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Subject: Other light and engaging games like Camel Up? rss

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Alexandre Santos
Belgium
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Yesterday I played a game of Camel Up, and really appreciated the game : it's a short game that allows a large (up to 7 I think) number of casual or gamer players to enjoy a game which still has some interesting push your luck choices, while creating a lighthearted and chatty mood.

I'm wondering if there are other games which provide that kind of experience (with similar or different mechanics)?
 
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Josef Estabrooks
Canada
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Augustus, maybe? Played with the wrong sort it can drag a bit, but it's basically strategy bingo.

Castle Panic is good, manic fun. Vastly improved with the expansion (much less 'solvable')

King of Tokyo, if you haven't already.

Camel Up has a special place with our family I'll admit, even if our 4 year old picks the winners way too often!
 
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Drew
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Dutch Blitz has become a favorite at our family gatherings. The base game plays up to 4, but the expansion allows you to play up to 8.
It is easy to teach and with lots of players it came get animated.
 
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Eric Spalding
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Celestia

Supports up to 6, lots of fun interaction and a push you luck mechanic. Plays pretty fast too
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Josef Estabrooks
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Celestia would be perfect! I just tried it recently too, not sure why it wasn't in my list!
 
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Jeff
Canada
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Jamaica is a fun pirate themed race game. It plays up to six. It's also beautifully produced.

Ultimate Warriorz is a game about creatures having what is essentially a battle royal. It even has an arena! This is a light game for up to eight combatants!

Hope this helps!
 
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Alexandre Santos
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Thank you for your tips, I'm still processing them, but here is some feedback:

Those I think don't fit the bill:

- Rise of Augustus: I love Augustus, but when we play it the mood is not very chatty, at least in our gaming group. Do you have other experiences? Also, Augustus has a light "take that" component, which could be problematic while playing with casual players you don't know (although you can't target anyone, which softens the blow). In Camel Up you are only interfering with the camels with the tiles, so it's not directed at anyone.

- King of Tokyo: definitely a no-go. Not that I dislike the game, but I would worry playing it with a complete stranger who is at best a casual player: too much "take that", even if I understand that it's not completely targeted (you have to go to Tokyo to get hit specifically). The game does elicit a lot of trash-talk, which is nice, but a bit different with what Camel Up produces.

- Jamaica: Jamaica looks like a great fun game, but again I'm worried about the "take that" element... And how about the rules, aren't they a bit "heavy" for naive/casual players? I have never played this game, but I wonder if you can explain it in less than five minutes, like Camel Up?

Those that I think would work :

- Castle Panic: this one looks promising! Isn't it too childish for complete (adult) strangers? Does it offer some strategic/tactical choices, or is it more for the mood? I have not yet played this game, but passed by a playing party at a Con and were having a blast with it.

- Celestia: it also looks like an excellent proposition. I never played it, so I'm wondering if the rules are not a bit heavy : would a naive player be ready to start playing (not winning, just playing) in 5 minutes? As far as I understand there is bluffing between the captain and the rest of the crew, so t

Those I still need to research :

- Dutch Blitz: I know nothing about this game, still need to research it.

- Ultimate Warriorz: idem.

Finally, the Celestia proposal reminded me of Incan Gold which might also be an option : easy rules, push your luck, seems also to create a chatty mood full of excitement.

Thanks again for the help!
 
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Magnus Andersson
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I recommend Loony Quest. Very simple rules and engaging gameplay for all ages, which creates a chatty and lighthearted atmosphere. It only supports five players though.
 
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Eric Spalding
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Celestia is not heavy at all. The rules explanation is very quick. The one problem I've noticed is that the "special power" cards only have icons on them, so for a while people need to check the rules to see exactly what they do. I wish they had put a little text on them. However, it would also be easy to put together a little reference sheet. I will say that Celestia has been a big hit with our non-gamer friends. Lots of laughs and fun, tense decisions. I wouldn't really say the captain's intent is to bluff, but each player is trying to stay in the ship as long as it's beneficial to do so, so if the captain can make the ship advance, they really want everyone else to hop out. We tend to try to have a good "poker face" so other players can't read what the captain can do.

Castle Panic is a fun game, also not heavy, but it is cooperative, so I'm not sure if that's what you are looking for. If one person is experienced, there can be a bit of an alpha-player problem. I would not say it is too childish, and it can get tense to see the walls coming down, but we win much more often than not with the base game.
 
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Peter Mulholland
United Kingdom
Bradford
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I can strongly recommend picking up the expansion for Camel Up; Camel Up: Supercup. It has some modules which you can choose to add in, mix & match. One of the best is it adds an extension to the track so the game lasts a little bit longer. The other modules are also great for mixing it up a bit.

Black Fleet is a fun game that is quite back-stabby, but in a good way. Always creates lots of fun and laughter when it hits the table.

 
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WD Yoga
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+1 on Black Feet. It's very fun game!

For Castle Panic, I found it to be dull and boring after a while. The expansion, The Wizard's Tower add spell cards which makes the game more varied and interesting.
 
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Steve McClure
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I'm a fan of Camel Up, and something else that I think fits squarely in that Light and fun category is Colt Express.

The Programmed movement mechanic is quite different, but not complex.
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