Tuesday, June 03, 2008

#97: Flying Carpet

Flying Carpet (Der Fliegende Teppich)
  • designer: Kurt Feyerabend & Elke Flogaus
  • publisher: Ravensburger
  • date: 1987
  • BoardGameGeek rank/rating: 2527/5.9
  • age: 12+
  • # of players: 3-6
  • print status: OOP
  • cost: EUR 24,99 (about $35)
This was one of the earliest "eurogames" I purchased - in the late 1980's, Ravensburger published a number of great games in English and sold them through Discovery Toys (a MLM organization for toys) and upscale yuppified "educational" toy stores. It barely makes this list because of the "ages 12+" recommendation on the box - but I've played this with kids as young as 6, so I included it.

Granted, your average 6 year old has a hard time figuring out all the crazy things that can happen when they play a particular card - but one of the very smart ideas in the game is the mutable nature of the board. Through a variety of cloud & building pieces, you can design a raceway for the flying carpets that's easy enough for a 6 year old to navigate - or difficult enough to frustrate even the most hardened Formula De driver.

Movement is granted through cards that have both a vertical & horizontal dimension. These allow you to go under or over obstacles while attempting to cut off your opponents. There are some chance spaces (roll a die & generate a random effect) and wind tokens to help you modify your cards in small increments. And don't forget: the higher you go, the faster the prevailing winds!

The artwork is gorgeous - it looks like a childrens storybook based on 1001 Arabian Nights. The gameplay is fun, if a bit frustrating when using lots of obstacles.

I need to take this one to game night next week... it's great for kids & good enough to work as a filler game with a bunch of gamers.

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