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Spotlight on Games > Ludographies
Arctic Frieze
November 16, 2013 added
Atchoo Igloo (Hatschi Iglu) (2012)
China: Arktica (2012)
Meltdown: Save the Polar Bears Before the Ice Melts (2012)
Game of Discovering the North Pole (1909)
The Game of Going to the Klondike (1898)
The Klondyke Nugget Game (unknown)

As cold weather devours the Northern Hemisphere and we await the Vancouver Winter Olympics, let us build here, a display, as if in a museum, of all of the games about the Arctic Wastes. Let us keep it to just the Great White North, so polar bears, not penguins.
sorted by reverse year of first publication

  1. Atchoo Igloo (Hatschi Iglu)
    (uncredited); Megableu-2012; 2-4; 15; 4+
    Players begin with plastic ice blocks which they try to get rid of by placing into the bear's igloo, according to die rolls. But if you roll the sneezing bear he makes electronic sounds and ejects blocks.
  2. China: Arktica
    Michael Schacht; (web-published)-2012; 2-4; 45
    Alternate map for the popular
    Web of Power game. This one is unusual in depicting the North Pole situation in which a water feature lies at the center as well as locations that are actually in water. [Download]
  3. Meltdown: Save the Polar Bears Before the Ice Melts
    (unknown); GEOlino-2012; 2-4; 30; 5+
    German cooperative game of saving a polar bear family from melting ice floes, made by the players by freezing water in a mold. The board is a sponge that absorbs the melting ice.
  4. Arctic Hunting
    Wei-Cheng Cheng; Formosa Force Games; 1-8; 15; 8+
    Party game in which players take the roles of Inuit hunters, polar bears, seals, walrus or Beluga whales. Each player receive 3-6 cards according to their roles. Hunters and Preys play one card simutaneously. If the prey and the hunter play the same number, the hunter eats the prey. If there is a difference between their cards from 1-3, the hunter can discard 1-3 cards to pursuit the prey. On the same time, the prey can discard 1 card to escape. Once the hunters kill 2(4) prey or 2(4) prey discard all of their hand cards before the last turn in 4(8) players game, hunters win the game. If not, the preys win the game.
  5. 2019: The ARCTIC
    Andrzej Kurek; SINONIS; 2-4; 120
    Economic game with military elements of mining the Arctic. Win by controlling large deposits of the same type while managing the policies of the Arctic nations: USA, Russia, Norway, Canada and the EU. China also plays a factor. No random elements.
  6. Northwest Passage
    Yves Tourigny; (unpublished); 2-4; 60
    Players represent exploration teams seeking to discover what happened to the famous lost Franklin expedition of 1845.
  7. Schollenhüpfen
    Marco Gutmayer & Meike Massholder; Oberschwäbische Magnetspiele; 2-4; 5+
    Memory game where fish are attached by magnet to icebergs. The polar bears try to catch the most fish, but there are problems. The ice bergs move. Other bears eat the fish. Inuit and seals steal them.
  8. Findevier (Taiga)
    Jacques Zeimet; Steffen-Spiele/FoxMind; 2-6; 15; 5+
    Ten animal disks are laid out. A card is revealed and the player tries to remember where this animal has been seen before. If able to do so the card is kept as a point.
