das games journal - Österreichisches Spiele Museum

das games journal - Österreichisches Spiele Museum
ISSN 0257-361X
Volume 36
I N T E R N AT I O N A L E D I T I O N : I N T H I S I S S U E W E P R E S E N T 5 5 G A M E S
at Essen - this year with their game Spellbound. But that is as it may be.
Yes, they do, of course, because otherwise
the game by Corné van Moorsel, published
by his own company Cwali, would not be
such fun to play. If you believe that I wanted
to imply any connection with getting-upin-the-morning habits of players, is in error.
But, when I think about it, I could mention
a few things about some people - and a
few more not too polite remarks relating to
birds as playing pieces, which I better keep
to myself with regards to a G-rated WIN.
But now for the game itself: Three Red Robins and three Bluethroats fly from their starting positions to their nesting grounds, Papa
Bird, Mama Bird, and …? Who makes up the
third bird in the trio is up to your imagination. As the flight is rather energy-sapping
the birds must eat on the way in order to
have enough energy to fly.
20 landscape tiles with differently structured landscape make up the board, always
three tiles are revealed in front of the leading bird, so that you get to know your track
step by step. Landscapes are made up from
meadows, bushes and water areas in different layouts. A bird cannot cross water; the
birds are either shy of water or do not trust
themselves with the long distance crossing.
The squares with bushes are marked with
different food and you place food miniatures on them accordingly. That you can
do good business with pretty miniatures
and that a game can gain greatly by them,
is proved each year by the Lamont Brothers
Now back to food and feeding for our
winged friends. Our birds adhere to a balanced diet made up from nuts, strawberries, grapes, worms and lady bugs, all nicely
made and pretty to look at. Contrary to
scientific knowledge and information nuts
have few calories in this context and deliver
only one energy points, as opposed to lady
Rudolf Ammer
An absolute insider tip, if only for the fantastic, enchanting
components; one would like to start to play immediately
and might wonder why the birds don’t sing. And the mechanisms with planning, chance in the plans and agreeing
on plans is fun, too!
bugs that - probably due to their protein
content, deliver a juicy amount of 6 energy
units equal to six movement steps; each
square that you cross is paid for with one
energy unit.
So the motto of the day is eating and flying;
Color codes, target groups, features, icons and GABIS are
explained on page 5 and at the bottom of pages 36 and 37
for your trip the water areas already mentioned are blocked and so are squares already occupied by other birds, forcing other
birds find alternative routes that might only
yield second-best food. And this in turn can
result in forcing an individual robin or bluethroats to relinquish a turn or even drop out
of the trip due to lack of food energy.
Birds of a feather, that is, the same color,
play as a team and may - provided there is
no bigger distance between them than six
steps as the crow flies - agree on their tactic.
The last landscape tile depicts five different
nests. Birds of the same color must target
the same nest, that is, the first arriving bird
decides the nest for all birds in the team.
When all birds have arrived, the outcome
of the game hinges on the amount of food
value delivered to nest.
The food points for each bird in the nest are
added and for each bird that did not make
it to the nest you deduct one point. As you
play as a team, you now divide the total
of points from all birds in the team by the
number of players in the team (is not necessarily the same!); the team that achieves the
higher result, wins the game. Oh, and by the
ways, the advantage of the starting player
is balanced by different starting quantities
of food.
As a resume I would like to say that Corné
van Moorsel probably will not win the title
of „Game of the Year“ with this game, but he
has combined many standard game mechanisms into an enchanting game. Of course
it is a lightweight game, but I believe that
once in a while one can easily enter the ring
in favor of such a game.
The rules are exemplary, even enhanced
with examples, and the components of the
game are simply enchanting and a sight
for sore eyes. The age group of ages 7+ is, I
think, maybe a bit on the high side, because
for children this is also an excellent educational game with which the train addition
(of food values) and subtraction (of flight
If that was a children’s game I would rate it
as a clear 9 out of 10 and I can easily imagine
that adults might have fun with the game,
too - just like me! 
Rudolf Ammer
Designer: Corné van Moorsel
Artist: P. Jaiwan, R. van Dahlen
Price: ca. 30 Euro
Publisher: Cwali 2012
Movement with payment for distance
For families
Version: multi
Rules: de en fr nl
In-game text: no
Wonderful components * Pretty graphics * Topic and mechanisms go very
well together
Compares to:
All movement games with payment for
distances travelled
My rating:
Other editions:
Currently none
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40 Lines for Meeples
Dagmar de Cassan, Editor-in-Chief
Christmas and New Year bring relaxation and
contemplation into many households and
often then there is time to play games, too.
This is of course also the time when games
are given for gifts.
Meanwhile, everybody interested has learned
ore even played what are deemed to be the
really good games of this year, games that
should be in your cupboard without a question. When those new games arrive, then often there is only one alternative: Enlarge the
cupboard? Or did you discard older games
that you haven’t player for a long time and
have created space this way?
Surely not! Many players avoid that decision
and therefore their cupboards get bigger.
What about yours?
When you read this December issue, we are
nearly back on track with our issues. And
soon there will be the special Nuremberg
issue with an overview of all new games on
show at the Fair.
So have fun with reading this issue and if
you want more information, take a look at
our database LUDORIUM, at http://www.
WIN The Games Journal can be read now
as an eBook and as Kindle (in German and
English) and therefore even easier to read
than a PDF file on the respective modern
devices. If you like our WIN, please take out
a subscription. We have a PayPal account; so
payment of € 6 for a One Year Subscription
is easy and safe, please check http://www.
The printed edition of our games Handbook
GAME BY GAME is published and can be
bought at the SPIELBOX-SHOP. Infos: http://
www.spielehandbuch.at 
The day is uncertain, the hour, however,
only too certain: at midnight, an evil, unearthly creature will awaken from his Sleep
of Eons and bring terrible destruction upon
mankind – once again!
In any case, the omens for this horror scenario are increasing, monsters and followers
of banned, blasphemous cults are appear-
ing in the Museum of the small university
town of Arkham, Massachusetts. Whoever
feels at home in the world of Howard Phillips Lovecraft may want to travel thither immediately to boldly hamper this oh-so-scary
end. As so often is the case, the situation is
hopeless, but not serious.
Fantasy Flight Games and Heidelberger
Spieleverlag (for the German edition) are
promising a “Game of Suspense and Supernatural Investigation”. Players are to try to
collect enough Elder Signs (represented by
cardboard markers, obviously inevitable in
the “Arkham Horror Files” series of games)
to avoid the appearance of a Great Old One.
The usual suspects are there for the pick
(or to be drawn at random from eight possible): e. g. Shub-Niggurath, the eerie Black
Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young;
Hastur, the King in Yellow (who appears in H.
P. Lovecraft`s own stories merely as a quote
from a work of his colleague Robert W.
Chambers); Nyarlathotep drops in as well,
accompanied by his masked followers (it is
Color codes, target groups, features, icons and GABIS are
explained on page 5 and at the bottom of pages 36 and 37
To conclude the exorcism in time – it almost
never seems possible –, all players jointly
have to gather trophy points to trade them
in turn into Elder-Sign-Tokens. Depending
on the selected (or randomly drawn) Character, you start out with physical strength
Martina und Martin Lhotzy
A mixture of established elements, rather haphazardly
thrown together and with few new elements. Probably
mostly of interest to collectors of games in the Arkham
Horror Range.
and mental health only (in most cases at a
rather low maximum value).
Sometimes, though, you get an ally or a
(magical or ordinary) helpful item (cards)
to begin with to fight monsters or survive
adventures. Even though a lot of the tasks
sound interesting (for example, decipher
an ancient stone tablet, or even travel to
another dimension), actually confronting
them means endless dice throwing: just
obtain the respective required combination on your set of symbol dice – very similar to rolling Poker dice. There really cannot
be any question of “investigation“ as one
would expect in a detective game.
Regarding the graphic design, the good
people at Fantasy Flight Games tread upon
tried and tested paths. Task-Cards (value:
between 1 and, very rarely, 3 trophy points)
and other playing cards, as well as the monster tokens (draw from an opaque mug
when required) are nice, but unfortunately
not designed particularly innovative. Rather
they are taken from the existing repertoire.
The same applies for the Characters. Whoever played the role of “Ashcan” Pete, the
Tramp, or Professor Harvey Walters (a veteran whose roots reach at least as far back as
to the role-playing game “Call of Cthulhu”,
Chaosium 1981) or once has chosen Sister
Mary, the Nun, can do this here again confidently. Players may select from sixteen wellknown Characters.
from your storage of clue markers. Once you
have solved a problem, you usually will get
other rewards besides the trophy points,
too. For example, you win back lost strength
points, find an object (draw from the stack),
or maybe a portal opens into other worlds
where there are to be gained even more
rewards. On the other hand, if one fails in
mastering a task, additional monsters may
appear or similar hardships might come to
pass. Fortunately, not all consequences of
failure are disastrous.
There remains only one mystery that may
never be solved: elapsed (in-game) time
is marked on a cardboard clock, but every
twelve hours it is supposed to strike midnight. At this dark hour (on any day the destruction token spaces are filled completely), the awakening of the Great Old One will
occur. The Great-Old-One-Sheet receives an
additional marker at least every midnight.
The light-sleeper among the Great Old
Ones (Yig) needs eight tokens to awaken, at
the other end there is Azathoth (wakes up
when the twelfth token is in its place). The
game is likely to be most interesting for collectors of the “Arkham Horror Files” series of
games. 
Martina und Martin Lhotzky
Dice poker with a horror topic
For experts
Version: de
Rules: de en
In-game text: yes
Mixture of standard and well-known
elements from other Arkham Games *
Contrary to the background story there
is no investigating, but dice rolling
to solve puzzles * Atmosphere nicely
implemented * Feels like Arkham Horror Junior
Compares to:
Nearly all other games in the Arkham Horror
Other editions:
Elder Sign, FFG
To successfully complete a task, you have
(normally) two attempts, but you can also
ask another character for support (obviously only when you’re not playing alone;
“The Elder Sign” offers the possibility of solo
playing, but that is not recommended). In
an emergency, you may also pay for a re-roll
Designer: Richard Launius, Kevin Wilson 1-8
Artist: Dallas Mehlhof, Anders Finér
Price: ca. 30 Euro
Publisher: Heidelberger / FFG 2012 TIME:
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My rating:
not without reason that he is considered a
malevolent deity with Carnivalesque traits
within Lovecraftian myth); of course, the
great Cthulhu is not to be omitted; and as
soon as Azathoth, the Destroyer, awakens,
everything will be over anyway and for
Each game review also features an evaluation which can
help you to find the game that best suits your tastes. The
color accompanying each game title represents the USER
Group. The headline also contains icons for age and number
of players.
The BAR in the evaluation box displays color codes for up to
10 features of a game.
We have defined 4 target groups (color accompanying the
head line)
Games for children an educational games. Adults can play
in a guiding function.
Children and parents play together, all have the same
chance to win and have fun.
Young people and adults play together as equals
Games with special demands on rules and playing time.
Especially for game geeks
Please note for the user groups Children, Family and
Friends: Children who love to play can be ahead of their
peers! Please note that our target group “families” does not
imply the classical concept of „family games“! Furthermore,
our user groups can overlap. The choice of suitable games
always depends on your playing partners and your fun
with games!
Games that are especially eligible for Solo play or for 2 players or Large groups of players are marked with an icon.
Each game targets preferences for different features in a
player, therefore each game is not suitable for each player.
We have listed 10 features players note when deciding
on a game. Only if a player finds his preferred features in
a game he will enjoy the game. The color code marks the
dominant features. Educational games train the highlighted
Empty boxes: This feature is neclectable or not present
One colored box: This feature is present, but not essential
Two colored boxes: This feature is present and important
in the game
Three colored boxes: This feature is dominant and essential
The game is influenced by dice, cards or any other form of
random generator
Take decision, short-term planning, planning based on
one move
Think ahead, long-term planning, planning for several
The player has to provide words, phrases, images and other
creative efforts
Cultural and educational knowledge, long-term memory
Remember, learn by heart, short-time memory
Talk to each other, negotiate, inform
Influencing each other, bluffing, auction
Motor skills
Body movement, balance and reaction
Version: The edition of the game on which the review is
Rules: This lists the languages in which rules are available or
are included in the game, often even more translations can
be found on the web.
In-game text: A YES marks a game with languagedependent components that cannot be played without
translation or knowledge of the language
How does the game work?
What’s in the box?
The game is stored in a very big box, which
is pretty much filled to the brim. There are
hexagonal star system, plastic space ships
in different colors and sizes, technology
tiles, tiles representing parts of a space ship,
colored wooden cubes to represent population or production, playing boards for
every one of the races and for technologies,
colored combat dice and a few more parts.
All parts are made of very sturdy cardboard
of good quality, only the boards for the races are of rather thin cardboard.
What is Eclipse?
Eclipse is a development game with elements of conflict, in which each player
sends out a race to explore and settle the
galaxy. In this the game closely resembles
well-known and beloved favorites like Civilization or Twilight Imperium, but there is a
huge difference: Instead of a playing time
of twelve of more hours for a game, here
a game, even a game with the full complement of six players, only takes a little longer
than three hours. This is a huge difference.
Even when lots of people still think it is too
long, you can play it in one evening after
work, while - on the other hand - I don’t
manage to find players for Twilight Imperium, not even at a Games Marathon.
fewer systems you control the more actions
you have at your disposal.
What amount of complexity is discarded in
favor of the much shorter game?
There is a variable star map put together
from hexagon tiles, exploration, several
classes of upgradeable and expandable
space ships and last but not least a combat
system with even more colored dice that in
Risk. As regards to complexity the game is
in the same range as Agricola and Through
The Ages. There are also many strategic and
tactical decisions during a game, and, finally,
due to the random appearance of technologies each game is different and there is no
permanent optimum strategy that will work
in each and every game.
How big a factor is chance in the game?
There some elements of chance in the
game, for instance in the revelation of galaxy tiles. Or the where and when of available
technologies! Or which victory point tiles
you receive for combats, and, obviously, the
rolling of dice to decide conflicts. I for myself
am rather unwilling to play games that are
completely devoid of chance element and
so have no problems whatsoever with this
game. So far, I have the impression that a roll
of dice does not decide victory or defeat. On
the contrary, there is an excellent catchingup mechanism if you cannot expand your
empire at the start of the game, because the
The game is played over nine rounds. Each
round comprises four phases, which each
player implements completely before the
next phase starts. The main part of the
game happens in the Action Phase. There
are 12 wooden discs in each player color,
the so-called influence discs, on the board.
In turn you can take one of your discs and
put it on one of six possible actions:
Explore - This action allows you to turn over
a new star system adjacent to one of my
own systems or one of my space ships and
to rotate the worm holes - the entrances
to the system - to your liking. This creates
Christian Grundner
Eclipse offers great fun to play within an acceptable time
frame and attractive, very well-planned components as
well as elegant mechanisms; it will be very often laid out
on my games table.
either a direct access to your neighboring
player or can block this player. Systems near
the center of the galaxy offer more and potentially more valuable planets, but are also
guarded by Old Races with a higher probability than planets in the outer regions away
from the center. You can instantly exercise
influence over a newly revealed system by
placing another influence disc on it. Very often you are rewarded with a Discovery tile,
which is worth two victory points or gives
you another advantage. When there are
planets in the system now you can transport population from your player board to
the planet if you have still one of your two
colony ships available. Planets
that are settled with population
yield resources according to the
planet’s color.
Influence - Some systems only
offer one discovery tile or only
one single planet. With an influence action you can take back up
to two influence discs from such
planets or relocate them to free
neighboring systems. As an additional advantage you can turn
over two colony ships and use
them again.
Research - The Research Action
allows you to buy a technology
tile. You pay for such a tile with
the pink resource Science. There
are three fields of technology on
the player board and you can deduct a discount when you have
Color codes, target groups, features, icons and GABIS are
explained on page 5 and at the bottom of pages 36 and 37
Build - With the Build Action you can construct up to two space ships or structures
and pay for them with brown resources
(building materials). The space ships are
only necessary for conflicts; structures are
Star Bases with Fighting abilities or Monoliths for victory points or Ring Worlds in order to accommodate additional population.
Upgrade - Each space ship and each Star
Base is depicted with a construction plan on
the race board. Depending on the race they
can differ already at the start of the game.
