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Subject: Review after 6 plays rss

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Don D.
United States
Miami
Florida
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I received this in the mail a few days ago and I managed to get it to the table several times this weekend. Since no one has written a review yet, I thought I'd help out and write this. Reviews are one of the most important functions of The BGG community in my opinion as they help users to make more informed purchasing decisions. In full disclosure, I am a big Martin Wallace fan, but thats because I enjoy most of his games and it doesn't cloud my judgement (I think lol)

Components:

The components here are simple. It's a small, tichu-sized box with a deck of 50 player cards ( 1-10 in each of five suits) and about a dozen orangutan (VP) cards. It comes with a one page folded rulesheet. The art work is good and the card quality is good. Nothing else to note.

Rules:

Simple rules. Deal 10 player cards to all players and lay out orangutan cards equal one + the number of players. There will be ten rounds, in each of which each player starting with the start player plays any card from his or her hand. The player who played the highest number Must then select one of the other played cards and the player who played the second highest number does the same. At the point in which a player takes a card in this manner, he or she may turn in the card just selected and/or any other previously accumulated cards that match the card symbols printed on any of the orangutan cards, thereby claiming that card and its VPs. All other cards collected by that player and not being cashed in are then lost and put under the orangutan and will count as negative points at the end of the game. At the end of ten rounds you calculate scores. Note that one of the suits is a set of ten "deforestation" cards that count as double negatives at the end of the game and can never be cashed in for orangutans because none of the orangutan cards require that suit.

Gameplay:

The rules and play are so insanely simple. However, the play is not. Even after six plays, I was struggling to know when I should play high and when I should play low. There are a number of variables that you need to consider with each and every card play that make this a surprisingly tense game. These factors include: 1) what other cards opponents have already played or have yet to play 2) what suits are required by the orangutans currently in play 3) what suits my opponents have already accumulated (I prefer to be playing suits that my opponents either cant use because no orangutan card requires it or dont want because they already have what they need of it) 4) what my spot in the turn order is now and what it might be on the next turn (this part is huge, and represents a great tension in the game as winning a turn means you pick first in cards and get first crack at orangutans, but then means you go first the next turn which is generally undesirable).

Overall thoughts:

One, this is a game made for a noble charity which gives it instant bonus points. I didn't really have high expectations for it but bought it because I liked the idea of a game for charity themed for that cause and I'm a completionist Wallace collector. After six plays, I'm very pleasantly surprised and can say with confidence this game won't serve the purpose of helping to complete a collection and boosting charity while collecting dust...it will get more play time. It says Wallace on the box, but if you hid the name and the little frog on the corner and sat down and played it with experienced gamers, I bet 95% would guess it was made by knizia. And that's how I view this game, comparable to any of the scores of knizia games with 1-3 rules that you learn in under 2 minutes that somehow manage to pack a greatly disproportionate amount of depth and tension into the gameplay. Overall, I'm very surprised and pleased with this game. I envision it gaining a permanent spot in my rotation of fillers.

My rating in general: 7.25/10 my rating as a filler: 9/10
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Richard Morris
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Since I have bought several copies for Xmas presents, but have not yet played the game, I am so pleased to read this review, and see that it does fit where I thought it would.
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Paul Thompson
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Nice review. Excellent point comparing game to Knizia's. I have just ordered my copy (still available via Orangutan Society £5). I really enjoy the Dr Who card game when playing with the family. These types of game appear simple but really they ain't ninja
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