  9. Arctic Scavengers
    Robert K. Gabhart; Driftwood Games/Rio Grande Games; 2-5
    A card game of a future in which the world undergoes a new ice age. By drafting and building your hand, build up your tribe as much as possible in order to survive. Expanded by Arctic Scavengers - Deception (2009) and Arctic Scavengers - HQ (2009). Shop
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  10. Arctic Survival
    Grant & Mike Wylie; Worthington Games; 2-4
    Tile-laying game of the Inuit attempting to survive on the ice. Threatening are ice floes, thin ice, bears, wolves and even orcas. Dice play a role. Unfortunately, penguins are also present. Shop
  11. Polar Derby
    Reiner Knizia; Gamewright; 2-4; 8+
    A press-your-luck game using dice. These silly bears are on roller skates. Can they stop in time?! Shop
  12. Ice Flow
    Dean Conrad & John Streets; JKLM/Heidelberger/Ludorum; 2-4
    A logistical game in which players must travel from Alaska to Siberia by crossing the ever-changing ice. Be sure to take enough tools, or find them on the way, and always avoid the polar bears. Shop
  13. Snow Tails
    Fraser & Gordon Lamont; Fragor/Asmodée; 2-5
    Dogsled racing game where movement is determined by card play. A beautiful production. read moreShop
  14. Der Goldene Kompass
    Inka & Markus Brand; Kosmos; 2-4
    Based on the fantasy novel, The Golden Compass. The players are trying to unravel the secret of lost children. To do so they travel to the cold north of Svalbard, home of the ice bears. From there, they must travel to the another world. Players use cards to gain experience, have encounters and race to the goal. Shop
  15. The Golden Compass Movie Game (Der goldene Kompass - Spiel zum Film)
    Marco Maggi & Francesco Nepitello; Kosmos/Sophisticated Games; 2-4
    Based on the film, The Golden Compass. Players take turns leading Lyra to rescue her friends, along the way collecting items, clues and knowledge of the golden compass. A golden compass spinner provides the two actions a player may choose from. It is not really a cooperative game; the winner is the one who has scored the most points by the end. Shop
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  16. Golden Compass DVD Board Game
    Sababa Toys; 2-4
    Based on the film, The Golden Compass. Trivia game using a DVD that offers clues and questions, including scenes from the movie. Includes four sculpted pieces of the characters and their four daemons. Shop
  17. Grænaland
    Vlaada Chvátil; CzechBoardGames/Altar Games; 3-5
    Scandinavian settlers of Greenland attempt to survive and thrive. Includes resource production, negotiation, trading and voting. read moreShop
  18. Daddy Cool
    Heinz Meister; Huch & Friends; 2-6; 5+
    A press-your-luck game in which polar bear cubs race to the bath. read moreShop
  19. Die Eisbärenbande
    Mary Danby & H. Webster; Ravensburger; 2-4; 30; 4+
    Players represent baby bears trying to catch three fish and return home without being caught missing by the mother.
  20. Eskimo
    Lloyd Krassner; Warp Spawn Games; 2-4
    Print-and-play card and dice game of hunting food.
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  21. Iglu Iglu
    Bruno Cathala & Bruno Faidutti; Goldsieber; 2-4
    As the ice slowly melts, various things appear, such as fish, foxes, polar bears, etc. The Inuit enter the board from the edges and attempt to collect all they can as well as build their igloos so as to control the remaining islands. Shop
  22. Der kleine Eisbär: Bist du mein Freund?
    Angelika & Jürgen Lange; Schmidt Spiele; 2-4; 20; 4+
    A game of trying to be the first to get rid of all one's cards by matching a previous card.
  23. Mare Polare
    Roberto Fraga; Selecta Spielzeug; 2-4; 4+
    The Inuit crisscross the ice of the "polar sea" trying to collect particular fish, for their particular types of soup. Memory and cooperation play important roles.
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  24. Igloo Pop (Iglu Pop)
    Heinz Meister & Klaus Zoch; Zoch/Rio Grande; 2-6; 7+
    Players shake plastic igloos trying to guess the number of beads (between 2 and 13) they hold. If right, they get to claim the card matching that number. Trying to identify this amount by ear is not easy, but surprisingly feasible. Shop
  25. Am Rand des Gletschers
    Anja & Patrick Menon; Krimsus Krimskrams-Kiste; 2-4
    Card game of ice age tribes living "at the glacier's edge". In a risk management system, players must decide how to allocate their tribe members to satisfy the conflicting goals of gathering food and winning glory for the tribe. read moreShop
  26. Eskimemo
    unknown; Schmidt Spiele; 2-4; 5+
    Memory game for children. Players roll dice and put that number of Inuit in their igloos. When their own igloos are full, they can start putting them in those of other players. The first to hide all of their Inuit wins. Shop
  27. Kayanak
    Peter-Paul Joopen; HABA; 2-4; 6+
    Players represent Inuit trying to catch fish, which are represented by steel balls in different sizes. Punching holes through the sheet of paper suspended in the box represents breaking the ice. Shop
  28. Yukon Company
    Dirk Henn; db-Spiele; 4-6
    Players represent traders in the old Yukon, buying goods in the city and then swapping items with non-player gold prospectors up the creeks. read moreShop