The Upgrade action allows you to add up to
two parts to your construction plan, which
improves all newly-built ships from now on,
but is also available in retrospect in all ships
already constructed. There are basic components that are available to every player
from the start, for instance laser cannons
for damage or improved systems for which
you must have explored the necessary respective technology, for instance targeting
Move - With each movement action you
may move up to two space ships. The builtin propulsion system of a space ship allows
movement over one to three hex tiles.
Should you encounter an opponent - which
never happens unintentionally / randomly for each opponent one space ship is put on
hold for the combat phase and only additional ships can continue their movement.
Each of those actions can be chosen more
than once, but the first player who does
not chose another action is given the starting player marker for the next round, which
gives him the opportunity to be the first to
select a technology. When a player, who has
passed on actions, is attacked he can react
with Build, Upgrade or Move by spending
additional influence discs, but only gets half
of the advantage.
When all players have passed on actions the
Combat Phase begins. In each hex, that is
occupied by more than one party combat
actions are implemented until one side retreats or loses all ships.
Depending on how the ships are equipped
all ships have an Initiative Value. Ships
fire their weapons in descending order of
their initiative value and roll dice for each
weapon. Only a Six is a hit, dice results can
be changed by with targeting computers
or made more difficult for the opponent
with shields. A Six that you rolled directly
is always a hit and a One is always a miss.
When a ship retreats this is an action replacing attack and it can take hits until it is the
ship’s turn again in the next combat round.
Of course you can install armor plating that
can absorb hits and regenerates after the
combat phase. This conflict/combat phase
plays rather quickly and very often you can
keep the chance factor to a limited margin
by your ship design.
For participating in a combat you may - in
relation to defeated opponents - draw one
or more victory point tiles, but keep only
one. In the course of the game therefore
the tiles with higher values of three and four
are diminishing and the less valuable ones
After the combat phase we come to the
Upkeep Phase. Depending on the number of influence discs hat you took off your
player board to implement actions or influence planets you must pay a certain sum of
money to the bank. For all resources there is
a track which you fill completely with your
population cubes at the start of the game.
Every time when you, for instance, populate
an orange planet, you place the rightmost
cube from this track on the planet; this reveals a higher number on the orange track
which means higher income.
You can offset your current income against
the payments for influence discs and pay or
receive the difference. IF you did too much
or if your empire is too big costs rise exponentially, and if you do not have enough
money (orange resource) you must either
abandon systems or can exchange brown
or pink resources at a rate of 3:1 for orange
ones. When all that does not suffice, you
have doomed your empire.
Only when you have paid for your influence discs you are credited with the other
resources by moving the respective cubes
at the edge of your player board. So in this
game there is a clear distinction between
income and wealth, which works very elegantly and efficiently.
Finally, there is a Cleanup Phase in which
players take back their influence discs used
for actions, turn over their colony ships and
new technologies are drawn for buying.
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When nine such rounds have been played
the game ends and you count your victory
points. For each occupied star system you
score victory points, and also for advancement on the technology tracks, for combats,
monoliths you constructed and discovery tiles. In our games the winner usually
achieved a score between 40 and 50 victory
points and the result was rarely close.
The rules are structured very cleverly, the
always take the Human race for a basis and
therefore the differences for other races can
be explained on the race cards using just a
few symbols.
What always stands out in this game is the
extremely clever and well-thought out realization of the game. This starts already with
different shapes for the different tiles in
accordance with their function, or that the
three resources are always depicted with
their color in a circle for prices and income.
All games that I played were always very
fast-paced, because one’s turn comes
quickly in each round and the hated downtime does not dominate the game. For me,
Eclipse is already a classic which I will love
to play again over many years to come. 
Christian Grundner
Designer: Touko Tahkokallio
Artist: Ossi Hiekkala, Sampo Sikiö
Price: ca. 60 Euro
Publisher: Lautapelit 2011
Complex development game
For experts
Version: de
Rules: cz de en it fi fr pl
In-game text: yes
Good rules * Pretty components *
Moderate playing time despite
complex mechanisms
Compares to:
Civilization or Twilight Imperium as
regards to concept and topic
Other editions:
Ystari, France; Lautapelit Finland;
My rating:
already explored technology in this field.
Technologies bring important advantages
in different phases of the game. On some
planets you can only place population if you
have explored the corresponding technology. There are also additional components
for space ships, which make them faster or
more powerful in conflicts, or additional influence discs. As technologies are randomly
entering the game and sometimes a technology is not available until the end of the
game, Research is often the first action in a
sailing jargon or, to be more exact, shipping
jargon, will hopefully be of some assistance.
But now for the game:
As a fan of sailing boats and stories about
sailing ships of the 18th and 19th century I
could not pass up on this game and so allow me to take a break from my journalistic
absence for once.
And, by the way, hope is still abounding
that from now on I may be able to more often give you my opinion and comments on
some games.
The background story of the game tells us
a yarn about a pirate who has his booty, at
least the most valuable pieces, stored high
up in the spreaders of his ship. Due to the
rough sea chest, barrels and other pieces of
the booty keep falling down and must be
caught by the crew.
Some basic facts about sailing ships:
Spreaders - Those are the spars on the main
mast where the shrouds are fastened. Mutineers and others under a death sentence
were also hanged there on the High SeasProw - Front part of the ship
Stern - Back part of the ship, to be exact
is defines the raised end part of the ship
where the helmsman was standing
Astern - the whole area from midship to the
end of the ship
Keelhole or Careen - A form of punishment
that mostly ended in death. The culprit was
fastened to a rope, thrown into the water
at the prow and pulled to the stern underneath the ship. The culprit had to not only to
survive the long time under water, but also
the shell growth on the ship.
Windward - the side of the boat facing the
Downwind or Lee - the side of the boat
away from the wind
Starboard, green light - right side of the ship
Portside, red light - left side of the ship
And, finally, the right of way on the High See
for ships of equal power (both with engine
or both under sails)
If you see from starboard side
It’s up to you to make room
But if you see green from Portside
Yours is the right of way
Should I happen to use some of those expressions in my musings, my digression into
In the classic square box from Zoch we find
very unusual but very classy, high-value
game components. The bottom of the box
with its inlay is necessary for the game; a
hexagon insert made from cardboard is
placed into the border of the box insert; this
hexagon insert represents a huge wave. At
the crest of the wave, the highest point of
a wave, we find an opening into which we
place a wooden ring.
Into this ring we place a hinge or pivot, on
Kurt Schellenbauer
You imagine yourself to be on a Three-Master in the 19th
century, out the High Seas, the ship rolls and ploughs
through the rough waters, with one important difference:
You do not get sick!
which a rod is fastened with a heavy iron
ball. This rod represents the mast of the ship.
The ball is sunk into the hole in the wave
and then - as a first part - the ship’s hull is
placed on the mast. Into three openings on
the mast we put long, thin poles, about 7
cm long, on which then the spreaders are
placed. The poles are only used to stabilize
the spreaders.
The deck of the ship shows four spots,
numbered 1 and 2 at the prow and 3 and
4 astern. The lowest spreader shows number 5 on one side and a 6 on the other, the
Color codes, target groups, features, icons and GABIS are
explained on page 5 and at the bottom of pages 36 and 37
At the start of a round each player chooses
one of his cards and puts it face-down on
the table, and then all cards are revealed
at the same time. If you played the highest
card you are the new captain and go first in
placing a load unit on the part of the ship
corresponding to the number chosen with
the card.
In case of two or more players having chosen the same card it is up to the current
captain to determine who plays first. Cards
that were played are used and no longer
How do I place my load unit? There are very
few rules and restriction aside from having
to use the spot on the ship corresponding
to the number on the chosen card. The load
unit may not extend into another numbered area, which, strictly speaking, can
only happen on the main deck of the ship.
It is allowed for the load unit to extend outside the ship itself.
If you choose a spreader (spots 5 to 10) and
should there be already at least one load
unit on the chosen spreader you can decide
if you want to place one or two load units.
You must announce this before you begin
placement and you cannot change your
mind during your turn. It does not matter if
you use one hand or both hands for placement. You can move load units already in
place with the load unit you just want to
place, but never with your hand or another
body part.
Should it happen - and it happens far more
often than one wants it to happen - that load
units fall off the ship, the active player can
try to catch those units; load units caught
in this way are set aside, they are out of the
game. Pieces that the active player cannot
catch he must take and put them into his
stock, he can later try to reload them.
Cards that have been used and set aside a
player need to show or keep visible, which
introduces a little bit of tactic into the game;
trying to memorize the cards of all four players is a real challenge for experienced card
players, or for children who beat everyone
in memory.
Should a player be out of wooden load
units at the end of his turn the game ends
immediately and he is the winner. Other-
wise, the game ends when all players have
played all of their 10 cards. In this case the
winner is the player who has fewest load
units left, and there can be a joint win of
several players.
In a game of two players you take up all 10
cards again when all have been played and
play another 10 rounds until one of the victory conditions occur, all pieces placed or all
10 cards played again.
The game impresses with its components,
the quality of which is a characteristic trade
mark of the Zoch Company; the complete
ship and the load units are made from wood
and are well chosen as regards to size and
weight and provide a real challenge to place
those load units.
A totally ingenious feature of the game is
the pivot with the iron ball as a counterweight. It lets the ship roll and lurch in all
conceivable directions; and you have to be
very careful of the counter movement: Load
units very rarely fall when a unit it places,
only when the ship rolls back most of them
fall down. Many a ship would capsize at sea
with that kind of a slanting position.
Something that you should be careful
about is available space on the table and
easy access to the ship from all sides, which
is especially important for children. Short
arms are a handicap, as you have to catch
load units, too. At this point parents should
instigate restrictions for themselves, for instance using only one hand for catching or
no catching allowed for parents, but this is
something you can decide on your own. I
myself was only allowed to use one hand,
both for placing and catching load units.
If you do not have steady hands you will encounter massive problems, because when
your hands shake you transmit lots of unrest
to the ship. Such players should be experienced catchers. My son used an interesting
variant in placing: He did not place his load
units quietly, carefully and slowly, but rather
quick, sometimes he even kind of dropped
them and so had his hands quickly positioned for catching load units. This method did not put pressure on the ship long
enough to result in strong movement, he
simply made use of the moment of inertia.
Two more important aspects are of course
first the memorizing of cards that were
played so that you can evaluate which
choices are left to other players and what
are the chances of becoming captain, and
second the tactical placement of load units.
The only drawback are the wooden poles,
which are rather filigree, but this is inherent
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in the construction. Adult help is necessary
when setting up or dismantling the ship or
for providing replacement poles from the
nearest hardware store. On the other hand,
the counterweight is heavy enough to destroy or noticeably damage ceramic tiles,
expensive wooden floors or beautifully veneered wooden tables. This is not meant as
criticism, just as a hint on where you should
not play this game, or where you should not
let children play the game alone.
On the other hand, nothing countermands
the idea to keep the game permanently assembled; if there is room enough for it in
your living room you have a beautiful piece
of decoration that invites you to play again
and again.
The bottom line is: Marvelous components,
a well-working game with short playing
time that entices you into yet another game
over and over again. We had our fun, at
least, when Papa’s hands were tied on his
back. Because a steady hand for placing
load units, quick hands for catching and
knowledge of load distribution can severely
diminish the fun of others. But I think there
is no limit to your creativity how to restrict
such experts! 
Kurt Schellenbauer
Designer: Christoph Cantzler
Artist: Michael Menzel
Price: ca. 50 Euro
Publisher: Zoch 2012
Dexterity game
For families
Version: multi
Rules: de en Fr it
In-game text: no
Marvelous, harmonious components
* Card memory can be of assistance
* Trains hand-eye coordination and
spatial thinking
Compares to:
Bamboleo, Hamsterrolle and other balance
games on a moving base
Other editions:
Currently none
My rating:
spreaders above this one show 8 and 8 and
then 9 and 10. Each player holds a set of
cards with number cards from 1 to 10, all
sets are identical, and 8 load units or pieces
of booty. When only two are playing you
take double the number of load units.
Probably all those who have some decades
of board game experience will have experienced the game „Börsenspiel“ (by F. Murray and S. Spencer, Ravensburger). In this
game you were meant to strike it reach with
shares, of course in the sense of making
most money, by influencing the four different share values by playing of hand cards.
In those times it was generally accepted
political correctness to not only profit from
changes in share prices without regard for
other people’s losses, but to engender them
yourself and thereby cause ruin of others
(and maybe also of the general public).
Within the last few years public opinion
has begun to look askance on such behavior, the image of such profits has become
tainted, but of course nothing has changed
about the behavior; one just acts a bit more
discreet and does not loudly announce
one’s profit made in this way.
In board games, too, this chance in public
opinion is noticeable; so it was not sufficient in „Hab & Gut (by Carlo A. Rossi, Winning Moves) to win by becoming the richest person at the stock exchange; one hat
to donate enough of one’s profits to charity
in order to avoid dropping out of the „list of
richest“ due to being deemed to be closefisted.
The current permanent finance crisis has
been transformed into a game very well
and satirically in “Black Friday” (by Friedemann Friese, Kosmos): Here timely dropping out of the share mania and taking refuge with gold and silver is the order of the
(game) day!
And what does all that have to do with
„Spectaculum“? According to the introduction to this game the focus should be on the
„colorful world of soothsayers, clairvoyants
and snake dancers”!
In reality we have arrived here at the currently latest transformation away from
the genre of share trading or stock market
games. Obviously it was too embarrassing
for the publishing company to publish yet
another game on speculating with shares,
doubly embarrassing due to the related
bad image, so that the game mechanics
was given a completely absurd and unsuit-
able topic.
And this in turn unfortunately has the consequence that the short and basically really
simple rules become clear only when read
for the second time due to the wording incurred by the topic. What, pray, is meant by
“Accept a Jester into one’s favor” or “To dismiss a jester from one’s favor”? If you translate it to finances, it simple reads:
I can buy a share and/or sell a share. Those
shares are available in four different varieties, that is, colors. The graphics on the cards
with rather funny puns on the different performers / jesters are well done, but does not
contribute much to distinguish between
them. When the novelty value of the puns
has worn off it is better to use the backsides
of the cards, then there are no mistakes or
The ways to influence share prices are
handled different from usual means and
ways: At the start of the game you distribute
about 50 tiles open-faced and randomly on
the boards; those tiles usually have a value
between +3 and -3; it is not hard to guess
that a tile of value +2 results in a rise in the
price of a share by two (the game calls it “The
prestige of the jester troupe rises by 2”).
On top of this there are a few tiles which either cause immediate payment of 2 Ducats
per share either as a dividend to you from
the bank or from you as a penalty to the
bank (in the game represented by “Payday”
or “Epidemic”. Penalty payments can cause
cash flow problems and as a further consequence a forced and high-loss emergency
sale; as a consequence you of course try to
trigger such an event in order to aggravate
your fellow players but take care to always
command a high enough cash reserve to
avoid being surprised by such an event.
So I will try to avoid triggering this when I
myself own red shares unless I can extend
the red track to a tile of positive value. So far
the game mechanisms and strategic deliberations are rather banal; one’s own actions
are also mainly determined by the chancedriven drawing of the wooden pieces in a
A few tactical or speculative thoughts are
provided by the fact that one can - maybe
Harald Schatzl
A game on shares in disguise which plays easily and fast,
but offers rather little allure to play; even for the first game
I would recommend the more tactical variant, which should
make Spectaculum more interesting for the intended target
- deduct from the distribution of tiles on
board which shares might raise and which
might rather fall short-term. But when I, for
instance, provide an opportunity for my
successor for the yellow share because we
both hold yellow shares and he has no yellow pieces in hand, this is again in vain!
Due to the restriction on only two share actions per round another rather unsatisfactory situation occurs: As soon as I hold two
Designer: Reiner Knizia
Artist: Marc Margielsky
Price: ca. 24 Euro
Publisher: eggertspiele/Pegasus 2012 TIME:
Card collecting game
For families
Version: de
Rules: de en fr
In-game text: no
Funny cards graphics * Short rules * Not
many chances to exercise influence
Compares to:
All games on shares with a rather high
amount of chance
Other editions:
Oya, Frankreich; R&R Games, USA
And how do the effects of those tiles come
into play and take effect? In each round
each player randomly draws three wooden
pieces from a bag and places them on the
board. Those wooden pieces come in the
four colors of shares and are - in the manner of track building - added to pieces of
the same color already on the board. When
I reach a tile of value -1 in this manner, hare
price and current value - of the red share fall
by one.
