Tuesday, June 23, 2009

#6: Dschungelrennen

  • designer: Wolfgang Riedesser
  • publisher: Ravensburger
  • date: 1989
  • BoardGameGeek rank/rating: not ranked/6.33
  • age: 10+
  • # of players: 2-5
  • print status: OOP
  • cost: 12.99 Euros (German eBay)
Why, yes, it does look like you dipped a conga line of animals in bright paints... you gotta problem with that? Cuz if you do, this is probably not a game you're going to enjoy.

OTOH, if you can wrap your head around the leap-froggish nature of this dicefest, you can find some opportunities for clever plays as your five man team (monkey, bear, elephant, gator, tiger) race through the jungle.

The game itself is surprisingly simple: on your turn, you roll the custom die & execute your move. The die sides are:
  • Monkey/Bear - move one
  • Monkey/Bear - move two
  • Elephant/Gator - move one
  • Elephant/Gator - move two
  • Tiger - move two
  • Wild - move three

Each mulitple space die roll allows you to move one or both pieces on that die face. And since only one animal can occupy a space, it gives you the opportunity to create some nifty leapfrog moves as your animals jump their way to the head of the pack. The wild side lets you move any animal(s) up to a total of three spaces.

There are also 3 wild spaces on the board which are activated when one of your animals ends their movement on the space. Chaining together leap & wild spaces (each wild space can only be used once per turn) can give your team a sudden boost...

...but the very nature of the game means that your animals out in front are helping the animals behind to leap into the lead. Of course, your pokey-slow animals do get a boost - if you roll a result where all of those animals have already finished the race, you move your last place animal instead.

When an animal reaches the medal podiums, the first one of each type to get there receives the highest point value. There is a 2nd place value for the 2nd finisher... and a 3rd place value for all remaining animals who finish the race.

You see, the race ends when all of the first place positions are filled - so some of the slower animals will not even get to join in the medal celebration, hear their animal anthems played or even get kisses on both cheeks from the French judges of the IOC.

Major tangent alert: I've decided to pick national anthems for each of the animals...

  • Elephant: "Baby Elephant Walk" (Henry Mancini)
  • Gator: "Crocodile Rock" (Elton John)
  • Monkey: "Shock the Monkey" (Peter Gabriel)
  • Bear: "Bears" (Andrew Peterson)
  • Tiger: "Eye of the Tiger" (Survivor)

OK, the tangent is done (but you need to hear "Bears" - here's a link to Yahoo's New Music Player.) It's a good example, though, of the kind of light-hearted fun that Dschungelrennen (translated: Jungle Race) inspires.

I will note that I don't get the whole "age 10+" thing on the box... any semi-competent 6 year old can easily play the game, though some of the more subtle combination moves may elude them.

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