Sunday, July 27, 2008

#74: Au Backe!

Au Backe!
  • designer: Frank Nestel
  • publisher: Zoch Verlag
  • date: 2001
  • BoardGameGeek rank/rating: 2508/6.18
  • age: 5+
  • # of players: 2-6
  • print status: in print
  • cost: $10.00 (Game Surplus)
Frank Nestel (who is, btw, the "Frank" of the noted independent game publishers, Doris & Frank) claims that Au Backe! was designed as the card game version of Chicken Cha Cha Cha - and yes, you'll see CCCC later in the countdown.

Still, Au Backe! is a good game in its own right - and it doesn't hurt that it has Doris' wonderful artwork. There is a special deck of cards spread out face down in the middle of the table: most of them have animals on them, but a couple of them have piles of poop & a couple of them have shovels. The players are dealt a hand of five cards (all animals) from the common deck and a pile of cards which varies in size with the number of players.

On your turn, you reveal one (or more, if they are identical) cards from your hand, then turn over one of the cards in the center of the table. If they match, you get to discard the cards you revealed & reveal another card from your hand. If they don't match, your turn is over & your card(s) return to your hand. When your turn is over, you refill your hand to five cards from the pile in front of you.

Of course, if you find a pile of poop, that's bad. You are allowed to turn over one more card: turning over a shovel negates the effect of the poop, turning over an animal means you must take 2 cards from another player... and turning over the other poop means you must take 4 cards from another player! (Once a player has "stepped in it", so to speak, all of the cards turned face up that turn are mixed together and randomly placed.)

It's a very portable memory game that works well with 2-6 players... this is one of those "I'm not sure why I like it so much but I do" kind of games.

1 comment:

Dave Vander Ark said...

Two corrections or clarifications to the rules summary you posted. First, when you have more than one of a card, you play the second one after you turn over the matching card in the display. This subtle difference, but could be significant in rare instances.

The second clarification is much more important. If you have to draw two or four cards by stepping in poo, you take them from another "player or players," not just from one other player. That's a huge difference because if you take four from one other player you are almost handing that player the victory.

I don't know how the rest of your list looks, but I'd rate Au Backe a lot higher than 74. Perhaps that second rule clarification will boost it in your opinion?