Overall Rating: 10/10
GLAM Age Range: 8-Adult
Number of Players: 3-8
Playing Time: 20-30 min
Publisher: Eggert Spiele
Available At: Amazon.com
Quick Take: This game is hilarious. You're literally betting on camel racing, and a key aspect of the game is the camels stacking on top of each other. Can one take such a thing too seriously? However, you must give this game due respect, it's trickier than it seems. Once you play through once you're set, there's just a bit of a learning curve your first time through. I love that it's such a unique game concept and as far as I'm concerned it's a selling point that it's a little more complex than a lot of short games. It feels like you're getting a lot of game in a very short amount of time.
How to Play: You win by being the player to end the game with the most money. Money is earned by betting on which camel is going to finish first each round, progressing the game by rolling a die, placing a desert/oasis spot, or making an advance bet on the ultimate camel victor and loser at the end of the game. At the beginning of the game, the colored dice are placed in the pyramid and then each die is released from the pyramid one at a time, which is your initial game set-up. A key aspect of the game is that the camels stack on top of each other. The camel on the top and in the very front is in the lead, the camel on the bottom or in the very back is in last place. Once the camels are placed, players may begin to make one decision per turn. There are limited tiles for bets for which camel will win each round with 5, 3, or 2 coins available as your winnings if you are correct. You get 1 coin for a second place finish on the color you have selected, you lose 1 coin if the camel does not come in first or second. Often you will have bets on a number of different colors of camels. Or you may choose to place one of your special cards for an end of game bet on who will win or lose. The oasis/desert tile is key for mixing things up. If a camel lands on this spot they must move back one space and to the bottom of any camel pile if the tile is on the -1 desert side. They move forward a space and to the top of any camel pile if the tile is on the +1 oasis side. At the end of each round (when all the dice have been rolled) you tally up your points and pay out all the players and then reset everything for the next round of rolling the dice and betting on camels. Once a camel has made it around the entire board and crossed the finish line you get to go through the end of game bets. Count up your grand total and see who won the most coins!
Variations: The first time we played with the kids we took out the desert/oasis tile that adds or subtracts one space for the camels as they move along. It simplifies things a bit and isn't strictly necessary for the game to function properly, although I must say it is one of my favorite aspects of the game because it does the most to really shuffle up the order of the camels and cause mayhem to the bets other players have made.
Similar Games To Check Out: Patchwork, Patchwork Express, 5 Minute Dungeon, Eight-Minute Empire, Splendor