Spotlight on Games > Ludographies > Essen 2010
Essen 2010 Game by Game

Card Games

Silvano Sorrentino; Adlung; 2-4; 30-40
Tile placement using cards. Quite wild and in a bad way: someone can steal your entire hand at which point any planning you were doing goes completely out the window. Another penalty is losing a turn, usually more than one, which is never a fun feature and ought to be retired. [more]

L'Aventure c'est dur
Ludovic Chapelière; Le Joueur; 2-6; 30
A "take that" card game, but in a fantasy setting complete with a dragon. Players need to accumulate enough land cards to make the journey to the dragon and then enough combat cards to defeat it. [more]

Dominique Ehrhard & Michel Lalet; Asmodee; 3-5; 30
Auction and bluffing game set in Australia and somewhat similar to You're Bluffing in that you're trying to collect the most of a particular animal type and thus score their printed value. What's new are the presence of five hunting areas and players deciding each turn which one they wish to visit. Then there is the tradeoff of trying to get a lot of boomerangs, which is equal to the number of animals you'll collect, and go last or only a few and hunt first. [more]

Keith Meyers; Intrafin Games/Valley Games; 3-6; 30
A climbing and shedding game. Cards range from 1 to 9 in declining quantities (1 card numbered 9, 9 numbered 1), plus there are a few special action cards. Cards still in the hand at the end count against score. [more]

Captain Jack's Gold
Christian Fiore; Noris Spiele; 2-4; 30
Players are pirates trying to capture Caribbean merchants. The procedure is to turn up a card of their choice from the deck of their choice. They thus may take sails or cannons. A good set of sails gives access to more targets while a good set of cannon gives a better chance of actually taking them. [more]

Gil dŽOrey; MESAboardgames; 2-4; 60
Game about the Portuguese discoveries of the 15th-16th centuries and also the 5% tax used to build the Jerónimos Monastery, the completion of which ends the game. The map shows 32 ports or destinations (Americas, Africa, Asia and India). Eight of them offer merchandise. To get there the board depicts actual currents that were used, showing how the fastest way is not the shortest. Each player captains 3 ships which are rated for navigational ability and capacity. Travel on currents is free, but moving off them to get somewhere useful requires expenditure of a navigation disk. First to arrive in a port marks it, earns points and collects merchandise. But the board also contains some event spaces and crossing them requires the player to play one of five cards in hand which come in three types: storms, becalmed and good winds. Thus they can be positive or negative, but they also have positive effects for others. Passing over a pirate space loses a disk and passing over a sink space gives a 50-50 chance of sinking a ship via the dice. When back in Portugal the player turns in merchandise for points and pepper can be traded for monastery construction. It's also possible to cash in points to buy another ship. In addition players have secret objective cards that gain extra points if they manage to visit the ports named. [more]

Tyler Sigman; Valley Games; 2-4; 45
Tile placement in which players represent shiny objects trying to attract the most crows. Tiles have a stark, attractive monochromatic look. The system is arranged so that sometimes its best to be the first player, sometimes the last. For another game on the subject of crows, see Unter Geiern (below). [more]

Michael Nietzer & Oliver Wolf; GameHeads; 2-7; 30-60
Poker variant where the cards are quite large and each depicts one to three of the usual sort of card. The player holds five cards and must decide which subset of these to use to form their Poker hand. It is generally played following the "5 card draw" scheme, but playing a set the constitutes 6 cards, or using the same card more than once, is treated as cheating, in which case opponents can play cards to resolve a shoot out. There are also power cards that permit special actions. [more]

Friedemann Friese; 2F-Spiele/Rio Grande; 2; 30
Card game of mafia bosses recruiting members. These gangsters come from four different types of families, each of which has its own features. The main mechanism is using two identical gangsters to gain the one of the same type at the next higher level (shades of Uruk). Or a special ability can be used, which, however, costs more. Includes sixty cards. [more]

