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Pinnacolando Circus review: acrobatics with words

Icircens are ready, unexpected events are just around the corner and you, to get ready for this game, read the review of Pinnacolando Circus

How the game was born | Pinnacolando Circus Review

I had the pleasure of chatting with the author, Matteo Curellaand so I asked him directly to tell us how this game was born. I leave you to his words:

Pinnacolando was born from a draft idea in the 90s, but the project was shelved due to lack of time to devote to its development.

During the idle lockdown period, I was reminded of that project my father mentioned many years earlier to me, my sister and my brother. Having much more free time I proposed it to my brothers, who encouraged me to revive the idea and so I decided to give it a try.

There were many difficulties, even just to find the draft of the old project.

Completely unfamiliar with the world of board games, being engaged in a completely different working genre, I consulted at various levels people who could give me useful advice and after a few months I began to test the game with numerous fans, from whom I received useful information to improve various aspects of the game.

After evaluating the excellent feedback, I started the production, giving up by choice to non-European suppliers, but carried out entirely in Italy, without paying too much attention to costs but to quality, that’s why the selling price is slightly higher compared to some other games.

Finally in December 2021 Pinnacolando was built, currently only present on the Amazon portal, but within the year I expect it will also be present in specialized physical stores in Italy.

Matteo Curella.

Components and preparation | Pinnacolando Circus Review


  • 52 blue cards
  • 52 red cards
  • 10 unexpected cards
  • 1 Vintage Ticket: the first player to drop the first word of the game wins it. From that moment on, anyone who creates a longer word will be able to take it away, and so on, until the end of the game.
  • 8 Joker cards: used to replace a missing letter when you drop a word. Joker cards can be stolen from any player, even from your teammate.

Pinnacolando Circus review: acrobatics with words


Decide whether to play individually or in teams of 2 players.
Shuffle the blue cards and the red cards together, then deal 13 cards to each player counterclockwise.

The cards that advance become the COCKPIT (draw deck) which is placed in the center of the table. Reveal the top card of the well and place it face up next to it.

Now that we’ve got the game started, we can move on to the rules.

Pinnacolando Circus review: acrobatics with words

Regulation | Pinnacolando Circus Review

The shift takes place as follows:

  • DRAW A CARD (required): the card can be drawn from the well or it can be drawn from the discards, in this second case all the cards following the one drawn must also be collected.
  • DOWN: drop is OPTIONAL if I draw the card from the cockpit and it is OBLIGATORY if I draw the card from the discard row. During this phase, you can hook yourself to the words of your teammate or add letters to your words Eg. BOX + ME = BOX. Hooking on to your teammate’s words will earn you points, while hooking on to an opponent’s words is only advisable if you need it to quit the game and win the game. The action of lowering during your turn can be done as long as you have cards to lower.
  • UNEXPECTED PAPER: this is a ‘optional action. In the same turn we can play one or more unexpected cards present in our hand. Once played, the unexpected cards are returned to the box.
  • DISCARD (required): this action is used to end the turn. Only letter cards can be discarded, non Jokers or unexpected cards.

Pinnacolando Circus review: acrobatics with words

How words are created and which words are allowed | Pinnacolando Circus Review

Word Creation

To create a word and be able to drop it there are three requirements:

  • the words must have full meaning
  • you can drop words made up of 5 or more letters
  • you have to use cards of the same color to compose a word

There are however two exceptions:

  • Poker: 4 cards with the same letter and different colors can be placed
  • PINNACOLANDO: it is also possible to use this word by composing it with cards of different colors.

Pinnacolando Circus review: acrobatics with words

Words allowed

All words that are part of the Italian vocabulary are allowed, including those of foreign origin that have become part of common use, for example SCOOTER.

Accidentals can also be used, such as STRADINA, NASONE.

You can use all the verbal forms that are foreseen by the Italian language, including those with prefixes and suffixes, for example RICAMBIARE, TABLIAMOCI, DIVIDETELI, GUARDANDOLA, ETC.

NB are not accepted misspelled spellings, archaic, literary, dialectal voices or neologisms absent in the language in which you have chosen to play. Neither proper names, surnames, geographical names, historical mythological names or commercial brands are used.

End of game and score | Pinnacolando Circus Review

To end the game, you must drop all the cards in your hand and discard one. Remember that you can only discard the letters and not the Jokers or the unexpected cards.

For scoring:

  • whoever closes the game immediately receives 100 points
  • the cards played give points
  • cards that have not been played (this applies to all players, except for those who have closed the game) collect points

Conclusion | Pinnacolando Circus Review

The lights go down, the show is over and it’s time to take stock. We assume that I’ve never played pinnacola, so this was a totally new game for me.

I don’t like card games and word games very much, but Pinnacolando Circus (despite having both of these characteristics) I liked immediately. The game immediately struck me aesthetically, which is good because the eye also wants its part and the packaging is the first thing you see of a product. After opening the box I saw the components and they are of really high quality, the cards are resistant and the Vintage Ticket is a real gem.

I only slightly twisted my nose when it was time to play, here there was a small problem with the route because unfortunately the rules are not very clear in some points (this is why I didn’t give a full 10) and this did not allow to play a regular game right away. However, this was resolved as I was able to personally confront the author of the game who clarified my doubts.

In conclusion, once the gaps in the regulation have been fixed, I would say that Pinnacolando Circus is perfect! It combines old and new generations, it is a game suitable for families. Simple to explain (after receiving the required clarifications), quick to start and fun to play.

Technical details

  • Name: Pinnacolando Circus
  • Author: Matteo Curella
  • Players: 2 -6
  • Age: 10+
  • Duration: 30′-60 ′ minutes
  • Price: 29,90 €

It is not the facts that count, but the words!

Points in favor

  • Quality materials
  • Game suitable for families
  • Fun and quick to learn

Stefania Romagnoli is a dedicated writer who delves into the world of video game news. With a profound passion for gaming, Stefania keeps readers informed and up-to-date on the latest developments, announcements, and trends within the gaming industry.