Color codes, target groups, features, icons and GABIS are
explained on page 5 and at the bottom of pages 36 and 37
My rating:
or more shares of a color I do not have much
interest in lowering the value of this share,
because I am hit by a devaluation, too (unless other players would suffer even more
from this) and - furthermore - each sold
share blocks buying another one, so that
everybody can only react in a very inflexible
way to a wanted-for change in the portfolio.
On the bright side - a game plays quickly
and one can take pleasure from one’s own
successful actions, be annoyed about unsatisfactory course changes and especially
irritate one’s fellow players. The rules offer
a tactical variant of the game, in which you
can choose the three pieces of a round from
a selection of four pieces.
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This small change makes the game a lot
more interesting; at least it gives you the impression of being able to exercise some influence. And, furthermore, the rate of decision taking rises by 33%! Which other board
game can give you such a rate of return? 
Harald Schatzl
The interview with DR. REINER KNIZIA (RK)
was recorded on November 17th during the
Games Fair at Vienna.
WIN: Welcome to the Games Fair in Vienna.
RK: Thank you.
WIN: Which board game was the first one
that you played and at what age?
RK: I am no longer sure if I do remember
which board games for children I did play
at the age of three of four years. What I do
remember clearly is that I did play a lot of
Monopoly and then took the money and
made my own games with it. Somehow I
was very fascinated by those bundles of
money then.
WIN: How old were you at that time?
RK: I was probably eight years old, or near
to it.
WIN: How much of an imprint did this first
game or did those first games leave on
you? Or, put otherwise, which game did
influence your life most?
RK: Yes, well, in the end I ended in a Bank
after all, so that those bundles of money
probably did have an effect. A bank robber
I did not become, not yet …
WIN: Thank God, and I believe, you
don’t need to become one, not anymore
RK: But it is … I am not sure if there really
was one specific game that did leave an
imprint. I think, at the beginning, it was the
variety of different ranges of games that
did fascinate me. And then also the fact,
that I did not have enough pocket money
and wanted to play with fascinating games
and so started to make games for myself.
WIN: What makes a game a good game for
RK: Most people believe that this is a simple question. I believe that this is a very difficult question to answer, because it always
depends on the target group for a game.
Anyway, looking at today’s range, I think
that the answer for the majority of people
would be simple access to a game. So,
when it has short rules, then the access is
quick, but this then should result in a quick
progress of the game, that something happens in a manageable time frame, that the
dynamics of the game are working well
and that we then also can have a winner
within a relatively short time, that is, half
an hour or three quarters of an hour, and
that we had a nice game – we want to
be able to say “Okay, that was quick, let’s
play again.” Of course, as the designer I
try to check how many innovative ideas
there are in a game, is there something
new, what can I do? I want to influence the
outcome of the game myself and not be a
pawn to be played. All those elements are
important criteria for me. And of course
attractive components, an attractive topic
and nice graphics, too, so that all in all a coherent game evolves, so that I do not take
notice of individual aspects of the game
anymore, that I have simply a harmonious
total that allows me to spend quality time
with people. Something like this is a good
game for me.
WIN: In which of your games did you succeed to implement this yourself
That question is equally difficult to answer.
All my games are my children, but which
is my favorite one? For me this depends
very much on the target group. I believe
that a game where we managed to create
something of real novelty value recently is,
broadly speaking, the connection of the
classic board game to the electronic side
of games. This genre is growing and getting stronger and we had a lot of success
with “Wer war es” from Ravensburger. The
whole family is still sitting around the table,
we are still using a board, and people are
active in turn - but then there is electronics, too, and a little treasure chest, which of
course, introduces new flair into the game
and we also play against this electronic
device. Which results in an additional experience in addition to the usual group
experience, because we all play together. I
need not win at the expense of others and
somebody else looses because of that, but
we all win or lose together.
Well, those are new innovative approaches
which I enjoy very much. But that is only
one example out of many. There are many
new approaches, especially in the sector of
logic, which one can try today. I have created a whole range of games which simply
play on the iPhone, and I am very proud of
WIN: On Facebook, too?
RK: Yes, there are so many different media
today, which make be believe that, as a
creative mind, we live in fascinating times,
because so many things change, because
in reality is a revolution. Look at what happens with books, which also overlap with
games, look at what happens with films,
how they change with all the electronic
possibilities, but also due to input from
the markets, let’s mention online shopping
for an example. So, you can see, it is a challenge, a lot of changes happen. And those
changes surely can be frightening for
someone who got stuck in a segment. I, as
a creative person, am not stuck in any segment, and there are no productions sites in
my background which I need to keep busy.
I simply can reach out and creatively influence a new segment and can make use of
opportunities offering themselves there.
WIN: Do you adhere to a creative process
typical for all of your games, from the first
idea to the first prototypes?
RK: Yes and No. It is always something of
a quest for a new, innovative access to a
game and then the interplay of different elements. I need components, I need a topic
and, of course, I need game mechanics and
then looking for ways to combine all this in
a new and innovative way. Maybe it is possible to implement a new technology, new
techniques or a new production process?
A lot of those considerations happen in my
head, until the first prototype evolves and
then, for many months to come, there is
simply a lot of testing. And this is the deciding factor, because test-playing game
ideas is the lifeblood of a games inventor.
WIN: How many ideas are you working on
at the same time? You literally created hundreds of games already!
RK: Yes, we are …. Well, I say we, but I have
a circle of very creative people from whom
I do receive lots of input, we always have
lots and lots of ideas. Having ideas and formulating ideas is the simple part, for which
you of course also need experience and
to walk through life with your eyes wide
open. To pick up an idea, to involve into a
product ready for the market, that is the
real work on a game, and, as I believe, also
the real skill, the fine art of creating games,
Color codes, target groups, features, icons and GABIS are
explained on page 5 and at the bottom of pages 36 and 37
to not produce a half-baked idea and thus
to squander an idea, because usually a
half-baked, ill-conceived game will not be
a success. But the idea is gone, has been
squandered. To get out the extract the
maximum, the optimum from an idea in
a way that develops the full potential and
lets it unfold its full impact, that is the real
challenge. And you must not give up too
early, all that takes its time. Sometimes it
works well, sometimes it does not work at
all, and then there is no game at the end of
the process.
WIN: When you think back again to your
childhood, who was the situation as regards to your parents? Did your parents
play a lot with you?
RK: My parents did not play a lot with me. I
always thought that I should play with my
friends, because my parents did not have
much time; they were business people,
they are business people. So, for me it was
something special to play with my parents. On and off, sometimes, we did play
together, I convinced them to play or I cajoled them into playing with me. And yet,
I did play a lot of games in my childhood.
WIN: Dr. Knizia, may we ask about your
marital status?
RK: Yes I live in a partnership, and I don’t
have children.
WIN: Do you believe it is important that
parents do play a lot with their children?
Contrary to what you experienced! What
do you think?
RK: Well, of course I am biased, because
I am very taken with playing games and
of course I do believe that playing games
is very important in our culture. And the
relationship of parents to their children
is of course immensely important for the
development of those children. And I do
believe that playing games offers very
fantastic and excellent means for this and
for active interaction and for interacting
on an equal footing. An in a roundabout
way one learns a lot while playing, not
with wagging a finger, but simply acquiring a lot of social intelligence and behavior.
You experience new worlds and acquire an
understanding for tactics, so I believe that
playing games is very important from an
educative viewpoint and also from the
development angle. And, on top of this, it
simply a valuable contribution to harmony
in the family, nearly the most efficient and
beautiful that I can imagine. You can travel
together; you can go on outings together.
But if go to the pictures together, the interrelations is lacking, you only sit next to
each other, and you can’t read books together, really, unless someone is reading
out loud to the rest of the family. So, playing games together is a concerted activity,
in which everybody can participate and to
which everybody can contribute.
WIN: You live in Great Britain? Where exactly?
RK: In Windsor.
WIN: What do you think? How does the
games community in Great Britain compare to that in Germany and Austria?
RK: Well, the German language games
market in Germany, Austria and Switzerland is Games Paradise. There is an incredible amount of different games, a lot of
new games is released every year and we
have a very effective market made up from
a lot of suppliers which is also due to the
fact that there is much demand, which results in a range of very reasonably-priced
games of high quality: I believe that this is
globally unique. You asked specifically for
England and how she compares to this!
Well, England relates more to the AngloAmerican market. In England sometimes
or most times people place a higher value
on the wrapping than on the contents.
Often there is more room or “air” in there,
in my opinion; but this is rather a blanket
statement. Yet, in Germany, in the German speaking countries, in Austria, it is re-
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ally important to offer a clear good game
mechanism, game principle, this is what
we call a game, the mechanism, how can
I act, what are the rules?
And I believe these results in games with a
higher degree of development, of sophistication; which in turn depends on the target
group for the game. Of course you need to
do it differently for three-year-olds, much
simpler. But I believe, when talking with
adolescents and adults, that you can demand a bit more of them, which does not
necessarily mean very complex rules, just
as regards to standard - what can I realize
in the game, contribute to the game, what
do I give back?
WIN: You are one of the most successful
game designers, maybe the most successful one worldwide. Have you achieved everything that you wanted to achieve?
RK: This is a question I cannot answer, because I did not start with by setting myself
five or ten or three hundred goals which I
want to achieve. I think we live in a fantastic world, I do not want to have achieved
everything yet, because then I would have
nothing left to do, so to say. The beauty is
that the world is changing a lot and rapidly,
as regards to games as well as to everything else. That has a lot of consequences,
and also offers a lot chances and results in
a lot of new challenges for a game inventor.
Well, I think, insofar one is never done. Being done, I think, would be the worst one
could achieve. I am thrilled by picking up
new developments, be it in Social Media
where people relate to each other completely different, or be it new technologies
which you suddenly are able to integrate
into a game because they are now available or because they can now be produced in a cost-effective way so that they
become affordable. It always comes out
the same - I do not want to keep digging
the same hole and to do the same things,
I want to do new and different things. And
new approaches, new views and new starting points are always a guarantee for being
able to do something different.
WIN: What are your definite goals for the
future? Your immediate plans, maybe?
RK: Well, what I am currently working on
with zest is the connection and interaction of new technologies in the communications sector. I am talking about
Smartphones and Tablets and their interaction/connection with/to a board game,
and that not only via applications on the
Smartphone that you play on the Smartphone but I am talking about a game that
is on the table and an iPhone, an iPad or
an Android device is sitting next to it and
they interact, that is, I buy a game and this
also gives me a download for my device,
meaning, I do have the electronic means
already and only need the software, and
this gives us the grounds for creating affordable and cost-effective universes
which simply are an output from the already available Smartphone. Until recently
you had the buy the electronics together
with the game. Now we have the standard
device that is all but a play station, but that
everybody is carrying around in his pocket.
And because I have it in my pocket, and
everybody else has it in his pocket, we are
confronted with a totally new situation,
because now everybody has a game in his
pocket. And therefore we can reach out to
completely different groups of people, to a
totally new source of potential, interested
players. For those one should offer simple
games that are lots of fun. And this, I believe, enhances and supports game culture
and I think this not a bad thing at all.
WIN: Is the trend going towards people
playing by themselves at their computers
or should it still be playing people together at a table, simple connected to those
electronic media.
RK: Well, this is a matter of personal taste: I
think playing alone in front of your screen
also fills other needs than does playing
together. Playing together is part of being
human, and therefore, in consequence, if
will not go away or cease to exist. I do not
evaluate or judge in this aspect, but I believe that playing alone and unconnected
is on retreat, simple because of all electronic or technical media being interconnected. If I am on the net, I am connected
with all others, and this of course, offers me
completely different means of communication than playing eye to eye, so to say.
And this is reflected in the latest games,
which are all very, very much integrated;
and how people communicate today via
Facebook and Twitter and all the others
and also play using those communication
media. This is simple a completely different
world, too. And the world changes from
generation to generation. Those changes
just accelerate. This is a revolution that is
thrilling and challenging and about which
I am very curious how it will develop over
the next few years. And I look forward to
it, because there must be incredible new
possibilities in the making, also as regards
to games, or, to use the latest say-so for it,
in Gamification. All is turning into a game!
WIN: Assemble three personalities important to you, from the present back to
the beginnings of history, around a table
- which game would you play with them?
RK: Äh, that is an incredibly difficult question. I would either choose a very simple
game, like HeckMeck, for instance, a dice
game that has a very elementary mechanism but is explained very quickly and
then yields a lot of fun and results in lots
of interactions among players. But, should
Einstein be one of the players, than it probably would not be HeckMeck, but maybe
it would be Ingenious, there there is less
chance. Wer you need to play more tactical, but with which also the casual or occasional player can have fun, because the
rules are very simple. Everybody can make
color lines, and everybody can distinguish
between six different colors, too. But that
the outcome is decided by the weakest
color, this is the challenge.
WIN: What other two personalities come
to your mind?
RK: (Thinks for a long time)
WIN: Einstein is a huge challenge in any
case (grins)
RK: Well, the problem is not to think of
somebody! The problem is to select them
in a way that the respective remaining other two then will be willing to join the table.
I am a scientist, so probably I would tend to
make my selection from that sector. Okay,
I believe, in order to achieve a beautiful,
balanced game I would go back to ancient
times and select someone like Aristotle or
Socrates to join us. I don’t think that I would
choose one of the great Warlords or Commanders like Napoleon. War is not in my
line at all, so I would leave him out.
WIN: (smiling) Maybe he would be a totally
different person when playing a game?
RK: (laughing) Maybe he would be a totally different person when playing, but
he would have to show that to me first as
a person! But, since I am a scientist, then I
take maybe Madame Curie, also in order to
have a lady at our table. But there are also
some good actresses which would fit nicely. Well, the possibilities and permutations
are endless; I could easier put together a
table of a hundred than of three.
WIN: Besides busying yourself with games,
which other hobbies do you enjoy? If one
could playing games a hobby, too, albeit
doing it for a living.
RK: Well, my life is rather strongly orientated towards games, because the sector
is very varied - I must understand production processed; I talk to publisher. I attend
Fairs. Those are very diverse activities. I love
to read and do some sports. I like to be
outdoors. But then, again, this is because
it somehow „refreshes“ me and makes me
open for new ideas. I have no intense hobby besides games, because I have made
my hobby into my life, that is, into my job.
WIN: As you really spend a lot of time on all
those game-related activities, do you you
take holidays? What would be your perfect
holiday and how and where do you relax
RK: I can relax very well at home. For me
the perfect holiday is to have free time, not
to have and appointments, not to have
emails to answer, not having to react to
anything; do whatever I like to do spontaneously.
WIN: Switch off your mobile, for once?
RK: That happens rather often, because
very few people do have my mobile number. I do not work in a job where emergencies occur. I do not have to be instantly or
always available, which would be rather
detriment to my leisure, my creative leisure.
WIN: Now for the final question: Can and
if so, how, in your opinion, can playing
games improve the world?
RK: Absolutely.
WIN: And what would you wish for from
the powers of this world, Mister Obama,
Mrs. Merkel and so on?
RK: Well, I do not wish for anything in the
matter of games from the powers of this
world, because they cannot help us with
games. The world works differently today,
it is not organized from the top down, but
usually or very often is organized from bottom to top. That means, game creators,
designers, inventors are tasked with making games in order to assemble people at
a table to play games. This creates relations
among people much faster and much
more than any political move. I believe that
we can achieve a lot there and that there
are many challenges, which, I think, cannot
be resolved by politics, especially. Those
challenges are resolved by games-loving
people, like here at the Games Fair in Vienna - here, where many people come and
play together, discover other people and
experience that other people also love to
play games, that other people are friendly,
too, regardless of their skin color or their
religion. I think this creates empathy! This is
the experience that counts! And this is one
for to which we all can contribute!
WIN: Thank you cordially for this interview
and enjoy your time here at the Games
RK: Thank you, and the same to you, too!
The Interview was conducted by Astrid
Willim and Christian Huber 
Astrid Willim und Christian Huber
Color codes, target groups, features, icons and GABIS are
explained on page 5 and at the bottom of pages 36 and 37
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The reason behind the American
Civil war was the issue of slavery and rights of the individual
states; the game covers the period from the first battle at Bull
Run to Lee’s surrender at Appomattox or alternately Grant’s
surrender at Harrisburg.