51st State
Ignacy Trzewiczek; Portal Publishing 2-4; 90
Card game of a dystopic future; four groups – mutants, traders, New Yorkers and Appalachians – try to take power and re-build the country. Activities include playing location cards, hiring leaders and allocating people to buildings to produce resources and skills. Each card uses one of its three functions. Each group has a different set of abilities. [more]

Haflinger & Co.
Keith Meyers; Adlung-Spiele; 2-5; 30
Auction game on the unusual topic horse breeding. Cards showing different numbers of horses in five breeds are turned up and auctioned off. Players may decide at any time to claim a stake in two breeds and only these will score at the end; the problem is that at most two players can claim a breed. [more]

Hey Waiter!
Anthony Rubbo; R&R Games; 2-4; 30
Players are waiters trying to be the first to dish out all their orders (a stack of colored chips). Cards are divided in two; a player chooses two and uses just two halves to deliver food or take a special action if the card shows one. Trick is that when you deliver a dish, everyone else who also has the same colored disk atop his stack also cand deliver it. A strategic possibility is to divide into smaller stacks to enhance this, but then there's the penalty that hand size goes down. Also has a partnerhip version and is expandable to eight players if an extra set is available. [more]

High Five
Nils van Teijlingen; Kosmos; 2-4; 30
Placing traditional cards which are, however, square into a a black, plastic 8x8 grid trying to make the best Poker hands. The side of the grid forms a nice rack to hold a hand of four cards plus won prizes. [more]

Im Bann der Mumie
Henning Poehl; Sphinx Spieleverlag; 3-5; 90
Most of the players hunt for the treasure of a cursed pharaoh while one player acts as the mummy. Players represent different characters – archaeologist, thief, occultist, spy – and the value of a treasure can differ depending on who has collected it. Players win if they can dig up the sarcophagus, for which they must work together and spend money, despite their preference to save it so as to act independently. If they are successful, however, the mummy becomes ever weakened. Fifty-six large and 110 small cards display arresting monochromatic artwork. [more]

King's Vineyard
David Haslam & Sandeep Kharkar; Mayday Games; 2-4; 45
A card management game of competing in a number of different areas, e.g. grapes (their color, sweetness, vine uniformity), goblets, bottles and barrels. The player doing the overall best is chosen by the king to manage his vineyards. [More Wine games] [more]

Seiji Kanai; Japon Brand, Kanai Factory; 3-6; 30
Players try to become the best geisha by increasing both money, by attracting guests, and popularity, using surrounding characters. Mechanism is dual use cards which players must decide how to use. [more]

unknown; Gigamic; 3-8; 30
The card deck is missing its face cards, but has a fifth suit called Payoo and some unusual dice. The goal is to score the least number of points possible; especially avoid Payoos and the Papayoo. Other wrinkles are that the suit of the 7 changes with each new hand. If you don't like your hand, just give it to the player on your left. You'll be getting the hand of the player on your right. [more]

R-Eco Recycle
Susumu Kawasaki; Japon Brand/Kawasaki Factory; 2-4; 10-20
This is follow-on from the maker of R-Eco, but which plays quite quite differently. Now play is about putting different types of recyclables in the correct receptacles. They come in four types and on a turn a player either plays one in the correct type face up to become the environmental manager or as many as they like face down, but the total of these limited by the number that are up for that category. Playing in this second way makes on the manager for the category. When each of the three rounds is over, the face down cards are revealed. Proper color cards count +1 while wrong color cards are -2. If the net is positive, a points award card is gained by the category manager. If at least 3 of the 4 categories were positive, a points award is gained by the overall manager. Each player can only keep one award in each color. Overall probably not as novel or fun as the original, but with intriguing bluffing and groupthink elements. [more]

