Thursday, February 19, 2009

#33:Der schwarze Pirat

Die Schwarze Pirat (The Black Pirate)
  • designer: Guido Hoffman
  • publisher: Haba
  • date: 2006
  • BoardGameGeek rank/rating: 1061/6.89
  • age: 5+
  • # of players: 2-4
  • print status: in print
  • cost: $35.99 (
At our house, we call 'em "nose squeegees" - those bulbous things you use to suck snot out of the nasal cavaties of babies & toddlers. (I guess, if you want to get technical, they aren't actually squeegees... but that's not important right now.)

Leave it to Haba to produce not one but three different games using these devices as puffers: The Black Pirate (which I'll talk about more in a minute), Akaba (which will show up higher in the countdown) and Der Schwarze Pirat: Das Duell (which is a two-player version of the game that I haven't got to play yet.) The Black Pirate won the Kinderspiel des Jahres (kid game of the year) a couple of years back... and that's not a big surprise once you've had the opportunity to play the game.

Each player has a small wooden ship with a cloth sail... and there's a pirate ship (call him what you will - I like to call him "the Dread Pirate Roberts" but then again I'm the guy who got a "Have Fun Storming The Castle" t-shirt for Christmas.) On your turn, you roll the die and either get to move your ship or the Dread Pirate.

The trick of the game is how you move your ship... and that's where the nose squeegee comes into play. Depending on which ship you're moving (player or pirate) and what you roll, you get 3 or 4 "puffs" to scootch the ship across the board. There are raised islands and a raised border - each island has a harbor area which is your objective. Park the ship in a harbor (even just a little bit) and you get all the gold that has accumulated on that island (also generated by a die roll).

If you get to move the pirate, you can either use him to claim treasure from a harbor OR he can attack other pirate ships by bumping into them. You get to take some treasure from them via a method I won't bother to explain in detail but works very well.

When all of the gold is picked up, the game is over. You count your treasure & see who wins.

Getting the hang of the how to move the ships is the toughest part of the game... I'd encourage you to allow kids some practice time to get comfortable with moving ships before you add the pressure of playing against other players. (This isn't a bad idea for some adults as well.)

The age range is spot on here, though my 7 year old has done better with this one as he's gotten older.

1 comment:

Ian Saylor said...

Thanks for your awesome reviews! We picked up a couple of these games over the holidays!
With respect to the Schwarze Pirat: Which flag colors are on your die, by the way? The game I recently purchased doesn't seem to have an orange flag (on the flag die), which may or may not be a misprint. Lots of red, so maybe one of them is supposed to be orange. Guess I could contact HABA...