One player represents the North,
the original United States, the
Union; the other player repre-
sents the South, the Confederacy, the Confederates. The map
shows boxes for locations and
sites, connected by a network
of rivers, roads and railroads as
lines of transport. Military unit
are entered into the boxes and
transported along the transport
You play in rounds, which each
represent one or two months
Franz Ferdinand is a pig and has
a TV show of his own in the Austrian Television Station ORF in its
okidoki children’s program - and
he is the first license character to
be honored with his own edition
of Activity.
The mechanics and the rules of
the game remain the same and
are familiar; as usual one must
explain a term to one’s team
members by drawing, describing or pantomime in a way that
the team recognizes and correctly guesses the term. In analogy
to other editions the location
of the team marker determines
the way to explain the term. Up
to four teams can play; all teams
must have at least two members.
One member of a team is the active one -the team determines
of real time: The Union starts a
round, then the confederation
has a turn; after 40 turns the
winning condition is checked:
Control of certain towns for the
union or the conquest of Washington, size of troops and prevention of the Union victory for
the confederates. Each turn of
a player comprises the phases
movement, battle, promotion
and recruiting, which are implemented in order and completely.
Battles are decided by dice rolls;
a player must announce the targets of all his attacks at the start
of the battle. For Promotion you
replace units with better units of
the same kind. In case of Recruiting Militia units are introduced
into the game by dice roll. Optional rules and scenarios allow
you to play only certain episodes
of the war.
This is the 4th Edition of A House
Divided, which was published
first in 1981; it provides a dense,
informative and very exact and
close-to-reality simulation with
interesting facets from options
and scenarios. 
in which order team members
become active explainers - and
tries to convey the term in the
current way, all other members
of the team guess and the members of the other team or teams
watch out for rule violations.
When your own team guesses
the term correctly, your team
markers moves the number of
steps indicated next to the term.
In case of a six next to the term,
the rules are slightly different: All
teams can try to guess the term;
the marker of the team that
guesses correctly moves ahead
by six steps. The board has been
adapted to the topic and shows
a corresponding design; the
terms can be rather challenging
- I would be hard put to quickly
think up a way to draw “pirate
radio transmission” or how to
explain “Flashlight” with a pantomime.
This version of Activity is yet
another one in the series of entertaining and well-done games
and Franz Ferdinand makes it a
doubly interesting adaptation of
a successful game principle. 
Color codes, target groups, features, icons and GABIS are
explained on page 5 and at the bottom of pages 36 and 37
Designer: Frank Chadwick
Artist: Don Troiani
Price: ca. 23 Euro
Publisher: Mayfair Games 2012
Conflict simulation
For experts
Version: en
Rules: en + de nl
In-game text: yes
Series: American Civil War *
4th edition * Rules include
options and scenarios *
Functional components
Compares to:
Other simulations on the topic
Other editions:
Currently none, earlier editions: GDW,
1989; North & South, Phalanx 2001
Designer: P. Catty, E. Führer
Artist: not stated
Price: ca. 20 Euro
Publisher: Piatnik 2012
Communication game
For children
Version: de
Rules: de
In-game text: yes
License topic * Familiar
standard mechanism
* Felicitous, attractive
Compares to:
Activity junior
Other editions:
Currently none
A cooperative game with a traitor has a special allure - here you
want to escape from Alcatraz
together. In the planning stage
prisoners complete certain tasks
as part of a six stage escape plan.
In each turn a new security guard
appears, one player becomes
the scapegoat and prisoners
try to complete their plan using
standard mechanisms. Who is to
become scapegoat is discussed
openly for 2 min and then a vote
is taken; the Scapegoat has one
additional action point, but does
not receive parts of the plan for
completed tasks. When all plan
elements are assembled, the
contributing players escape together and win. The Scapegoat is
left behind unless he owns part
of the plan that nobody else
What an iPad is does not need an
explanation anymore and neither
does an App; Apps are available
in huge numbers from the web
for download to Smartphones,
iPhones or iPads, and among
those thousands of Apps there
are of course also lots of games.
Apptivities from Mattel now introduce a combination of those
game apps from the web with ac-
tivities in the real world; you use
real objects via an App in combination with an iPad.
Hot Wheels in turn have cult status, Hot Wheels are cool - and
have now arrived in the Computer Area, too. The cool red car - or
each of the other available ones
- his equipped with a conducting
base for use with the iPad and you
can explore the Hot Wheels Test
has and is therefore essential for
the escape; in this case another
player determined by stringent
rules remains behind and loses.
The expansion introduces new
elements: The number of players rises to five, three new locations are added for the prison,
the Scapegoat is given four new
cards with new possibilities. This
is amended by two new characters/roles: The Chief of Security
- he brings even more problems
for the prisoners; and the Sucker
- he does not receive rewards for
completing tasks, but cannot be
chosen for the Scapegoat; when
he alone completes a task, only
he receives a letter. And then
there are penalty cards which
give extra abilities to characters.
The Sucker is chosen in the first
round before the Scapegoat, in
the following rounds the role
passes to his left neighbor.
Maximum Security offers a coherent, harmonious expansion
for Alcatraz: The Scapegoat with
new details and many new possibilities. 
Arena. The game offers three levels: Cool Drifts, Totally Crazy Jumps
and Search and Defeat. Aim of
the game is to be accepted as a
driver for the Hot Wheels Team.
The Hot Wheels App iCars must
be unlocked and is then free for
download. The product range offers different boxes with different
cars; all are called by cool names
like Power Rev or Bone Shaker or
York So Fast or Drift King.
Of course the system/principle
can be adapted to other topics,
too - there is an Apptivity for Batman and one for Monster High
and there is even a Baby Toy
called Apptivity Monkey: You put
the iPhone in a halter unit in the
tummy of the plush monkey and
then you touch the screen with
the monkey’s pawns in order to
hear stories, songs and funny
Apptivites are interesting hybrids,
not really a game and not really a
toy anymore; but in any case they
are one more step towards the
complete combination of electronics and classical game and
toy elements. 
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Designer: Cywicki, Cywicki, Hanusz
Artist: Rafał Badan u.a.
Price: ca. 13 Euro
Publisher: Kuznia/Heidelberger 12
Cooperative game
For experts
Version: en
Rules: de en it pl
In-game text: yes
First expansion for Alcatraz
* Now playable with five
* With new characters *
Well-working additions to
the basic mechanisms
Compares to:
Alcatraz: The Scapegoat / Verrat
hinter Gittern
Other editions:
Kuznia, Poland
Designer: not stated
Artist: not stated
Price: ca. 15 Euro
Publisher: Mattel 2012
Game unit for iPad/iPhone
For children
Version: de
Rules: de en
In-game text: no
Hybrid of toy and game *
Several different vehicles or
pawns available for an APP
* App must be downloaded
to the iPad via Code
Compares to:
iPawn, Jumbo
Other editions:
Apptivities Batman, Fruit Ninja,
Monster High etc.
High up in the wonder tree bananas taste their best, but Head
Monkey Banana Matcho wants
to climb all by himself and
alone, but you cannot allow this
and therefore you start yourself
with your monkey at the base
of the tree and become the active monkey by picking up the
six fruit dice. Your left neighbor
takes the 3 Matcho dice. Now
both players roll their dice simultaneously and as fast as they
can, but with different aims: You
as the active climbing monkey
want to achieve a high-value
fruit combination faster than
the Matcho player achieves
three symbols for Banana Matcho. For a fruit combination
you can roll any number of fruit
dice any number of times, can
Big Badaboom is a new “big”
edition of Badaboom, packed
in a bomb-shaped casing; and
again we find ourselves in chaotic fantasy regions: The High
Necromancer is very furious:
The Alliance of the Obnoxiously Good Races bombards the
Army of Darkness with exploding devices and he has nothing
to repay them in kind because
he lacks this technology of explosives. We players are Goblins
and prisoners of this angry necromancer and must experiment
in a research dungeon with
explosive matters and find out
what triggers the bombs and
what damage they do. In case
we survive those experiments
and explosions or save mechanisms out of the remains of an
set aside any number and re-roll
and number of dice. The “roller”
for Banana Matcho can achieve
his symbols one by one; he need
not achieve them in one roll as a
triplet. If you are first to achieve
your goal you heat the squeaking banana and move your monkey upwards. The monkey of the
fruit combination player moves
according to the table depending on the fruit combination
he achieved, between 2 and 12
steps; the monkey of the Matcho player always only moves
one step upward. If you are first
to reach the top of the wonder
tree with your monkey, you win!
A game of chance, pure and
simple, and yet there is a teeny
weenie bit of tactic, as you can
decide, despite having achieved
a valid combination, if you want
to keep rolling or are content
with fewer steps in order to hit
the banana first and move at all.
And it is fun to quickly decide if
you rather set aside three pineapples or hope for 6 different
fruit, always with an eye on the
Matcho player! 
explosion or master other tasks
we earn gold.
In each round one player holds
the bomb; it is represented by
cards and is changed by exchanging cards. An explosion
must be announced and can be
mitigated by cards in order to
survive. Each round consists of
drawing cards, pre-experiment
phase with announcement of a
trick card, experimental phase
with an experiment for the owner of the bomb by exchanging a
card in the bomb, post-experiment phase in analogy to the
pre-experiment phase, explosion
phase and handing-on of the
bomb to the next player. If you
survive you receive gold, and if
you have 10 gold you bribe the
guard, flee the dungeon and win.
The mechanism is simple and
isn’t very demanding; the topic
is funny and wittily implemented
and all depends a lot on luck of
the draw and distribution of the
cards - but it is fun to play, and
dying is not too bad: you simply
discard your cards and draw new
ones; you are working for a Necromancer, after all! 
Color codes, target groups, features, icons and GABIS are
explained on page 5 and at the bottom of pages 36 and 37
Designer: Thilo Hutzler
Artist: Lilli Messina
Price: ca. 20 Euro
Publisher: Zoch 2012
Dice and reaction game
For children
Version: multi
Rules: de en fr it
In-game text: no
Pure dice game * Some
tactic in decisions on dice
results * Pretty components
Compares to:
All dice game with stop-orcontinue mechanism
Other editions:
Currently none
Designer: Team Gigantoskop
Artist: J. Moberg, P. Svärd
Price: ca. 25 Euro
Publisher: Gigantoskop 2012
Card game
With friends
Version: en
Rules: de en se
In-game text: yes
New addition * Attractive
Packaging * Funny topic *
Good, albeit chance-driven,
Compares to:
Other editions:
A title from the digital universe,
Blänk means blank, the empty
space between words in a text,
and in this game is a stand-in
for words or terms. The game
holds a huge amount of white
action cards, 375 of them, to be
exact, which show terms in German like “The longest chocolate
in the world” or “hard-working
civil servant” or “Sober Brits”, and
also 100 black [_blänk] cards. You
start the game with 10 action
cards, the rest is stacked, and so
are the [_blänk] cards.
One player begins as the current [_blänk] Master and turns
up the top black card from the
stack. This card shows a text
containing the word Blänk two
or three times. Each player now
decides for himself which of his
On occasion of the 15 Year Anniversary Bohnanza is expanded
with new bean varieties, new
rules, additional actions and a
solo variant; as to topic we move
to the Wild West! Corresponding
to the Biker on Route 66 from the
cover we find Horse beans, Cow
beans, Common Beans, Black
Beans, Chili beans, China beans,
Jamaica beans, Yin Yang beans,
Barrel Beans, Indian beans and
Helmet beans. Despite those
exotic variants the basic rules of
Bohnanza are valid; but should
one of the bean cards show additional symbols on its upper
or right-hand border, we are
confronted with a Wild bean
which introduces additional possibilities: You can plant different
bean varieties on one field or
white cards fit best to replace the
Blänks on the card. Each player
chooses as many white cards as
the word Blänk occurs on the
card and hands his pile to the [_
blänk] Master, pres-sorted in the
order they are meant to appear
in the text. When the [_blänk]
Master has received cards from
all players, he reads out the combinations one by one and adapts
the terms to grammatically correct use. Then he decides which
combination he likes best and
hands the black card over to the
winner for a victory point.
The mechanism from Apples to
Apples has here been adapted
to the filling-in of words to complete sentences, with a deliberate „adult“ theme; the terms are
intentionally funny or naughty
or suggestive and the end of the
game is left to players‘ discretion,
„because we cannot decide everything for you”, say the rules.
If you like unequivocally ambiguous word games with a weird
touch you will have fun with
[_blänk]. 
disregard the order of your hand
cards or harvest one additional
bean from your field or you must
take a card in Phase two or ask
your neighbor how must you
must plant or you must leave out
Phase 1 or discard beans instead
of planting them.
With the new trade cards you can
improve a bid; if another player
accepts such a card he has first
choice on a free card from the
offer when the player who offers the trade card auctions cards
next time. You have now three
fields and can discard one of the
now three cards you must auction and at the end of your turn
all players now draw a card.
Designer Uwe Rosenberg thinks
that his game is now going
through puberty and the Anniversary edition has turned out
correspondingly „wild“; wellmade it is in any case and it must
be hoped that each puberty is
such fun as that of this game
teenager, also perfectly caught
in the witty bean portraits. Let’s
take a ride to the bean plantations! 
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Designer: Beckmann, Ackermann
Artist: elbworx media design
Price: ca. 15 Euro
Publisher: E.Concept 2012
Word game
With friends
Version: de
Rules: de
In-game text: yes
For adults only * All the
terms are „Adult only“
* Only for fans of such
games * 100% language
Compares to:
Apples to Apples, Out of the Box
Other editions:
Currently none
Designer: Uwe Rosenberg
Artist: Björn Pertoft
Price: ca. 10 Euro
Publisher: Amigo Spiele 2012
Card game
With friends
Version: de
Rules: de nl
In-game text: no
Anniversary edition * Basic
rules * New bean varieties
Compares to:
All other editions of Bohnanza and its variants and
Other editions:
999 Games, Netherlands
Causing some shaking of heads
among adults, but at all our
Games Fairs this game was THE
success, we usually had to limit
the number of balloons per
player. The basic idea is simple a balloon should burst! Yes, this
can be transformed into a functioning game with rules!
A balloon is inflated and fit into
the carrier - or at least that is
what all tried to do first; but this
does not work, you must, as is
stated clearly and explicitly in
the rules, assemble the carrier
first, then fix the balloon into
the carrier and then inflate the
The three bars of the carrier have
holes. When you have inflated
the balloon, put the carrier on
the table and place 9 notched
All games in the range of games
from Gemblo currently are designed by Justin Oh, as is Confusing Sun, a mixture of dice game
and arithmetics game.
The game comprises cards featuring flame, planet and UFO
symbols; the sun board is showing numbers 1 to 10 around the
rim of the sun. On this board the
starting player places the Mas-
ter card; its position determines
which die - red or black - is determining flames and which one
is determining UFOs. Ten cards
are laid out around the sun next
to the number spots. Then you
roll both dice and each player by
himself looks among the cards
on display for those that correspond to the result of the dice
roll, for instance, cards showing 2
sticks into the holes of the bars,
up to the first notch.
Then you roll the die in turn; the
die shows values 1, 2 or 3 and
tells you for how many notches
you must move a or the sticks
forward into the balloon. If you
rolled 2 or 3, you can allocate
those clicks to different sticks
or move one stick for the total
number of clicks. You can move
any stick of your choice .Whoever
causes the balloon to burst has
lost, all others wins together. Depending on the kind of balloons
used the length of the game can
So simple, such fun! The legitimate and intended bursting of
the balloon causes children to
cheer every time, and instantly
the next balloon is fitted into the
carrier and the next one and the
next one …! Bumm Bumm Ballon! is definitely one of the best
recent action games, pure fun!
And if you think about balloons
and environment, its better have
balloons burst and then safely
dumped instead of letting them
loose in the sky. 
flames and three UFOs, adds the
numbers next to the cards and
announces the result. Whoever
names the correct result first,
wins the round. A star on one
of the dice is a joker, you then
only add up the numbers for the
cards corresponding to the result
of the other die. When both dice
show the star joker, then you
must add the numbers for those
cards that do NOT show a planet
symbol. If you are first to name
the correct total you receive all
cards; each card is worth one
point at the end of the game,
cards with planetary symbols
are an exception, these are worth
the number of planets depicted
on each card. If you are first to
achieve a total of 20 points from
collected cards, you win.
