Sunday, October 12, 2008

#46: Bärenstark

  • designer: Heinz Meister
  • publisher: Goldsieber
  • date: 2002
  • BoardGameGeek rank/rating: 2804/6.34
  • age: 5+
  • # of players: 2-4
  • print status: OOP
  • cost: 4.99 EU (
Benni the bear is kind of like Pooh's deranged cousin - he wants honey, but rather than disguise himself as a raincloud and use a helium-filled balloon for lift, he decides to grab a bunch of beehives and run.

His loss is our gain - because we get to try & help him leap from flower patch to flower patch in this extremely short dexterity game. I've been known to describe this as "Kapitan Wackelpudding (another odd dexterity game) for kids"... which is still a pretty good description.

Players load Benni up with one hive (thick wooden discs of varying size) based on the color of flowers in the patch he's standing on. Then they roll the die, which tells them how many patches Benni must travel to end their turn. (It is possible to roll a zero, in which case you load up a 2nd hive.)

Moving Benni is tricky - not only is he carrying the hives, but the hives are placed on a thick cardboard "shelf" that is positioned between his arms. The basic/kids game uses a square shelf... but the game comes with a rounded shelf that is MUCH tougher to use.

The goal, of course, is to not drop any hives. When you do, you get the space Benni was sitting on in front of you, the hives are put back in the middle of the table, and play begins again. The first player to get two flower patches (by dropping hives) ends the game and is declared the loser. The player with the least flower patches wins... which means this is a game that can often have multiple winners.

Steadiness & hand/eye coordination are necessary skills here - which means that the recommended age of 5 is fine for some kids & (in the words of Monty Python) "right out" for others. Even if kids have some trouble with the game, it moves VERY quickly - the longest game I've played was with 4 adults & only took about 15 minutes.


Dave Vander Ark said...

Kapitan Wackelpudding is not for kids?

Mark (aka pastor guy) said...

Kapitan Wackelpudding is not for kids?

Nope. It's for families & adults... but it's not short enough to be a good kid game (unless you take out some pieces) and the odd/weird stuff that I love (the cards & the board names) are lost on most children under 8-9 years old.

It's a GREAT game - but it won't be appearing on my Kid Games 100. (This won't be the only game that I get grief about not putting on here, I assure you.)