Tapple is a fast and fun party game of shouting out words.  It's a sort of real time "Scattergories," where your goal is to think of words that begin with a certain letter, but instead of writing them down, you're tapping a letter on a device, saying your word, then passing the device, a la "Catchphrase."

What makes the game fast?  You have only 10 seconds to think of a word that fits the category (Pizza toppings, cars, laundry detergents, things that get wet, etc) and as the round progresses it gets harder - each letter can be used only once.  (For example, if someone before you said "pepperoni," you can't say "pineapple" - the P has been pressed down and stays down until the round is over.) If you can't think of a word that works, you're out for that round, but rounds end quickly enough that you won't get bored waiting to jump in again.

What makes the game fun?  Surprisingly, there was relatively little arguing over what constituted an appropriate response - always the Achillies' heel of this type of game.  The rules specify that in answering you may use specific brand names (Jeep, Jetta) as well as related, more general terminology (junker, jalopy.)  This makes it possible to be creative in your response without getting dinged by the other players.  It's challenging and a little stressful - in a good way - to think of something with the time constraint and the loud ticking of the device.

Though the stack of category cards is small, it does fit nicely inside the device, and is color coded so you can play with easier categories for younger players.  It's also quite fun and easy to make up your own categories.  The categories are nicely varied so that everyone will eventually have a chance to do well.

If all the letters get used, a new round begins, with a new category, and everyone who has not been eliminated now must tap TWO letters and say two words.  If more than one player survives that round, a THIRD round begins and players must now tap three letters and think of three words!

Tapple is a simple and quick game that many people will enjoy.  It's as accessible as older possibly played-out games like Apples to Apples, and it's quicker and more challenging too.

One caveat: you will need to purchase batteries or pillage them from a remote control (as I did), as they are not included.

Tapple at USAopoly's web site