Rockband Manager
Antoine Bauza; Edge Entertainment; 3-6; 30-60
Card game of pulling together a rock group and getting critical acclaim with your concerts and crazy albums. The three phases of play are group creation, debut and breakthrough. Includes very colorful cards and also six plastic mini-guitars. [more]

Le Roi des Nains
Bruno Faidutti; IELLO; 3-5; 30
"The Dwarf King" is a trick-taking game played with 80 cards: three suits of 13 dwarves, goblins and humans each, plus 25 specials and 16 contracts. Every round, in addition to regular cards, each gets two contracts and picks one which he tries to fulfill that round. He also draws one special card whose type (dragon, mummy, sorcerer, troll, wizard) is visible. The most successful contract filler after 7 rounds wins. [more]

1655 - Habemus Papam
Christoph Bauer; DDD-Verlag; 3-4; 30-45
A voting game about chososing a new pope in 1655. Each player represents a candidate and must be willing to employ bribery and tactics to see the white smoke. In addition to 120 cards includes 52 gem pieces and 4 screens. [more]

Bruno Cathala; Asmod&eeacute;e/GameWorks SàRL; 2-4; 40
Card drafting and set collection game. Each turn take a goods card, play a character with a special power or reveal a set of matching goods cards. Taking some cards earns corruption points. Having the most of these at the wrong time cuts the owner's income in half. [more]

Friedemann Friese; Amigo; 3-6; 30-45
Crazy trick-taking game in which each hand each player contributes one of 60 rules cards warping normal play. [rules translation] [review] [more]

Toledo 1085
Javier Jesús Domínguez Cruz; Ulisses Spiele; 2-4; 45
Card game of nobles in the named time and place who try to develop the city in its science, culture and trade. The main mechanism is repeated auctions of cards. Players always receive a fixed amount of money at the start of each round. [more]

Bruno Cathala; Ludocortex; 2-4; 30
Players are governors of troll states trying to get rid of unwanted aliens, i.e. humans, goblins, dwarves and elves by sending them away in carriages and dragon charters which are shared by all players. Cards you can't send away count against your score. Extra points are given for filling the last place in a vehicle. Certain cards have extra bonuses and others give special abilities, like being able to swap or play extra cards. [more]

2010 Swedish Parliament
Harald Enoksson; Mondainai Strategy Games; 1-10; 120
Parties which can be played include Socialists, Conservatives, Farmers, Liberals, Christians, Communists, Greens, Nationalists, Pirates or Feminists. Each has the goal of achieving an improvement over its 2006 results. Besides negotiation, much of the game revolves around card drafting and play, which affects a party's position on ten different issues. Also in the game are various demographic groups such as young, old, men, women, rural, urban, etc. If two parties are closely related they have an alliance; players must choose between the greater chances of success that this offers vs. the potential loss of party identity and with it, the core voters. [more]

Unter Geiern
Michael Nietzer; Gameheads/Heidelberger Spieleverlag; 2-6; 30
"Among Vultures". Players are vultures looking for food in the desert before the opponents find it. But once a vulture finds something they all join in. But beware the rattlers. Features 6 vulture cards, which must be folded, 49 cards showing desert landscapes to form the map and 96 other cards, mostly carrion, but including two types of specials: rattlers and "I was already there" cards. Vultures move by hopping to an adjacent card and then revealing it. Then the player can invest any number of cards from his supply and move that number of spaces, possibly revealing another map card. Some terrains indicate thermals which let vultures fly a ways for free. A revealed card may feature carrion, represented by one or more cards. Vultures present consume one of these a turn. [more]

Max Gerchambeau; Gigamic; 2-5; 30
Yahtzee as a card game. There are 96 square cards numbered 1 to 6 and in four different suits. Each player has a hand of five cards and swaps one card a turn, trying to get combination not yet on his score sheet, e.g. two pairs, three of a kind, four of a kind, full house, straight, flush, etc. Unlike Yahtzee, opponents can get in the way by holding back cards, provided they can figure out what you are attempting to collect. [more]

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