Wednesday, June 11, 2008

#88: Blackrock Castle

Blackrock Castle
  • designer: Gunter Baars
  • publisher: Schmidt Spiele
  • date: 2001
  • BoardGameGeek rank/rating: not ranked/5.5
  • age: 8+
  • # of players: 2-4
  • print status: OOP
  • cost: $16.50 (
There's a theme - of sorts - about knights venturing into a haunted castle to retrieve paintings of their ancestors while trying to avoid the traps. But it's really a memory game - as you can see, each set of four spaces has one corner that "collapses" when a pawn is placed on it. If you move across that space, your turn is over & you are returned to the previous space.

With that basic mechanism (move one of your three knights, determined by a die roll, until you fall into trap), you have a couple of wrinkles. First, you can't move through other players, so you have to use one of your precious (you get three) grappling hooks to get past particularly tight spots. As well, there are ways (I won't get into them here) for you to steal the paintings you need in order to pair them up & take them to the treasure chamber in the center of the board. The first player to get all three knights there wins.

The game is difficult enough using the regular rules - there are advanced rules where you turn the box (game board) every time you roll a circle on the dice (50%). Also, it works best with 3 players, which balances the speed of play (too slow with 4 players) and having extra knights to get in each others' way (doesn't happen much with 2 players.)

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