Recommend
40 
 Thumb up
 Hide
6 Posts

Mississippi Queen» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Rollin' on the river rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Matthew Roskam
United States
Birmingham
Alabama
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Picked this up along with the Black Rose expansion on a hunch that this might be a good racing game to help round out my collection. I was a little anxious because it's OOP status meant I had to pay a little more than I would have liked, and the expansion I got at the same time was a used copy. But the risk paid off in that all the components seemed to be in good shape.

If you have taken the time to look at the reviews and comments on this one, you get very mixed signals - more so than most games. A Spiel des Jahres winner rated so low is unusual. You have to ask why. Is it the snubbing of a game that some have rejected merely because it has simpler rules and mechanics than games like Agricola or Puerto Rico? Or are there real problems with the game? So we got it to the table to finally see for ourselves.

So let's take a look at what we thought:

Components

Well, the components are nice, but as I expected from the comments on BGG, you have to do some gluing to get the stickers to work. A little frustrating, but overall, once your done your done. The river tiles look great and work very well. The boats are nice, but putting Belles actually on the boats makes the game far too fidley. So the cabins in the expansion took care of that. The Belles are really nice as well, and add a lot to creating a nice overall feel that you are indeed cruising the Mississippi.

The best part of this game's components are how they come together to look exactly like what they seek to emulate. As the winding river unfolds on your table, it creates the sense that you are playing a miniatures racing game.

Game play

The simplicity of the rules is one of this game's greatest assets. The movement rules are very straightforward, and easy to grasp. Balancing the need to conserve coal with the need to maneuver to pick up the Belles creates some nice decision points along the way. Leave them out, and this game would be a total dud.

The random bends in the river serve to add several important elements to the game.

1) It increases replayability dramatically- since the tiles are shuffled between games, and the direction they flow changes randomly, you are almost guaranteed that you will "never step into the same river twice".

2) the leader is somewhat handicapped in that he does not get the reaction time to a sudden course change that others do. This is a nice way to "punish" the leader just enough to help others catch up. I found myself hanging back a bit when a large island in the middle of the river called for a decision to follow one channel over the other. If you let the other person go first, it can make a big difference in the race.

Having to slow down to pick up the Southern Belles is also a brilliant mechanic. It creates a little push your luck aspect to the game. Do I pick up this Belle which makes me go out of my way, or hope one will be a little better positioned down stream?

The "Bumper boats" aspect of the game adds some real fun to this title as well. It doesn't seem to happen often, but it is an important part of gameplay, and makes for some nice interaction- especially to heat up the last dash for the docks! When playing the two- player game with two boats to each player, it can even lead to pushing your sister boat (shades of NASCAR).

Game length

The game length seems absolutely perfect. I find most games don't seem to get this dialed in well- and most are too long. At the end of this one, I feel like I had a good experience, with a few good breaks and bad, and a nice set of decision to make along the way. I didn't feel it ended too quickly to have a chance, nor did I feel that "it was really over 15 minutes ago" (which happens far too often in other games).

Overall, I am really glad we picked this one up. Our lifestyle requires games that can accommodate shorter gaming sessions, but we still don't want mindless, random games. This one fits us very well. It's worth a look if you just want to have some fun racing the twists and turns of an unpredictable river.

40 
 Thumb up
1.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Shoot
United States
Ferndale
Michigan
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
I know you wrote this a year ago... but could you comment on something?
Would you recommend buying this if to someone if they DON'T get the expansion? The base game is pricey enough for me!

Thanks!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls

Georgia
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
If you get it without the expansion, you need to play it with atleast four (4) players. The game is playable with three, but that is not a good showing of the game (one player can easily become a kingmaker quick). Do not play it with two, unless both of you are controlling two boats.

I recently got the Black Rose, but have had a copy of the original for 10 years now and it is one of my favorite racing games.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Shoot
United States
Ferndale
Michigan
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
fastbilly1 wrote:
If you get it without the expansion, you need to play it with atleast four (4) players. The game is playable with three, but that is not a good showing of the game (one player can easily become a kingmaker quick). Do not play it with two, unless both of you are controlling two boats.

I recently got the Black Rose, but have had a copy of the original for 10 years now and it is one of my favorite racing games.


Hey, thanks for that answer! But you say, "At least 4" How is it with 5? (Lots of people in our family... )
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls

Georgia
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Playing it with four or five is ideal. So it plays excellent with five. I come from a family of six, so I feel you on the lots of people front.

I hope yall enjoy it.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
daniel underbakke
msg tools
This is simply an excellent game. Young children can play it, although they sometimes get mare infatuated with the boat models than the game. Adults can step right into it. I have run this game for years at Con of the North and new players love it. In all the years of running it I have won just once but that isn't important because the chance to play is the important thing.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.