  29. Nanuuk!
    Günter Cornett; Bambusspiele; 2-4
    Players represent Inuit who go out hunting and have to bring back their gains to the igloos. The trouble is that the ice is very thin and every step makes it crack a little more. Care must be taken not to be trapped on an island without a kayak, or run into a polar bear. Also includes rules for play as a pure abstract. read moreShop
  30. American Megafauna
    Phil Eklund; Sierra Madre Games 1-4
    The game is of competing dinosaurs and mammalian megafauna. The map is of the entire North America, including the frozen north. But if ice ages set in, ice can cover most of the map and even prematurely end the game (as well as most life on earth). Very suitable for solitaire play. Also available is the American Megafauna Expansion Kit which permits a fifth player. read moreShop
  31. Safe Return Doubtful
    Randy Moorehead; Simulations Workshop; 1-5
    Players represent early polar explorers trying to reach the pole, or as close as possible before supplies run out, and return again home safely, preferably not by floating home on an iceberg, though it's a distinct possibility if all other options fail. Very suitable for solitaire play. read moreShop
  32. Mush
    Alan R. Moon; White Wind; 2-6
    Players race their dog sleds via a great deal of dice rolling. Adding interest is the ability to design the dog team before play begins. read moreShop
  33. Klondike
    Stephanie Rohner & Christian Wolf; HABA; 2-4; 6+
    Players represent gold panners. They draw three samples (marbles) out of a bag and see if they are gold (yellow) or rock (black or gray) and then see how much gold they can get to fly out of a pan by rocking it back and forth, hoping not to also knock out the rock. Other players participate by betting on how well they will do. read moreShop
  34. Im Reich des weißen Bären
    Charles Lerue; Schmidt/Selecta; 2-4; 8+
    "In the Realm of the White Bear" is about Inuit going out to catch fish on the ice and then returning home again while trying to avoid the dangerous polar bears. Shop
  35. Polar Dare
    Dan Glimne; Milton Bradley; 2-4; 8+
    Penguins race across the ice trying to avoid polar bears. Players use their points to move their pieces and/or the ice floes. Actually there were once northern penguins, though now extinct and somewhat different from their southern cousins. Shop
  36. Gold am Yukon
    Reinhold Wittig; Amigo; 3-6; 6+
    "Gold in the Yukon" is a roll and move game as teams of prospectors cross the board to reach gold claims. Shop
  37. North to Alaska
    unknown; Herbert Law; 2-8; 8+
    A roll and move game has players traveling from Seattle to Anchorage, the object being to arrive with the most money. Shop
  38. Icebergs
    Tom Wham; TSR; 2-8
    Players represent captains of oil supertankers racing for oil, avoiding the icebergs. Shop
  39. Alaska
    Eric Solomon; Ravensburger; 2-4; 8+
    Players race their trucks to get their containers from a central island to their camp over the ice before it completely thaws. Action cards include polar bears, robbers, fog and frostbite, but also extra containers and the helicopter. Shop
  40. Klondike
    Tom Dalgliesh & Lance Gutteridge; Gamma Two; 2-6
    A stocks and speculation game in which players decide whether to pan for gold or invest in supporting services like hotels and stores. Shop
  41. Race to the North Pole
    unknown; Snowdon Productions; 2-6
    Roll-and-move game of racing to the north pole. Said to be rare. Shop
  42. Don't Break the Ice
    unknown; Schaper/Milton Bradley/Schmidt; 2-4; 4+
    Dexterity game. White plastic blocks are wedged into a grid and players take turns using a hammer to hammer out one block at a time. Eventually the man positioned on top must fall in and be claimed by the polar bear. Shop
  43. The Game of David Goes to Greenland
    (unknown); Zulu Game Co.; 1-4
    Based on the 1926 Stoll McCracken Expedition to Greenland. Overcome polar bears, walrus, and the weather to explore the north coast.
  44. Game of Discovering the North Pole
    (unknown); McLoughlin Brothers; 2-4
    Roll-and-move game of traveling to the North Pole and returning home again. An unusual feature is that players are free to choose their routes. There is also a
    Pachisi-like feature in that landing on another player's marker moves it back by at least three spaces.
  45. The Game of Going to the Klondike
    (unknown); McLoughlin Brothers; 2-4
    Spin-and-move game of the Alaskan gold rush.
Unknown. The Klondyke Nugget Game
(unknown); (unknown)-?
In this mining game the area under the board is randomly seeded with nuggets before play begins. The various mines have differing values. A player uncovers a mine and earns ounces of gold if any nugget is showing. Using a push-your-luck mechanism, the player can continue with other mines so long as something is found in each; otherwise all current finds are lost. The board-box is shaken between each player so that the nuggets move from mine to mine.