Wesley Broughton
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Well, having received the Amazing Moa Hunt for my birthday, I was curious to see what this home-grown game entailed, and how it would stack up to the other games in my collection. It was not the only game I had got as a present, but it beat out Tikal because well, the whole Eurogame thing has been done before, right? It was time for something new, and my sister L and I opted to take command/control/possession of a flightless bird and see how bad our New Zealand geography really was. And yes, we live in New Zealand.

Moa Hunt is actually two separate games in one fairly tight box. The first one is a roll and move memory game which we did first because, well, that was the way the designers listed it. I took the green kakapo piece, and L took the blue penguin (which was blue). We rolled and moved around the board, and proved that our geography is...sketchy, let's say, and it's not like NZ has a heap of iconic landmarks - which may be the issue. Nonetheless, the game didn't outstay its welcome and moved pretty fast and we both ended up with 21 pieces each. Now the catch to this game is that some pieces are worth two points and some are worth one. Through superior psychic skill, I had 7 doubles to L's 4, making me the pre-eminent Moa Hunter! On to game two...

Keeping with the same colours, we moved on to the second game, which follows a quiz format, with players reading three clues from a card and the first player to guess the place name getting to place a marker on the location. If all other players guess wrong, the reader gets to place his marker. First one to run out of markers wins. This one started badly for the Kakapo, as I read out the card from the top, going "Wanganui (which was the placename L, the other player, was meant to guess)...oh. Arggh." Needless to say, L guessed correctly without even hearing the clues. I placed a marker off L's card after hearing all three clues - L tried to save the easiest clue to last, but there's no real point with only two players, as the second player can just wait. I then played the winning stroke, picking up a card nonchalantly, and starting "Grey...arggh!" L, in fits, guessed Greymouth without even bothering to hear the clues, whereas I triumphantly brandished the card: Timaru!
"Greymouth? I didn't say Greymouth? And even if I did, I'm allowed to say Greymouth if I want to..." I placed my marker, giving me an insurmountable lead.
This game didn't take very long, mainly because we shortened it by giving 20 markers each to the bank, so we wouldn't go through all the cards and excarcerbate the replay issues I see in the future.
Final score was zero markers left to two. The Moa Hunter trophy goes to the Kakapo, and the Amazing Moa Hunt was packed away, waiting for another day, and probably more people.

Quick reviewy stuff. Components are functional to good, with a small added bonus being resealable plastic bags for the pieces, of which extra are supplied, in cases of accidents, one presumes. Scalability is probably quite good but two is not part of that...I would say three is a minimum, but Moa lends itslef to team play, so the upper limit could well be how many people can fit around the board. Replayability is an obvious problem...but probably insurmountable with this type of game...and at least NZ has enough obscure places for it to be a novelty the first few times. I can see a niche for it in my collection, but only a niche.
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Minty Hunter
New Zealand
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Hey Wesley,

As someone who worked on the game, let me say thanks for your session report/review. I think it does a great job of summarising both the pros and cons of the game. It's not one for everyone (and hey, you're more likely to find me playing Doom or Battlestar Galactica), but it does fill a niche for light play.


Ps. For replayability, there's always "Off The Beaten Track" (the first NZ expansion), or The Amazing Mammoth Hunt for world geography, or if you're (shudder!) an Aussie The Great Goanna Hunt.
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