to stack all eight of their blocks, shouts “Buildzi!” to win.
In this game, players partner into teams of a caller and a builder. Each builder begins with one of each of the 8 block shapes. Each caller is dealt a tower card – yellow side up. After someone yells go, each team tries to build their block tower first, with the caller describing how the different blocks are stacked from bottom to top.
Solo Games for Kids to Try
- Kids can play solo by timing how quickly they can build an image on a tower card and trying to beat their personal best. This is a great way kids can up their skill levels without the stress of competitive gameplay.
- Try to build a tower with all the blocks using your own creativity. Can you use them all?
- Create your own new ways to play — make designs with the colors, get by without a certain shape or use only a couple shapes.
Buildzi = Tetris + Minecraft. IGYG
Watch the YouTube video to get a visual of all these written directions:
More Game Suggestions from FFTC:
Thank you to I’m Game If You’re Game for introducing us to Buildzi. This game reminds us a little of other indoor games we like to play at home. Try these games with younger kids if you don’t think they are ready for Buildzi:
Quick Cups is similar to Tower Card, but requires a little less dexterity and could be a fun game for smaller kids who are learning colors but may not have the dexterity to build block towers quickly. The manufacturer recommends this game for Ages 15+, but we found it best for PreK to early grade school.
Pop Puzzle. Like Buildzi, this game has multiple ways to play, including competitive, cooperative and solitaire. It teaches spatial reasoning without the need for speed or dexterity and has the added benefit of using poppits in place of blocks, so you always have some fidget toys on hand. This game is recommended for kids as young as 3, but the pieces are easy to lose, so it should be a parent-child game with smaller kids.
Jenga. This classic Hasbro game is another challenging tower game that incorporates the building and fine motor skills aspects of Buildzi. This game is recommended for ages 6+. It is fun to mix the Jenga blocks with play blocks, so keep an eye on the littler kids when they play with the game or you’ll find yourself missing blocks.
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There is a lot in the tiny Buildzi box. It is a fantastic party game that is easy to pick up, explain and play with anyone. It gets the heart racing a little and can be fun for all ages. Let us know which game mode sounds best for you. Or, do you prefer a different variation? Leave a comment here or over at the IGYG channel. Don’t forget to like and follow IGYG for more familiy-friendly game reviews and let Josh and Luke know what games you would like reviewed next.