Confusing sun is a simple game
of adding numbers, well-made
and not as simple as is seems
due to the star joker rules; more
experienced players can use the
backside of the board where the
sun is rimmed with numbers 11
to 20. 
Color codes, target groups, features, icons and GABIS are
explained on page 5 and at the bottom of pages 36 and 37
Designer: Frans Rookmaaker
Artist: not stated
Price: ca. 23 Euro
Publisher: Schmidt Spiele 2012
Action game
For children
Version: multi
Rules: de fr it
In-game text: no
Pure action game * Simple
rules * Somewhat noisy
Compares to:
First game of its kind
Other editions:
Identity Games, Netherlands; Intrafin,
Designer: Justin Oh
Artist: B.H. Ahn
Price: ca. 15 Euro
Publisher: Gemblo 2012
Arithmetics game
For families
Version: en
Rules: en kr
In-game text: no
Nice topic * Simple rules
* Good family game *
Two different degrees of
difficulty depending on the
board used
Compares to:
Other games using arithmetics
Other editions:
Currently none
Pharaoh Snofru wants to complete the Red Pyramid by adding
an avenue and filling the burial
chambers. Players are Princes
and want to achieve the position of Grand Vizier. With Prices
cards and goods markers you
acquire jewels to build the avenue, ensure good positions for
filling the burial chambers and
profiting from tributes paid by
neighboring cities, all of which
scores points. But what you really can do is determined by your
fellow players.
In four rounds you play two
phases each - 1) Princes Actions
with playing and using of Princes‘ cards; all players in turn and
then 2) Rewards for the Princes
and city tributes with scoring of
the Princes Cards. For Phase 1
After some years of absence
Prestel has returned with a new
game, a new edition of their
Kinderkunstspiel, this time intended for the whole family
and featuring the beautiful and
attractive design typical for the
At the start of the game each
player has the 12 individual parts
of a puzzle on the table, face
down. The board shows a variety
of squares, all featuring original
parts of works of art, and a spinner in the middle. This spinner is
pushed and when it stops again
it shows the number of steps
you can move your marker or it
shows a square itself, where you
then go. If you reach a square
showing the painter and his
easel, you draw a task card and
each non-player lays out a card
for the active player; he chooses
action after action - market, avenue and/or procession; more
than once is possible, and returns the card to its owners; returned card are laid out by their
owners in the order they got
them back. At the end of Phase
1 players compare the values of
cards laid out by positions - left,
middle and right - and score for
Then you can use all three
Princes cards for the city tribute
and finally you can place one of
the three cards into your burial
chamber in the pyramid. When
the 4th card has been placed in
a burial chamber all chambers
are opened and players store
gold and silver there based on
congruency of symbols.
Dahschur offers a very sophisticated jewel of games, especially
due to the choice of possibilities
for the active players by the nonactive ones, who in turn want to
profit from scoring the cards returned to them - dilemma and
perfect resource management
all in one! 
draw the term on the green side
of the card. If it is guessed correctly you and the person who
guessed correctly can turn over
one puzzle piece. The acrobats
indicate the theatre spot, where
you must draw a card and perform a pantomime to explain a
term on the orange side of the
tile; a correct guess again earns
a puzzle piece for performer
and guesser. On the art spot
you take a picture card, look at it
very closely and then roll the die
to determine a number on the
back. If you answer correctly, you
turn over a puzzle piece. The two
puttos indicate a lucky spot and
the devil an unlucky spot; you
either turn up or down a puzzle
piece. If you are first to turn over
all puzzle pieces and complete
the puzzle, you win.
This is a very beautiful game and
an attractive playful introduction into the world of art and its
beauty; 50 picture cards show a
cross-section over centuries, with
information on artist and work of
art; the five puzzles too, make up
world-famous paintings. 
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Designer: Pauli Haimerl
Artist: Christian Opperer
Price: ca. 32 Euro
Publisher: Mücke Spiele 2012
Resources management
With friends
Version: de
Rules: de en
In-game text: nein
Interesting mechanism
* Box is part of game *
Attractive design and components * Two expansions
Compares to:
First game with this mix of mechanisms
Other editions:
Currently none
Designer: not stated
Artist: not stated
Price: ca. 20 Euro
Publisher: Prestel Verlag 2012
For families
Version: de
Rules: de
In-game text: yes
Standard mechanisms *
No detailed knowledge
necessary * Very beautiful
components * Information on the works of art
Compares to:
Das Prestel Kinderkunstspiel, Activity
Other editions:
Currently none
Each player starts the race with
his marker at the start of Race
One and has his personal deck
of racing cards, which he shuffles
and stacks; for a start he draws
11 cards and has also five power
Standard power cards.
Each round of the race comprises two phases, Action and
Movement. In the Action phase
players take turns and you can in
each turn draw up to three cards
from your own deck, which ends
your turn, or you can play cards
from your hand; the starting
player decides how many cards
he and all others can play - one
or a set of two or three; a set is
made up from cards with the
same number, same color or is
a sequence; each player playing
cards after the starting player
On Maja’s corn poppy meadow
you can find a very special flower, a flower clock! And Maja’s
friend Willi is sitting in the middle
of this clock, waiting for Maja - he
wants to play with her. Therefore Maja must pass the moving
hands of the clock to reach Willi.
A pretty colorful clock serves as
a game board; at the start the
hands of the clock point to 10:00.
Each player puts his Maja marker
at the start of the spiral track that
leads to Willi in the center. You
roll the die and move Maja accordingly: If she reaches a yellow
square, nothing happens. On a
blue Flip Square you take a Flip
card, if one is available, and store
it openly. On a clock square you
turn up the top clock card and
move the hands to point at this
must play a card or set of equal
or higher value. Or you pass. If
you play cards more than once
in a round, you can - after the first
time - display a power card with
every additional playing of cards.
In the Movement phase you play
in reverse order of playing cards;
you activate and use all power
cards and move your marker
according to your rank in the
round, the number of players
and the size of sets played. If you
are the first player to end a move
on “gold” in Race 1 and 2, you receive a Gold Power card; after the
finish additional gold and silver
cards are allocated and you can
use appropriate power cards. If
you are first to reach the finish of
Race 3 you win. As a variant you
can play using the individual
abilities of characters.
Dash offers quite an unusual
combination of mechanisms
for a movement game; you bid
for your movement distance by
playing higher cards and by using power cards. Attractive and
interesting! 
new time. In doing so you first
move the big hand and then
the small hand, both hands are
moved in clockwise direction.
When a clock hand moves a Maja
marker, you can countermand
this by discarding a Flip card; the
Flip card is put back onto the appropriate stack. When you cannot discard a Flip card, your Maja
is put on the square immediately
in front of the hand.
Each square of the flower clock
only has room for one Maja, so
your Maja goes to the next free
spot in front, should you happen to end the move on a taken
square. If your Maja reaches Willi
first, you win.
This game provides a simple roll
& move game with a mechanism
similar to Ludo, it subtly and very
efficiently trains analogue clock
times and hand positions; this
training has been marvelously
integrated into the game and is
thrilling for children to see if and
how far a clock hand moves their
Maja marker. 
Color codes, target groups, features, icons and GABIS are
explained on page 5 and at the bottom of pages 36 and 37
Designer: Jin S. Ang, Meng T. Lee
Artist: S. Chong, Jin S. Ang
Price: not stated
Publisher: Cardboard Island 12
Movement with cards
For families
Version: en
Rules: en
In-game text: no
Interesting mix of mechanisms * Difficult to acquire *
Unusual illustrations, mix of
Manga and traditional
Compares to:
Karrierepoker and others for playing
of cards, all in all first game with this
combination of mechanisms
Other editions:
Currently none
Designer: not stated
Artist: not stated
Price: ca. 18 Euro
Publisher: Studio100Media 2012
Roll & move, educational
For children
Version: de
Rules: de
In-game text: no
Beloved and well-known
license topic * Pretty
components * Subtly trains
analog clock positions
Compares to:
Other educational games with a
clock topic
Other editions:
Currently none
Die Damen von Troyes is the first
expansion for Troyes and offers
us five different modules:
Module 1 is made up of new
character cards including the
three ladies; Jeanne de Champagne, Isabeau de Bavière and
Marie de Champagne earn you
different numbers of victory
points depending on the number of citizens or other points
that you have earned. Module 2
comprises 27 new action cards
- nine military, nine civil and
nine religious cards - with new
card types for mixed effects or
effects for final scoring; you can
use them alone or with those of
the core game. If you use such a
card with mixed effects, you decide if you want to place cubes
on the card or if you want to use
Divinare means predicting - and
this is what you are meant to
do in this card game with the
number of cards played using
four Prediction markers. There
are four kinds of cards in the
game in varying numbers: 6x
Chiromancy (reading of hands),
8x Crystallomancy (reading
crystal balls), 10x Tasseomancy
(reading coffee dregs) and 12 x
Astromancy (reading the stars)
cards. Cards are shuffled and 24
are dealt to players and played
one by one in turn.
You add a card next to board for
the card variety, stacked, so that
you can check all the time how
many cards have been played.
Then you must move your prediction marker on this board, either to an empty spot or back to
a cube already on the card to
apply the effect of the card. You
can only use one cube from the
card per turn. In Module 3 you
find new event cards to combine with the event deck from
the core game - Wolves, Harsh
Winter, Chief Outlaw, Uprising,
Monk and Possession. Module 4
- Head of Family; for each player
a purple die is added. You cannot
buy those dice and the color of
the die is determined at the time
when the die is used. Module 5
- City Ramparts and Guards and
Outdoor Activities; the guard
moves along the wall; as soon as
he reaches or passes a City Gate
you have access to the outdoor
activities made available by this
gate for the rest of the game. Altogether there are 16 such outdoor activities.
The Ladies of Troy offers a dense
and complex expansion, which
offers excellent play in each
combination of the modules
and which enhances the allure
of play and thus also the with
the play again as opposed to the
core game alone. 
the middle; you can never make
the same prediction as another
At the start and after two and
then four cards have been
played you hand a certain number of cards to your neighbor
and therefore you know a certain
number of cards and can use this
also to get rid of unwanted cards.
And some cases, guessing is still
the only option as you must bet
and can only hope that you will
have another turn and the desired spot to bet will then be free.
When all cards have been played
you score for correct predictions
and for prediction on numbers
adjacent from the correct number to the left and right.
Divinare is one of those games
for which you cannot predict
what fun it is to play them, but it
is fun! You ponder and count and
hope that your neighbor does
not play coffee because then you
would have miscounted! Bluffing
and guessing and counting in a
fun mixture! Are all coffee cups
in play? Did I hand one on? Sigh!
Guess! Count! 
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Designer: Dujardin, Georges, Orban
Artist: Alexandre Roche
Price: ca. 25 Euro
Publisher: Heidelberger 2012
Resources management
With friends
Version: de
Rules: de en fr it
In-game text: no
Challenging and interesting * Five modules for
use in any combination
together and with the core
game * High re-play value
Compares to:
Other editions:
Les Dames de Troyes, Pearl Games;
The Ladies of Troyes, Z-Man;
Designer: Brett J. Gilbert
Artist: Benjamin Carré
Price: ca. 18 Euro
Publisher: Asmodee 2012
Deduction game
With friends
Version: multi
Rules: de en es fr nl
In-game text: no
Very attractive components
* Rising information levels
due to handing on of cards
* High replay value
Compares to:
Members Only and other bluff/betting games with changing amounts
of information
Other editions:
Currently none
The altogether seventh expansion for Dominion is again a„big“
expansion, but not a stand-alone
game; you can only play Dark
Ages in combination with one
of the core games.
Bad times have come for the
kingdom, you must look after
yourself as well as you can; you
might have to take shelter in
a ravine, inflict ruins on other
players and try your hand at
begging. The game comprises
500 cards: 362 Kingdom cards made up from 330 Action cards,
10 Treasure Cards, 12 Victory
cards and 10 Knight Cards - plus
50 Ruins cards, 18 Shelter cards
and 35 other cards as well as 35
Randomizer cards. Central topic
is “trash” and upgrading; many
cards feature a “when this card
As a circus owner we give shows
all over Europe at the start of the
20th Century, look after performers, hire personnel and invest
money to win the game with
most prestige after three shows.
For each of those shows you have
time to prepare through five to
seven rounds; each round comprises action and distribution.
For the action phase all players
use their three action markers;
in turn all place a marker until
all have been placed - you can
choose Rehearsal, Equipment,
Promotion, Costume, Supply,
Sell tickets, Invest, Hire Performer or Hire Personnel. Some
of those actions are available
only once per round, others are
implemented in the order they
have been chosen. For the distri-
is trashed” mechanism; there
are cards with effects when
discarded, cards that take care
of trashed cards, cards that upgrade themselves or offer ways
to upgrade other cards and also
cards which you can only acquire
via other cards, for instance the
Madman or the Mercenary or
Another novelty are mixed stacks
made up from different cards;
from such a stack you only reveal
the top card and only this card is
available for buying. New rules
concern themselves with playing
cards and the status “in play”, or
the buying phase, money value
and money cards as well as multiple effects and instructions.
Dark Ages offers sophisticated
choices, lots of interactions, powerful new cards like the Count or
Counterfeit, bad effects on other
players, so, endless new possibilities in a well-known framework;
as usual there are suggestions for
combinations with cards from
other editions and expansions,
and always an excellent and satisfactory game! 
bution phase all placers place up
to two of their resources (chosen
from Rehearsal to Supplies) from
their stock on the performers.
Then the display is replenished
and the next round starts. After round 5 players vote if a 6th
round is necessary; and a vote is
also taken after round 6, if there
was a round 6. In the show the
number of resources placed
on a performer determines the
quality of his performance and
you earn rewards and prestige
In a final scoring points are
earned Largest Show, Full Variety,
Perfect Show and Large Troupe.
Region tiles earn you bonuses
and allow you to plan for performers best suited to the region.
Pure resources management /
Worker Placement with components that fit the topic well, each
decision counts and the step-bystep allocation of resources to
performers does not allow you
take a break or to optimize. Simple rules, but not a simple game,
albeit a rewarding one in which
every detail is important. 
Color codes, target groups, features, icons and GABIS are
explained on page 5 and at the bottom of pages 36 and 37
Designer: Donald X. Vaccarino
Artist: Team
Price: ca. 30 Euro
Publisher: Hans im Glück 2012
Deck building game
With friends
Version: de
Rules: de en fr jp kr nl
In-game text: yes
Expansion for Dominion *
New card variety „Bad Card“
or Ruins which you hand to
other players * New rules
for the new cards
Compares to:
Other editions of Dominion
Other editions:
Rio Grande Games, USA; 999 Games,
Netherlands; Hobby Japan; Filosofia
Edition, Canada; Korea Boardgames,
Lautapelit, Finland
Designer: Drakopoulos, Kokkinis
Artist: Antonis Papantoniou
Price: ca. 35 Euro
Publisher: Artipia Games 2011
Worker placement
With friends
Version: multi
Rules: de en fr it
In-game text: no
Beautiful components *
Simple basic rules * Complex interrelations * Promo
cards and mini expansions
are available
Compares to:
Coney Island for the topic, in general
worker placement games
Other editions:
Currently none
Just as in Ego and Ego Love in
this game, too, the Ego of players is the topic; the focus is on
impressions, associations, reactions, and, in the end, assessment of other players.
Each player is given a set of
number tiles, 1 to 6, in his color;
the image cards are sorted by
numbers and stacked, one image from each stack is turned
up. The active player, called the
“individual player”, draws the top
task, reads it to the others and,
if necessary, randomly turns
up one of his number tiles and
marks the corresponding image or term card with the arrow
Possible tasks are: Assign one
image to another; assign one
of the images to a certain term;
Six courageous fellows look for
the Philosopher’s Stone and
must cross the mysterious Magic
Wood. In this wood a rather crazy
magician is hiding who sneakily
transforms the travelers into an
egg or a roast chicken or a camel.
Players are tasked with revoking the spells, the are using the
magic dice to do so.
