Thursday, October 09, 2008

#52: Froschkönig

  • designer: Bernhard Lach & Uwe Rapp
  • publisher: Zoch
  • date: 2003
  • BoardGameGeek rank/rating: not ranked/6.37
  • age: 5+
  • # of players: 2-4
  • print status: in print
  • cost: 14.90 Euros (Milan Spiele - about $24)
We've had some weird themes on this list... and there are more to come. However, I'm not sure any of them can beat "Frog King" for sheer weirdness. (It is, btw, one of the games that Frank Branham, designer of Dia de los Muertos, Nodwick: The Card Game & Warhamster Rally, recommended to me - he has a real gift for picking out wild kid games that I'll enjoy.)

The frogs are all princes who are trying to kiss the princess first & turn into a frog - now, I don't know how to say this without sounding weird, but since these critters are sticking their tongues out, they're trying to, well, french kiss the princess. That's not right. Really not right.

Still, this is a wonderful game, with estimation skills being a key mechanic - which I'm pretty sure doesn't happen in too many games. Each turn, all of the players grab two "tongue sticks" out of their bag, trying to make the combination longer than everyone else's "bid" but not over the limit. (Yes, it's kinda like Contestants' Row on The Price Is Right: "
The contestant who bids closest to the actual retail price of the prize, without going over, wins.") The first place player puts the longer of his two sticks in front of his frog, while the 2nd place player puts the shorter of his two sticks out. Any sticks that were bid are then set aside, the player with the shortest tongue (on his frog!) sets the distance for the next "bid"... and you keep going until one of the frog tongues "kisses" the princess. (Ewww.)

This is easily playable with 5 year olds... though the proper estimation skills don't kick in until mid-elementary school years. It's also great fun with adults as a filler - it plays quickly and isn't quite like anything else in my collection.

1 comment:

Paul Tevis said...

We had great fun with this at Meeplefest this year, though James turned out to be preternaturally good at it.