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Clay Blankenship
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A deck of cards, a dart pistol, and a CD. Just the components of this game let you know this is something unusual. I read a preview of this on Bruno's Faidutti's web page over a year ago and it piqued my interest. I finally got the game in a recent order from Germany, since it wasn't available anywhere in the US.

Squad 7 (Extreme Jungle Mission) is a fast-paced game simulating exploring a hostile jungle with your team of adventurers. You start with seven face up cards depicting your squad members. The CD soundrack sets the tone, as well as being an integral part of the game. The sounds of the CD (fast drums in the day, slow drums and nighttime jungle noises at night) let you know whether it is day or night, which is important in the card play.

Each player in turn will turn up a card from a deck of cards. Certain cards depict treasures which the first player to slap may claim, but only if the time (day or night) shown on the card matches what the CD is playing. You must also avoid slapping treasures with snakes on them, or you lose a team member (flip the card over). There are also some special action cards that require some physical action. There are mummy and dinosaur cards which require you to shoot the appropriate target with the gun. There is a rope bridge card, which requires you to run around the table. There is also a spiders card, which requires you to shuffle the cards already played and redistribute them. In each case, you must complete the task before you hear a gasp on the CD, or you lose a team member. This adds a sense of urgency to all the actions. Finally, a shaman lets the first player to slap the card bring back a dead team member. The game ends when the 17-minute CD is over. The player who collected the most treasures is the winner.

The game does a great job of evoking the theme. You are always trying to react to the cards as fast as possible. Sometimes the quickest player to react will get a treasure but other times you have to be careful to not try to slap the card. I think this is a great game if you are looking for something fast-paced and different. I hope that some of the US retailers pick up some copies of this. There is an English translation available at the publisher's web site, and no components are language-specific.
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