Camel Up

Never did like camels, Filthy buggers. They smell, they bite, they spit...Disgusting.

As members of Egyptian high society, you gather in the desert with one simple goal: to gain the most money by backing the right camel to win a leg or even the entire race. However, in this race, it’s not just the lucky ones who can beat the odds. Reading the dynamics of the race and having a good sense of timing is just as important when it comes to backing the right camels and taking the victory.

Place your bids wisely and decide when it is time to strike, and maybe – just maybe – with a little bit of timing and a lot of luck, your bid will pay off! Witness the craziest camel race of all time, as things really go topsy-turvy when camels stack up and entire pyramids turn upside down. Being the 2014 Spiel des Jahres Winner its pretty safe to say this is a fantastic game, but is it right for you?

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Luck:

Being a family game this game is very well balanced and hinges on the concept of luck to keep it fun and exciting for the whole playing group. The game uses 5 coloured dice (with faces numbered only 1-3) to represent the speed of its respective camel. Each leg of the race camels move based on the outcomes of these dice, but the order that the dice come out adds a crazy amount of randomness that really helps the game avoid becoming stale.

 

Strategy:

A lot of gamblers would tell you they 'have a system' but lets be honest, games of chance are just that, games of chance. In Camel Up, coming in with a preconceived notion of what is going to happen is laughable, the game has such a charming sense of wackiness that throws strategy almost completely out the window! If you are looking for a deep strategy game, this isn't that.

 

Complexity:

True to fashion, this magnificent family game is simple while still offering all the fun and excitement of other games. In Camel Up you are going to be taking one action at a time, trying to get lucky and pick the winner and get the most money while trying mitigate any losses. If you want something that the whole family will be able to understand, this is a great option.

 

Replay Value:

You will probably get an average of 2 games of Camel Up per sitting, this isn''t a party game like One Night that will have to playing again and again but more often than not 1 really wont be enough. The game has quite a lot of legs (sorry about that) so it will be staying in my collection for quite a while, but if it does begin to get stale, there is a fantastic modular expansion that adds to the fun while still keeping the game easy to understand.

 

Components:

This game is gorgeous, from the beautiful wooden camels to the thick cardboard tiles, nothing has been left untouched by a lick of polish. The standout would be the pyramid which not only serves as a centrepiece for the race, but also doubles as the delivery system of the 5 dice that are used to move the camels. It does lose the tiniest amount of points for the difficulty sometimes found when trying to release only one dice from the chute.

 

Learning Curve:

This is one of those, learn while you go games, as long as players understand the 4 options they have in there turn and what those actions do and how they progress the game this is a very easy game to learn. The biggest hurdle to get over is some players preconceived notion that they need to be bettering with there coins on the fly, which is understandable in a game based on track racing.

 

Scaling:

Camel Up is for 2 to 8 players but the game shines at 5-6 players, any less and you begin to realize there are other options better suited to the player count. When you increase or decrease the amount of players the game doesn't really change all that much, which is the benefit of the game not having to designate any 1 camel to a single player.

 

Theme:

Theme? Well you are betting on camels running around a track, nothing really out of the ordinary here. Well except for the fact that these camels seem to not understand how to go around each other and instead opt to jump on top of there backs. While there isn't much else in terms of story, there really isn't a need, the excitement comes from losing yourself in the wackiness of it all.

 

Final Thoughts:

Camel Up is a fantastic family game that I think everyone should invest in. If you are looking for something a bit simpler that you can get the whole family behind, this is a definite 'must buy'.

Have you played Camel Up? Do you agree with our review? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below and please like us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram!

Brent

Brent is the founder of OzBoardGamer, he has a passion for the hobby and especially loves games for 2 to 5 players


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