Each player is given a magic
wood board and places the six
fellows next to it. Six wooden
pieces - camel, palm tree, piglet,
car, egg and roast chicken - represent the transformed travelers
and are laid out in a circle. In your
turn you roll the dice: When they
show four different symbols,
then all players grab one of the
two pisses that are not showing
on the dice. When you manage
assign a term to a certain image
or assign one of the images to
the individual player. The individual player also makes his
choice and the other players
have to reach accordance with
his choice, their own opinion is
not the deciding factor for their
choice of image of term. When all
player have chosen one of their
number tiles the chosen tiles are
revealed and scored. As an alternative the rules suggest to reveal
the number tiles individually and
let each player state a reason for
his choice. The individual player
scores for each correlation with
other players and those players
also score; when there is no correlation with the choice of the individual player, the other players
score for correlations between
The game leaves a lot of room for
discussions, remarks, questions
and surprised reactions as well
as statements of the individual
player, and in the end this is the
purpose of the game, communication between players and revelations about your own Ego! 
to grab a correct piece you may
place on of your travelers into
the magic wood board. When
there are two or more symbols
of the same kind you take one
die for each of the symbols and
hand on the remaining dice;
this is repeated until four different symbols are visible all in
all; then all grab again for the
missing characters. You may use
only one hand and can only grab
for the second piece when you
have placed the first one in front
of you. When you grab a wrong
piece, you must, if possible,
remove a character from your
wood. If you are first to have all
travelers placed in your magic
wood, you win.
A pretty reaction game in which
you can think about what you
will have to grab while dice are
rolled to result in four different
symbols; a good training for
concentration and reaction with
lots of fun and a nice topic invoking images from Hobbit and The
Mirkwood to Potter and The Forbidden Forest. 
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Designer: Günter Burkhardt
Artist: Huch! & friends
Price: ca. 15 Euro
Publisher: Huch! & friends 2012
Communication game
With friends
Version: de
Rules: de
In-game text: yes
Standard mechanisms *
Classy components and
design * Very good selection of images
Compares to:
Ego, Ego Love and other communication games based on player
Other editions:
Currently none
Designer: Fréderic Moyersoen
Artist: Lisa Hänsch
Price: ca. 7 Euro
Publisher: Haba 2012
Reaction game
For children
Version: multi
Rules: de en es fr it nl
In-game text: no
Nice topic * Attractive
components * Trains concentration and reaction
Compares to:
All reaction games with
exclusion mechanism
Other editions:
Currently none
With different means of transport players try to acquire coveted items from bulky waste
sites to fill customer orders.
Quick transport means low load
capacity and then there is the
problem of guarding the steals
you have stored at home?
You hold number cards of values
Zero to Five; As many numbered
contest chips as there are players
(#1-4 in case of four players) are
shuffled and randomly dealt to
Each round comprises three
phases: 1) a new order card and
new goods for the round are displayed. 2) you secretly choose a
number card between Zero and
Five and all reveal them simultaneously. When two players have
chosen the same number, the
Shunting is the order of the day,
as quickly as possible and including adhering to variety, color and
number of wheels of a wagon! In
can get a bit hectic when all are
searching at the same time, because only if you put together the
longest train you will win!
The 60 cards showing wagons
are shuffled and spread out face
down, cards should all be posi-
tioned by themselves. Each player
is dealt a locomotive secretly. On
a starting signal all simultaneously
collect wagons for their locomotives which correspond to the locomotive and then the previous
wagon at least either in variety,
color or number of wheels. You
have the locomotive in one hand,
search with the other and put a
correct card immediately into the
player of those involved who
holds the lowest contest chips
can go to the waste site, but
swaps his contest chips with the
other player(s), following a strict
procedure. according to the
rules. Now all players choose
items in ascending order of their
cards played; the Thief (0) steals
from other players, all others
from the waste site. Thief and all
players allowed at the site can
fill orders and take cards accordingly. The thief cannot choose
Zero again next round, and all
those at home cannot fill orders.
Remember, television sets used
to fill orders are worth more than
just televisions sets. At the end of
the round in which the last order
card was played you add order
and goods values and win with
the highest total.
Fundstücke is a nice family game
with some aggravation potential,
and, remember, take only little
but have it for sure is better than
to arrive with the slow lorry and
have nothing left to load. An ideal game for starting or ending an
evening of games! 
hand with the locomotive and go
on searching; you turn up cards
one by one; if you do not want a
card you but it back openly. You
can take an open card any time.
The order of collected cards cannot be changed. When nobody
can collect cards anymore, the
stacks are checked. You turn the
stack over and start with the locomotive to place card for card; if
you made a mistake you discard
the wrong card and all others beneath it, your train is complete and
you win with the longest one.
For younger players you lay out
the cards openly and when playing abilities are very different you
play open-faced, too, but better
players may only take card that
ONLY correspond in one characteristics.
Höchste Eisenbahn -a fantastic
training for looking fast and close
and grab fast and well-directed
and - very important - hold on
tight to the stack! Memory and
switching directions in your mind
fast is necessary the card was red
and had three wheels and belonged to the load train, so now
I need …? 
Color codes, target groups, features, icons and GABIS are
explained on page 5 and at the bottom of pages 36 and 37
Designer: Friedemann Friese
Artist: Harald Lieske
Price: ca. 13 Euro
Publisher: 2f-Spiele 2012
Bidding/collecting game
For families
Version: de
Rules: de en
In-game text: no
New edition, first published
in 2002 * Standard
mechanisms nicely mixed *
No planning possible with
five and six players * Clever
resolving of ties
Compares to:
All games with secret card selection
for bidding
Other editions:
Unexpected Treasures, Rio Grande
Designer: Karsten Adlung
Artist: Dennis Lohausen
Price: ca. 8 Euro
Publisher: Adlung Spiele 2012
Spotting/reaction game
For children
Version: multi
Rules: de en es fr it
In-game text: no
Unusually realistic images
for the targeted age group
* Good training for observing, reaction, motor skills
and short-time memory *
Simple basic rules * Variants for different playing experience
Compares to:
Manimals and other spotting games
using one hand searching for congruencies
Other editions:
Currently none
An island in the tropics, background for rivalry among different creeds for dominance. We
are one of the gods worshipped
by the settlers of Kalua and we
reward our followers with rich
harvests, good weather and
general well-being, or penalize
them with hunger, epidemics
and floods.
The most important factors in
the game are Happiness and
prayer points; for a god to be
able to reward or penalize his
followers or those of other gods
this god must spend prayer
points; but when the followers
are happy they do not pray so
much anymore, so a religion
with the most unhappy followers can spend the most prayer
Confrontation between two
armed forces - one player directs the Moloch hordes, who
are marching on New York in
the post apocalyptic Neuroshima Setting to destroy this
last stronghold of Mankind. The
other player commands the forces of Outpost and must destroy
the machines before they reach
New York.
Five cities are laid out, New York
to the utmost right, and you
fight for each marked district in
each city. Both players command
their own individual deck, from
which they play cards to the current city. The conflict is decided
by comparison of cards placed
by both sides, but the district is regardless of the outcome of the
conflict - destroyed in any case.
In a turn you draw cards first, either from the catastrophe deck
or the bonus deck; then you
can activate a leader who can
preach, convert atheists or followers of other religion or preach
and sacrifice himself to convert
five families at once. Then you
play as many action cards as you
want; all other players can play
one of their action cards after
you played one, and then all are
implemented in turn. Then families change their religion according to Happiness level, and at the
end prayer points are awarded,
again depending on the Happiness level. When there is only one
religion left still having followers/
families, this religion wins.
This is a malicious game with a
controversial topic and a rather
change-driven tit-for-tat depending on the luck of the draw:
Good cards for yourself, bad ones
against all others; basically this is
a game of chance; you can try for
some tactic but you cannot really
implement it. But probably those
natives believe nature’s powers
to be wrath or favors of the gods!
Moloch commands robots and
modules for the robots; Outpost
commands soldiers and buildings; cards have special abilities
with exact and detailed rules for
activations and validity; it is possible to play cards in cities where
combat is yet to come.
When Moloch wins a conflict
for a district an additional district is destroyed; when Outpost
wins, Moloch loses cards from
his deck, which he does not get
back - a chance to weaken him
profoundly before he fights for
New York. Moloch wins in New
York if he has one card left in the
deck or one robot in town.
Konvoi demands concentrated
game play with using of each
opportunity that results from
the current cards; clever use of
units and their special abilities is
an enormous tactical challenge.
In later game knowledge of cards
that are yet to come allows strategic planning ahead. A fascinating game, completely independent and yet perfectly fitting into
the Neuroshima universe. 
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Designer: Carlos Moreno
Artist: Gary Simpson
Price: ca. 20 Euro
Publisher: Homoludicus 2012
Card game
With friends
Version: multi
Rules: en es
In-game text: no
Controversial topic *
Topic has been well
implemented * Good basic
mechanisms, but way to
much chance
Compares to:
All games with random card assignment and playing cards on others
who cannot defend against them
Other editions:
Currently none
Designer: Ignacy Trzewiczek
Artist: M. Bielski, M. Sztuka
Price: ca. 17 Euro
Publisher: Portal/Iello 2012
Conflict simulation with cards
For experts
Version: de
Rules: de en fr pl
In-game text: yes
Very intense game play *
Lots of tactic due to special
abilities of the cards *
Knowledge of is advantageous
Compares to:
Other editions:
French and English at Iello, Polish at
Portal Publishing
Who wants little devils?! Nobody
- And yet those little devils, that
is, their heads, they can descend
on you, because you must play
apt cards and if you get those
devil heads they give you penalty points!
54 cards are numbered from 1 to
54 and marked with little devil
heads. The first player leads a
card of his choice - any but a card
with five devil heads. The next
player decides with his cards
if all other players must play a
higher or a lower card than the
one that was lead. If the second
player plays a higher card, all
others must play a higher card
than the starting player, but not
necessarily higher than their predecessor! If you play the highest
card of all you take the trick. In
In the first game in the new
series „Smart & Fun“ from The
Game Master you place tiles in
order to score as many points as
you can with each tile you place.
The game comprises 37 tiles in
total, each tile comprises four
squares in four colors. Each of
those squares is marked with
dice pips according to color: One
on Red, Tow on Yellow, Three on
Green, Four on Blue, Five on Purple and a star on Black for a joker.
Players start with two tiles and
place one tile in each turn - in
any orientation, but always full
card next to full card, never out
of phase - and then draw a tile.
You score for all color areas that
you enlarge with the tile just
placed, the number of pips in
each connected square and for
analogy the same rule applies
when the second player plays a
lower card - then the lowest card
of all wins the trick.
If you do not have an apt card
to follow this rule you can play
to the contrary, Higher instead
of lower and vice versa, but this
gives you the trick in any case,
unless more than one player
must play to the contrary, then
in case of „higher“ the lowest
card wins and in case of „lower“
the highest card of those played
against the rule wins the trick.
When all cards have been played
you count the devil heads in your
tricks. If you have amassed 100
or more devil points after several rounds the game ends and
the player with the fewest devil
points wins.
Little Devils is a cute little, fast
card game; the card discarding
rule is simple and yet interesting; basically, all depends on the
cards that one is dealt and yet
some tactics are possible, especially with a good memory for
cards and numbers. 
each individual color that you
enlarged with the new tile. For
three squares in blue you score
12 points. Should you manage to
form a square of four squares of
one color, you score a bonus of
10 points for this. When placing
a tile colors of squares need not
be congruent everywhere, you
simply score only for colors to
which you connect. A joker star
replaces any number and keeps
the value that it is first assigned.
When all tiles are placed, you win
with the highest score.
In the expert version you multiply the points that you score
for connected squares with the
number of colors that you did
enlarge, and there is also a solo
Matchpoint is a good opportunity to show that mental arithmetic and thinking are fun; you
always can choose from two tiles
and can plan ahead on possible
color and point combinations, albeit provided that another player
does not steal your opportunity.
Color codes, target groups, features, icons and GABIS are
explained on page 5 and at the bottom of pages 36 and 37
Designer: Michael Feldkötter
Artist: Dennis Lohausen
Price: ca. 8 Euro
Publisher: White Goblin Games 12
Card game
For families
Version: multi
Rules: de en fr it nl
In-game text: no
Pretty graphics * Simple
rules * Nice family game *
Classy tin
Compares to:
6 nimmt! for penalty points
on cards
Other editions:
Arclight, Japan
Designer: Hans + Madelief van Tol
Artist: Brenda Smeele
Price: ca. 15 Euro
Publisher: The Game Master 12
Placement + arithmetic
For families
Version: multi
Rules: de en fr nl
In-game text: no
Nice mechanism * Quickly
explained * Simple rules *
Trains mental arithmetic
and spatial thinking
Compares to:
Ingenious and other placement game
with enlarging of color areas
Other editions:
Currently none
The box provides a set of five
games on the daily life topic of
residency, furnishing and structure.
Hier wohnt Luca: All players furnish the rooms together, name
and place the various items; for
some items it is clear where they
belong, for some others children
can explain why they should be
in this room, for instance for the
So sieht es bei mir aus … und
bei dir? You take the top card
and describe room depicted on
the card in a way so that the other can furnish the room to look
similar to the image on the card.
When there is a mistake, the card
is given to the Chaos Monster, if
not, it goes to the players; after
five cards players or Chaos Mon-
On their way to the South Pole
the penguins are skipping from
ice floe to ice flow. A penguin
family is always made up from
three members of the same
color, but of different size. The
penguins basically move from
one ice floe to another, but,
should the water be free of the
Orca, they might also be able to
swim. If you are first to reach the
South Pole with your penguin
family, you win!
The journey to the South Pole
starts on top of the starting iceberg and the Orca starts on the
bottom-most whale spot. You
roll the die and move one of your
penguins over floes and icebergs
forward in direction of the south
pole, if the result is a number.
Only one penguin is allowed
ster win with most cards.
Ri-Ra-Rumpelzimmer: All items
are randomly distributed in all
rooms; in turn you pick up an
item, describe it and put it into
the correct room.
Das kleine Chaosmonster: All
rooms are furnished with basic
items. All players but the active
one close their eyes; the active
player takes an item and puts it
anywhere in the house. Whoever
among the other players finds
the mistake first, receives the
item; if you collect three items,
you win.
Was machst du auf dem Klo?
Cards are spread out - the active player calls out a verb, for
instance „to eat“ - all others hit
the room where you normally
do this, as quickly as they can.
The fastest player is given an
item, and you win if you are first
to have five items.
Using impressively functional
and simple components the
game trains structure, allocation
and use of items; there could be
a kitchen containing a shower,
but an aquarium definitely
should not be on the stove! 
on a floe, but on icebergs and
on the South Pole there can be
any number of penguins. When a
move would end on a taken spot,
the penguin simply moves forward to the next free spot. When
you overtake penguins that are
standing on brittle floes those
penguins must go back to the
previous iceberg; this also goes
for your own penguins, should
you overtake them! When a penguin ends its move on a floe that
is marked with a whale icon, Orca
moves one spot. A penguin for
which you did roll “blue” might
be very fast if he happens to be
on an iceberg and th e line in
the water connecting this iceberg to another one is free of the
Orca. When the line to the next
iceberg is blocked, you move
another of your penguins by one
step. If you are first to assemble
the whole family on the South
Pole you win!
Pingi Pongo is a very pretty and
well-made example for how to
vary standard mechanisms attractively; the floe skipping is
fun and is descriptively played
out! 
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je 10
Designer: Kai Haferkamp
Artist: Bohnstedt, Freudenreich
Price: ca. 23 Euro
Publisher: Haba 2012
Game collection
For children
Version: de
Rules: de
In-game text: no
Series Fit für den Einschulungstest * Enchanting
components * Five ways
to play
Compares to:
Educational games on residing and
Other editions:
Currently none
Designer: Peter Neugebauer
Artist: Johann Rüttinger
Price: ca. 20 Euro
Publisher: Noris Spiele 2012
Roll & Move
For children
Version: multi
Rules: de en fr it
In-game text: no
Very attractive illustration
and design * Pretty pieces
* Simple standard rules *
Quickly explained
Compares to:
All roll & move games with a mechanism of „when xxx then go back to …”
Other editions:
Currently none
Six dice in five colors - there are
two white dice - and a scoring
sheet showing colored horizontal rows, showing numbers 2 to
12, twice from left to right in red
and yellow and twice from right
to left in green and blue. The aim
of the game is to mark as many
numbers as you can in all four
colored rows.
You start all rows from the left
and can leave gaps, but cannot
fill them in later.
You roll all six dice; then you add
up the results on both white
dice and all players may, but
need not, mark this number in
any of the four colored rows.
The second part of the turn is
only done by the active player;
you may now, but need not,
combine one of the white dice
Inka and Markus Brand are always a sure bet for a surprise,
this time they have us roll dice
to develop our town. We should
develop and populate the town
for a maximum of victory points.
