Monday, October 20, 2008

#40: Immer oben auf!

Immer oben auf!
  • designer: Alan Moon & Aaron Weissblum
  • publisher: Goldsieber
  • date: 2004
  • BoardGameGeek rank/rating: not ranked/5.93
  • age: 5+
  • # of players: 3-5
  • print status: OOP
  • cost: $19.95 (FunAgain)
The first thing you notice about Immer oben auf! is how flingin'-flangin' heavy the box is... that's because the game is played with twenty-four wooden blocks. Seriously, you could kill a small child by dropping the game on them.

The game itself is a sly combination of memory & deduction. Each of the 24 blocks are stickered with animals: green blocks have ocean animals, blue blocks have flying animals & yellow blocks have land animals. (There are four different animals of each type... so, two blocks of each animal are in the game.) Players begin the game with a stack of blocks that are somewhat chosen by color. (You really don't need to understand the whole process unless you're actually playing the game.)

For your turn, you choose another player and attempt to name the animal on the top block in his stack. You have some clues, of course - the animals you can see in your own stack, the animals you've seen in other stacks, and some basic deduction based on other players guesses. If you're correct, you take the block & put it at the bottom of your own stack... then you get to guess again (but you must choose another player to "attack"). If you're wrong, the targeted player shows the block to everyone and puts it at the bottom of his stack... and your turn is over (with a capital "O").

Depending on how many players are playing, reaching a stack of 7, 8 or 9 blocks is what wins you the game.

I really like how the memory & deduction elements of the game work together - in a weird way, it reminds me a bit of Coda (which is another SIMPLE multi-player deduction game). I also like that my kids enjoy it... and that they enjoy torturing their mom with it (who doesn't like it nearly as well as the rest of the family.) The only thing the game needs is a cheat sheet with the sticker pictures for first-time players, so you can remember what animals are in the game.

Weirdest experience with this game: my three year old won on the VERY FIRST TURN of the game by making three essentially random guesses. (Yes, we played again.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mark, one of my favorite things about you is that you have the ability to see that last paragraph (three random guesses) as a plus in a game. Your optimism is always appreciated, if not shared. :)