Thursday, October 15, 2009

MIA #3: The Rolling Gang (Die Kullerbande)

The Rolling Gang (Die Kullerbande)
  • designer: Heinz Meister
  • publisher: Haba
  • date: 2006
  • BoardGameGeek rank/rating: no ranking/6.67
  • age: 5+
  • # of players: 2-8
  • print status: in print
  • cost: $27.99 (
Actually, only one of the members of the gang is rolling... but the other members of his posse have decided (due to the benefits of magnetic power) to stand really still and let their friend the mouse (who to all normal powers of observation looks like a small wooden ball) run between their legs. Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to manipulate the aforementioned mouse through the aforementioned legs as quickly as possible.

This weird & wonderful crass between Croquet & the old Labyrinth tilting mazes comes from the fertile creative mind of Heinz Meister - I mean, seriously, when is the last time you thought of putting a thin sheet of metal in the bottom of a game box in order to turn it into a farmyard with six animals wickets?

The rolling part itself is simple - take the box in both hands & tilt it in order to maneuver the mouse (small wooden ball) between the legs (magnetically attached wickets) of the various animals. The order is determined by a set of twelve very chunky cards with whimsical artistic representations of our barnyard friends - there are two of each animal. The basic version of the game involves laying out a line of all 12 cards & doing them in order while a sand timer runs. The second (not necessarily advanced) version of the game uses the same cards, but another player turns them over and makes the appropriate animal noise to clue the roller as to the next domesticated beast to approach.

This, of course, is where it is only fair & right to let you see this in action, courtesy of Doug "Garrett's Games & Geekiness" Garrett...

There are two other variations in the rules: one which uses a stick (much like Haba's OOP Mause-Rallye) and one that is basically a Name That Tune-like gambling game. We haven't played either of these because we've had so much fun with the first two.

The game also includes a wooden semi-sphere to put under the box to make it easier for smaller kids... we haven't found this to work well in practice but that may be our problem. Either way, I think the age 5+ suggestion is a little low - I'd say the fine motor skills needed to play don't kick in for a year or two after that.

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