The border spaces of the 7x7
board are intended for the city
walls; you cannot mark the 25
inner squares with wall symbols,
but you can enter other symbols
than wall symbols on the border
spaces. You roll up to three times,
can set dice aside and re-roll dice
and finally decide on a symbol.
For money you can change dice
results other than sabers! Your
choice is marked on your own
player board according to detailed rules; if you place more
than one symbol you place them
orthogonally connected. For sa-
with any of the colored dice by
again adding the two results and
mark this number in the colored
row corresponding to the color
of the chosen color die. In case
you do not mark a number in
either of the two parts of your
move, you must mark a “failure
roll”. When you would like to lock
down a row by marking the last
number, you must have marked
a minimum of five other numbers in this row. When you mark
the last number in the row, you
also mark the lock symbol; the
row is now closed for all players,
the corresponding color die is set
aside and not used any more.
When anyone marks his fourth
failure roll or locks down the
second row, the game ends, and
you add the values for the markings in each row, for each failure
roll 5 points are deducted from
the total!
Qwixx is a fast, simple and not
at all simple game, but rather
sophisticated, especially due
to the two part actions for one
roll and the lock-down for a row.
Let’s play again, please! I surely
can do better! 
bers you cross of symbols on the
middle board; eventually all players then must defend against
pirates; soldier and walls yield
the necessary defense points;
if you don’t have enough you
must mark a canon for penalty
points. When anyone has filled
his board completely the round
is finished and you mark any resulting points and win with most
victory points in total.
The mainstay of the game is the
dilemma of your choice - what
do I use three heads for? Do I
use them for a builder to make
houses from wood or do I place
a trader for money? Do I reserve
a corner for the churches and
hope for a set of five and that I
can put a priest there, too? Do
I make money now or hope for
some more chests to cash more
money later? A priest already
now or first a soldier for defense?
And if yes, where? Ultra simple
rules with limitless possibilities
and opportunities for tactical
decisions, simply sophisticated sophisticatedly simple! 
Color codes, target groups, features, icons and GABIS are
explained on page 5 and at the bottom of pages 36 and 37
Designer: Steffen Benndorf
Artist: Oliver Freudenreich
Price: ca. 8 Euro
Publisher: Nürnberger Spielkarten 12
Dice game
For families
Version: de
Rules: de
In-game text: no
Compact packaging *
Simple rules * High replay
value * Additional score
sheets available
Compares to:
All other dice game with prerequisite
Other editions:
Currently none
Designer: Inka + Markus Brand
Artist: J. Delval, H. Lieske
Price: ca. 25 Euro
Publisher: alea/Ravensburger 12
Dice game
With friends
Version: multi
Rules: de en fr + kr nl
In-game text: no
Tactical fun with dice * Simple rules with a plethora of
possibilities * Pirates can
decide the game
Compares to:
First game of its kind; in general
Yahtzee and all other roll-3-times-setaside-and-re-roll games,
Other editions:
Currently none
As a spice merchant in Venice we
are meant to earn good money
and manipulate the market if
necessary, in order to become
the richest merchant.
The spice cards are made up from
16 x Black Pepper, 16 x Ginger, 14
x Cinnamon, 14 x Cloves, 12 x
Nutmeg and 12 x Saffron. Spice
cards in front of a player are his
goods for sale, spice cards in
the middle of the table are the
marked demand.
Each player is dealt 7 of the
shuffled spice cards, the rest
is stacked. In each of the four
rounds you lay out goods for
covered trade, and then you
have one action in turn, choosing one of two possibilities: Display an open good for sale or put
1-4 cards on one of the 6 market
Bees are flying across the flower
meadow and collect as many
nectar drops from the individual
flowers as they can.
12 double-sided wooden tiles
show flowers in white, yellow,
red and blue, always with either
one, two or three drops of nectar on the backside. The cards are
spread out flower side up on the
meadow, that is, the green cloth
mat. You roll the die; For a color
you take a flower tile of this color,
show the bottom side to all other players and place the flower
in front of you. When there is no
corresponding flower tile left,
you take a flower from another
player. When you roll a rain cloud
you must miss this turn. When
you roll the honey pot, you take
any flower of your choice from
spots in the middle which are
marked at the start by six chips.
One spice variety can only be
present in market twice and there
can only be maximum four cards
in a market. Finally, you draw
cards to hold seven cards again.
When there are cards in all markets ore when two of the markets
are complete with four cards
each, the round ends and each
player reveals his covered trade
goods: For each card that you
have set aside and for which there
is a market you now get one to 10
points depending on the variety
and number of cards in this market, but only for one goods card.
Two identical cards can only score
if there are two markets for this
The double use of cards for market and goods and the difficult
choice between influencing the
market and to set aside goods
are both interesting ideas; but
the implementation suffers from
the imbalance of the prices - Pepper is only worth half of the saffron value - and the often rather
quick and unexpected end of a
round. 
the mat or from another player.
As each player must show the
back side of each flower that he
takes from the mat to all other
players, all players know how
many drops of nectar can be gotten from another player; therefore you should try to remember
well where someone placed his
flowers with lots of honey on
the backside. But you must also
show flowers that you take from
other players so that they know
where you place them. When all
flower tiles have been collected,
you win with most drops of
nectar on the back sides of your
flower tiles.
Couldn’t be more simple, at least
in the rules department, and yet
there is a lot of fun hiding in the
game; the images are pretty and
the educational effect nearly indiscernible, but there - you train
recognition and assigning of
colors, memory and even a bit
of tactic: Maybe I only take a
2-drop flower from my neighbor
and can keep it? Probably easier
than if I took a 3-drop flower! 
WIN The Games Journal now also available as eBook!
For all information on that check our website.
Designer: Gun-Hee Kim
Artist: not stated
Price: not stated
Publisher: Deinko 2012
Card game
With friends
Version: multi
Rules: en kr
In-game text: no
Double function of cards
* Imbalance of spice card
numbers and market prices
* Little planning, often ends
unexpectedly early
Compares to:
San Juan, Bohnanza and other with
double functions for cards
Other editions:
Currently none
Designer: Susanne Gawlik
Artist: Andreas von Frajer
Price: ca. 20 Euro
Publisher: Beleduc 2012
Dice game
For children
Version: multi
Rules: cn de en es fr it nl
In-game text: no
Very simple rules * Good
wooden components *
Pretty illustrations
Compares to:
All dice game with color
recognition and collecting mechanism
Other editions:
Currently none
As a leader of a Tuareg Tribe you
trade in dates, salt and pepper
for gold and favors and enlargement of your tribe. Goods cards
are used to acquire tribe cards,
those tribe cards earn you advantages and victory points. The
Board is made up from border
cards as well as five goods and
four tribe cards.
At the start of the round the rob-
ber is moved one step; when he
arrives at „ambush“ you discard
the demand. Then both players
alternate to place markers - on
free spots along the border, but
not on “ambush“ or opposite
to an opponent’s marker. This
placement determines intersections in the inner region,
on which you then place tribe
markers. Those placements de-
Tetris - well-known and a synonym for all area filling games;
now the classic game from play
stations and PCs makes an appearance as a board game:
The game comprises 25 Tetriminos each in four colors; Tetriminos are pieces made from four
squares in each and every possible arrangement. The playing
board is provided by a clear grid
in a vertical rack, in analogy to
the rack in Connect 4.
You roll the die to determine
the piece one must play - there
are squares, an “S” shape, an “L”
shape, a “T” shape and a straight
line of four squares. The 6th side
of the die shows a joker symbol,
you can choose one of your
pieces. You must use the piece
determined by the die, even if
termine possibilities for actions,
which you then implement in
any order. Cards you used from
underneath tribe markers are replaced with new ones, the border cards under markers remain.
Tribe cards are laid out openly
and paid for; if you cannot pay
or do not want to, you take the
card in hand and can place or discard it later by placing a Targi on
the border card „nobleman“. You
can only carry a limited amount
of goods and gold into the next
After the 4th ambush by the robber or when a player lays out a
12th tribe card, you win with
most victory points.
Due to the variable display of
cards Targi offers a very tactical
and forever new game, where
the choice of tribe cards is the
deciding factor and where you
also can block your opponent. A
starting player advantage exists,
but can be nicely countermanded; often actions and placement
of markers are self-evident. Determining actions in the inner
region by placing markers at the
border is an innovative detail. 
you cannot place it without a
gap; you put it into the tower at
any position. When you do not
have the piece you rolled anymore you must pass your turn.
But there is more than to simply
slide the piece into the grid with
as small a gap you can manage;
you must arrange three of your
Tetriminos in an orthogonally
connected group to score points;
a diagonal connection across
corners is invalid.
Additional Tetriminos in a group
score one point each. At the
same time you should try to isolate pieces of opposing players
with your own. Gaps that you
must leave incur deduction of
one or two penalty points. The
game unit has marker tracks for
your scores and the game ends
when it is not possible any more
to place a piece in the grid without protrusion over the edge.
You win with the highest score.
Tetris Link carries the flair from
play station or PC nicely to the
table, the die delivers the same
chance element of piece selection, but tactic falls by the wayside. 
Color codes, target groups, features, icons and GABIS are
explained on page 5 and at the bottom of pages 36 and 37
Designer: Andreas Steiger
Artist: Franz + Imelda Vohwinkel
Price: ca. 16 Euro
Publisher: Kosmos 2012
Worker Placement
With friends
Version: de
Rules: de en fr nl
In-game text: yes
Nominated for Kennerspiel
des Jahres * For two players
only * Innovative placement of player markers *
Very tactical * Advantage
for first player nicely equalized
Compares to:
First game in this combination of
mechanisms, in general worker placement games
Other editions:
999 Games, Netherlands; Filosofia,
Canada; Z-Man-Games USA (all 2013)
Designer: not stated
Artist: not stated
Price: ca. 21 Euro
Publisher: Asmodee 2012
Area filling game
For families
Version: multi
Rules: de de en fr
In-game text: no
Pretty components *
Elegant playing unit *
Change of piece selection
nicely imitated * Tactic
nearly impossible
Compares to:
Blokus, Fits, Bits and other area filling
Other editions:
Ideal Toys, UK; Techno Source, USA;
Asmodee France;
Doktor Tempora is looking for
test pilots for his time machine
model; they need to travel to the
past and find correlations to program the machine. The files for
the game must be downloaded
to the tiptoi pen. The pen is already active in the preparation
phase of the game, memorizes
the color choice of players and
the difficulty level for the game
that players chose together.
In the first phase you travel
through time; the time machine
is not yet programmed correctly
and it is not sure in which time
period you will arrive. The pen
acts as Doktor Tempora and gives
hints, players try to identify the
epoch. Epoch boards for identified eras are laid out in a semicircle over the control panel; at
Trivial Pursuit is one of the games
in the Hasbro range that are given regular refreshes, re-designs
and new editions. The Family
Edition was revised in 2006 and
now again revised in 2012 and
given a new edition with a new
The quick trivia game for the
whole family is, in this edition
too, a complete game with mov-
ers and board. The categories are
- as is standard for the family edition - blue for Geography, pink
for Entertainment, yellow for History, brown for Art & Literature,
green for Science & Nature and
orange for Sports & Leisure.
The cards are split into blue cards
for players from ages 14 and
above and in yellow cards for
younger players, correspond-
the end of Phase One, epochs are
lined up from ancient to recent.
In Phase Two you explore the epochs; again based on hints from
the tiptoi pen, which in this phase
exclusively relate to persons and
items depicted on the board for
the epoch. You have to touch
the persons and items, identified
from the hints, with the pen. In
Phase Three the time machine
is programmed, for this you now
combine information from Phase
Two on demand by the pen; for
instance, you need to touch two
rulers that you came across. For
correctly solved tasks you score
chips; if you manage to collect
most of them you win.
The pen guides you through the
game, chooses epochs, gives
hints and notes points for correctly touched items and persons.
Of course, Turbulente Zeitreise
does not give a complete rendering of history, but intends to
evoke curiosity on the topic, on
connections and events and is
meant to demonstrate the development of mankind over millennia. 
ing card holders are provided.
The rules are those of a standard
Trivial Pursuit game, amended by
a dice for movement; if you roll
a joker symbol you can jump to
the next wedge spot or a wedge
spot of your choice. When you
give a correct answer on such a
wedge spot you earn the wedge
of this color for your mover.
When you have collected all six
colored wedges in your mover
- one per category - you move
to the center spot which you
must reach with the exact dice
result and must answer a question from a category chosen by
the other players. When your
answer is correct you have won
the game.
Well, there is no need for a comment on such a seasoned, successful and well-liked game,
what can I say more than repeat
that it is well-liked, challenging,
thrilling and fun as usual, looks
good in the new design and is
featuring variants introducing
team play or a time-limit for answering! The game is and stays
the classic in the range of trivia
games. 
WIN The Games Journal now also available as eBook!
For all information on that check our website.
Designer: Ulrich Blum
Artist: Nora Nowatzyk + Team
Price: ca. 25 Euro
Publisher: Ravensburger 2012
Educational game
For children
Version: de
Rules: de
In-game text: yes
tiptoi pen not included *
free download of files *
Thrilling time travel with
lots of information
Compares to:
Other tiptoi games
Other editions:
Currently none
Designer: not stated
Artist: not stated
Price: ca. 35 Euro
Publisher: Hasbro 2012
Trivia quiz
For families
Version: de
Rules: de en and more
In-game text: yes
New design for a new
edition * New questions *
Reliable standard rules
Compares to:
All other editions by Trivial
Other editions:
Trivial Pursuit Family Edition, USA
and others
No end to the crisis! As a government, bank of company conglomerate one is a global player
in finance business with Dept
and Value Papers. If you gamble
away the trust in your credit status this will reflect on the debt
in the Bad Bank and the rating
by Premium & Ritch. Aim of the
game is to be least in debt at the
end of the game and to shunt off
one’s debts to other players.
At the start of the game you
choose a player card complete
with privilege, consolidating
cards and special rights. You
start a financial cycle with seven
cards; a cycle comprises the
phases of transaction, rating and
consolidation. For a transaction
each player three times passes
a package of up to three papers
“Mansions of Madness” is a game
set in the Arkham Horror Universe: One player is the Keeper,
the others are all Investigators.
Investigators go to a location in
order to solve a puzzle, win or
lose as a team and need cleverness and courage to find artifacts, weapons and clues. The
Keeper has different goals, ranging from Madness for the Inves-
tigators to the End of the World.
After one round for each of the
investigators with two moves
and one action comes one move
of the Keeper. The Forbidden
Alchemy expansion introduces
new investigators and figures
as well as new monsters and
figures, plus new investigator,
traumata, mythos and combat
cards as well as three new sce-
to his neighbor; shares and other
value papers open-faced, dept
papers face-down. Your neighbor decides if he wants to doubt
your package or trading it. If he
doubts debts are incurred by
whoever was wrong! If he trades
he adds papers and hands the
package on. Once in this phase
you can invoke a privilege. After
this transaction phase comes
Rating according to four criteria
- Highest new debt, highest total
debt, balance of trade and negative balance of trade. Then a new
cycle starts. To trade fully backed
packages in case of a low rating
results in permanent debts for
someone doubting the package. If one player is rated down
to D=garbage, the game ends
and you win with the lowest
debt total.
Sounds a bit dry, but is fun! Besides bluff there is quite some
black humor and a very-well
thought-out game with a strong
link to reality and facts from economics and finance. A tidbit for
all those who like to play with
reality! 
narios on the horror of science; in
new rooms you encounter new
monsters, items, hints, door locks
and puzzles. Some of the new
cards and markers are necessary
for certain scenarios, others can
be used with any scenario or story, also with those from the core
game. The Keeper has his own
Keeper Guide Book to create the
scenarios for the individual stories. Some of the map parts show
white dotted lines, those lines
are boundaries that you as an
investigator cannot cross unless
a game effect explicitly allows it.
The line of sight necessary for
some other actions is not influenced by those boundaries and
Flying Monsters can cross them
as well. A new type of Puzzle is
also presented; Alchemy Puzzles;
Investigators must use Puzzle actions to move and replace Puzzle
Pieces, and you must pass a test
for an Alchemy Puzzle to solve it.
Mansions of Madness and this
expansion Forbidden Alchemy
are perfect for fans of the Genre,
dense, sinister, challenging and
eerie! 
Color codes, target groups, features, icons and GABIS are
explained on page 5 and at the bottom of pages 36 and 37
Designer: T. Müller, R. Krause
Artist: Ralf Krause
Price: ca. 16 Euro
Publisher: Heptagon 2012
Finance simulation
With friends
Version: de
Rules: de
In-game text: yes
Felicitous simulation * High
reality value of the topic *
Somewhat complex rules
* Fun to play despite the
dry topic
Compares to:
First game in this combination, in
general bluff games
Other editions:
Currently none
Designer: Corey Konieczla
Artist: C. Burdett, H. Ludvigsen
Price: ca. 35 Euro
Publisher: Heidelberger 2012
Fantasy Horror
For experts
Version: de
Rules: de en es pl
In-game text: yes
Topic of the core game is
expanded intensely and
thrillingly * Fits the genre
and the Arkham Horror
topic perfectly * Rather
only for fans of the genre
Compares to:
Mansions of Madness and other
games in the Arkham Horror range
Other editions:
Mansions of Madness Forbidden
Alchemy, FFG
Last year the company made
health a game topic with Infarct,
ranging from beer to being overweight, this year the topic is only
beer and good mood in the pub.
We are meant to visit the pub
with the explicit purpose to drink
as much as we can.
You start the game with seven
cards; order cards are used to
drink and pub cards are used to
get entangled with others or do
something else, like pour a shot
of rum into their beer. Both kinds
of cards cost action points for
use; orders also earn you points,
but also increase your drunkenness, which makes the game
harder to play for you.
The game is played in rounds,
in turn you can 1) draw cards
depending on your level of
This is yet another Regional edition of Ticket to Ride, a jubilee
edition based on the original
Ticket to Ride, Game of the Year
2004. The game is played based
on the standard rules: You score
for track built between two cities
and track built according to Destination Tickets, score a bonus for
the most completed Destination
Tickets and deduct the value of
Destination Tickets you could
not complete. In your turn you
can either take car cards, use/
build a track by placing cars on
the board and handing in the
necessary number of car cards
in the track color plus placing
your cars on the track; or you can
draw new destination tickets.
This edition is a special one in
German language only; the
drunkenness; 2) play cards: each
one costs action points, you can
spend three of them; all others
can now play pub cards marked
with „x“ 3) score the turn - you
count points won, beers etc
and mark the result; then 4) you
discard cards and draw cards.
Then dice are rolled for the level
of drunkenness; depending on
the roll result and in relation to
the number of beers consumed
in this turn, regardless of how
you acquired them, you level of
drunkenness rises or falls.
The game ends when the pub
closes or when you are too
drunk and are not served by the
barman any more. You win as
the last one in play or with most
drunkenness points.
Well; all this is rather whimsical
topic wise and, when you look
closely, a kind of perverse recourses management; you are
thrown out of the pub for being
too drunk or being not enough
drunk and you need to be entirely sober to handle the rules. If
you balance this you could have
fun with this party game among
friends. 
routes correspond the the previously published edition „Zug
um Zug Märklin“, but has been
adapted and comes without
rules for passengers or goods.
In this edition some destination
tickets take you to neighboring
countries where track ends; you
cannot connect cities by placing
track in other countries. Tunnels
and train stations have also been
left out in this version. In relation
to the Märklin edition Destination Tickets have been changed,
too; this edition comprises 33
Destination Tickets for “short
distances” with values between
4 and 11 and 20 Destination Tickets “long distance” with values
between 12 and 22. Then there
is the new bonus card for most
completed Destination Tickets;
it is worth 15 points and hugely
influences the tactic in the game,
because it makes completing of
cheaper, shorter tracks much
more interesting!
This is a felicitous new edition,
the new details are very attractive and introduce variation. 
WIN The Games Journal now also available as eBook!
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Designer: Josef Koštíř
Artist: Karel N. Moravec
Price: not stated
Publisher: Czech Board Games 12
Party game
With friends
Version: multi
Rules: cz de en
In-game text: yes
Bizarre, whimsical topic *
Only for a party game and
not for all groups of players
* Rules need some working
Compares to:
Resources management games, as for
topic also Zum Roten Drachen
Other editions:
Currently none
Designer: Alan R. Moon
Artist: Julien Delval
Price: ca. 32 Euro
Publisher: Days of Wonder 2012
Railway game
For families
Version: de
Rules: de
In-game text: no
Adaptation of Zug um Zug
Märklin * No passengers
and goods * New design
Compares to:
All other variants and editions in the Ticket to Ride range
Other editions:
Currently none
Publisher: Spiele von Doris & Frank
Designer: Frank Nestel
Noah has stress, the animals gather in front of the arch, the
interior is not ready and the rain clouds are amassing in the
sky. In a move one draws cards or play cards: Slow animals
or feed only alone, in a cabin only animals with identical or
compatible climate and a weight difference of maximal 2
from side to side are allowed, and feed must be considered,
too. After the 2nd rain card every one may take on domestic
animal on board, after the 5th rain card the endgame begins,
scored are majorities and action chips. This second expansion
holds another 20 new animal cards and an information card
for the basic game. Version: multi * Rules: de en * In-game text: no
Expansion for the card game for 3-5 players, ages 8+
Publisher: Die Spiegelburg
Publisher: Ravensburger
Designer: Reiner Knizia
You hold 20 tiles, made up from 2 squares in all possible
combinations of five colors. A task card is turned up and you
try to lay out the shape depicted on the card exactly and
as often as possible on your playing area. After placing the
starting tile, building cards are turned up one by one. You
place the corresponding tile; it must either touch the ramp
base or other tiles and must slide down the ramp into place.
When no one can place a tile anymore, the round is scored. In
each round a new task is added, you try to execute them all.
After four rounds the player with the highest score wins. New
edition, Series Mitbringspiel. Version: de * Rules: de * In-game text: no
Tile placement game for 1-4 players, ages 8+
Bognar’s Brainteaser is made up from two connected square
tiles, one in red, one in blue; each with nine holes. In some of
those holes there are double-sided discs, showing straight
and bent path parts in two colors, two discs show a dragon
symbol each, one blue, one red. In each of the 36 tasks you
must construct a path from one edge to the treasure in the
middle and from there again to an edge of the board. You
can twist and turn the tiles, which changes visibility of discs
and lets them fall into the other tile; the solution can show
unused path parts and the path can comprise both colors.
Version: multi * Rules: de en fr nl * In-game text: no
Logic arrangement game for 1 or more players, ages 7+
Publisher: Huch! & friends
Designer: Joszef Bognar
Publisher: Heidelberger
Designer: Nate French
Publisher: Huch! & friends
Designer: Reinhard Staupe
Capt’n Sharky and his friends want t load the treasures onto
the ship, but the boat is wobbling in the stormy see; players
need to help. The wooden hemisphere is doubling as a bout
and is set concavity downwards onto the table; all wooden
blocks represent treasures and should be placed on it. You
roll the die and place a block of this color on the hemisphere.
When you succeed, you have another turn. When you roll a
color that is no longer available, you roll again. When a block
tumbles off, your turn ends. If you stack all pieces, you win.
Version: multi * Rules: de en es fr it nl * In-game text: no
Zwergenbinge Der Weg nach Bruchtal / Dwarrowdelf Road to
Rivendell is the 2nd Adventure Pack = AP for the LCG Der Herr
der Ringe Das Kartenspiel / The Lord of the Rings The Card
Game, featuring 60 cards, with a diffictulty level of 4. Cards
come from this AP and the encounter set “Nebelgebirge” of
the Khazad-Dum extension. Arwen Undomiel is a new Ally
Objective card and must be protected by the starting player;
if she leaves the game or if her guardian is eliminated the
game is lost. Secrecy is a new keyword and reduces the costs
for playing a card from hand in relation to the threat level.
Version: de * Rules: de en es fr pl * In-game text: yes
Klaus die Maus is visiting the farm of the Schmitz Family and
gets acquainted there with new animals, items, vehicles, fruit
and vegetables and keeps wandering along new paths. The
book is accompanied by a Klaus the Maus figurine, a color
die and a piece of cheese. Klaus takes the cheese between
his legs and is put on the start spot. Depending on the color
rolled he takes another path and names the items he meets;
at the finish the piece of cheese drops into the mouse hole
and thus is sitting on the starting spot for the new page.
Moving Klaus together with the cheese trains motor skills.
Version: de * Rules: de * In-game text: yes
Dexterity game for 2-4 players, ages 5+
Expansion for the card game for 1-2 players, ages 13+
Educational game book for 1 player, ages 3+
Publisher: Nürnberger Spielkarten
Designer: Reinhard Staupe
Publisher: Winning Moves
Publisher: Ravensburger
Designer: Reiner Knizia
In your turn you try to find all face-down pairs of sounds
without seeing piuctures. You face the grid of face-down
cards, pick one up and show it to the other playes, you don’t’
se it. The others make the corresponding noise and you
pick up a second card with your other hand. If you hear two
different sounds, you take a penalty card, if not, you take
the pair. In both cases you go on playing. Did you find all
pairs or if you got all penalty cards your turn is over. When all
have been playing once, you win with the lowest number of
penalty cards.
Version: de * Rules: de * In-game text: no
Choosing your card’s best attribute, beating (trumping) your
opponent’s card, and winning the cards played in the round –
already a Classic! Cards are dealt evenly to all players. The active player chooses an attribute on his top card (no shuffling
of the deck!) and calls out the corresponding value – all other
players check their cards for the value of this attribute – the
player with the highest value gets all cards of this round. In
case of a tie cards go on the table and the winner of the next
round receives those too. Themeset: Specials Transformers
Version: de * Rules: de * In-game text: yes
Yakari wants to deliver feathers as a secret message to his
friends, so he sets out to visit them, but must beware the wolf
who is roaming the area. In your turn you use thes spinner:
For a number you move Yakari; if he reaches a friend, he can
discard a feather, you can only place one feather with each
friend. For the Grand Eagle you can move to any friend to
discard a feather, for Wolf you move the wolf on a friend. If
you stand on a tipi you can move the wolf; Yakari can never
move to a spot with the wolf or pass the wolf. If you are first
to discard all feathers you win.
Version: multi * Rules: de fr it * In-game text: no
Sound and memo game for 2-6 players, ages 4+
Card/quiz game for 2 or more players from age 8
Roll & move game for 2-4 players, ages 4-8
Color codes for target groups (Headline Color)
For children + learn
With friends
For families
For experts
Color codes for features (Bar in Evalution box)
Dear Reader! Immerse yourself into the underwater world of Richard Breese! In this
seeming paradise permanent battles or
fought for the scarce space, continually on
the move. “To feed and to be food” is the
eternal motto of life, to which all inmates
are subjugated; be they corals, crabs, algae
or the incredibly voracious parrot fish! In an
unexpected setting for a game Richard Breese simulates the circle of life in the colorful
Coral Sea. Reef Encounter is not an extension
for the Key-Series, really not, not a Key West
or something. And yet, here we have another
masterpiece designed by the British creative
artist from Stratford-upon Avon. In the Austrian Games Museum in Leopoldsdorf you,
too, can enjoy this colorful water world. Well,
the only prerequisite for this is your demand
for 90 minutes or two hours of unused-to
depths in the underwater world of Coral
reefs. (from WIN April 2005).
Website: www.spielen.at
The light of our lamp lights up purple, orange, yellow, white and grey corals, which
are using two, three or four plain rocks as
anchors. What could a reasonable game
in the depths of the turbulent sea be like,
when all is said and done? Very simple, as
preordained by Mother Nature, we must
develop the biggest possible coral reefs
and feed them to your own parrot fish. This
sounds as if it was feasible, but in reality is
a rather difficult undertaking due to the
different strengths of corals. The coverage
of the rocks is continually changing, there
is always a lack of protective crabs and the
ranking of the five kinds of corals keeps
changing. As soon that you think you be
about to achieve your goal one of your
pillars of hope is disappearing from view.
It borders cruelty how like a kaleidoscope
the rocky surrounding is adapting to new
conditions. In the end it’s the number of
eaten polyp tiles (they make up corals) and
the strength of the respective coral variety that counts. It is exactly this correla-
tion of power and matter that contributes
the deciding thrill factor to the game. We
have enjoyed immersing ourselves into the
bizarre coral world of Richard Breese. Due
to the multitude of permanently changing
mechanisms for a turn no game is similar
to another. Reef Encounter, furthermore,
allows for different strategies which need
to be planned from the first moment of
the game. And you also need great adaptability due to the permanent disruptive
actions of others. So take care: When you
read the rules for the first time you probably will have a feeling that you do not really understand what to do with your polyps, crabs, algae, larvae and parrot fish. Too
unusual is the vocabulary; too manifold are
the actions, too intermeshed the interaction patterns. But already at your second
try Reef Encounter provides unforgettable
enchantment. Thanks, Richard! 
Rückmeldungen an: [email protected]
Homepage: www.hugo-kastner.at
Designer: Richard Breese
Artist: Juliet Breese
Price: ca. 40 Euro
Year: 2004
Publisher: R&D Games
˜ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜+ ˜ ˜ ˜ ˜
Only with a second dive Reef Encounter provides the full experience, despite or even because of the incredible possibilities to influence
the growth of the coral reefs, to place the the
algae rocks and finally on the feeding of the
parrot fish. The game provides a number of
winning strategies, which even provide active
or passive, constructive and destructive moves.
No advantage without a disadvantage seems to
be the suggestion for the maritime law. If you
choose the best spots for your coral reefs early
you will soon be the victim of greedy neighbors
who craftily pull surprising creatures out of the
proverbial hat. If you wait a long time to establish a coral colony you might be surprised by a
sudden end of the reef encounters. You need
little luck, but a keen consideration of the permanently changing scenarios.
A few tips for a quick immersion into the reef: (1)
A first early harvest assists in placing the algae
stone. (2) The most advantageous breeding sites
are the edge sites, as they are easier to protect
by crabs than the center, which (3) on the other
hand delivers extra polyps to the rocks. (4) Polyp
tiles should always wait for their assignment in
sufficient numbers. (5) In extreme cases it can
happen that you let an opposing coral grow to
gobble up part of it in the same turn.
Reef Encounter for me was a real find! After
quite some time I was sent into wonderful daydreaming at the end of a games evening. This
surely was resulting from the detailed and loving design of the game by Juliet Breese; okay,
admittedly, the pale pastels (of the first edition,
HK), especially the nearness of the colors “white”
and “gray” might have been a very idiosyncratic
decision of the artist. I, personally, believe this
“through a frosted-glass” view of the coral underwater world to be extremely felicitous, and even
after the first game I could not get the myriads of
tactical and strategic possibilities out of my head.
Can there be a better compliment to a designer
from a fan of expert games?
For the King’s Favor
Offenlegung nach dem Mediengesetz: Medieninhaber, Eigentümer, Verleger und Hersteller: Verein „Österreichisches Spiele Museum“,
vertreten durch Obfrau Dipl. Ing. Dagmar de Cassan, Raasdorferstrasse 28, 2285 Leopoldsdorf im Marchfelde, Österreich, Telefon 02216-7000,
mail-to: [email protected], Internet: www.spielejournal.at - www.gamesjournal.at - Chefredakteur: Dipl.Ing. Dagmar de Cassan
Blattlinie: Die Blattlinie ist die Meinung aller Redakteure, freien Mitarbeitern und Gastautoren. Die Spiele zur Erstellung der Rezensionen stellt
das Österr. Spiele Museum für die Dauer der Arbeit kostenlos zur Verfügung. Niemand erhält Sach-,Service-, Geldleistungen von den Verlagen.
(Alle nicht namentlich gekennzeichneten Rezensionen zu den Spielen sind von Dagmar de Cassan) English Edition Version 1.0
Copyright (c) 2012 by Spielen in Österreich - Die Spiele Collection, Spiele Kreis Wien, Österreichisches Spielefest,
Spielefest, Wiener Spiele Akademie, Spiel der Spiele und zwei Spiele-Symbole sind eingetragene Warenzeichen.
Ihre Email-Adresse: Wir versenden oft an unsere Mitglieder, Abonnenten und Interessenten eine Erinnerung für
Termine und sonstige Infos. Wenn Sie noch nie eine Email von uns erhalten haben, fehlt uns Ihre Email!
Icon explanation
Solo Play
GABIS explanation on page 5
Two Players
Large Groups
Recommended Minimum Age
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