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Subject: Swimming pools and boisterous children. rss

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Kevin O'Sullivan
United Kingdom
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
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2 to 4 Players, Aged 8+ with a 15-20 minute playing time

A review copy of Arschbombe, designed by Bernhard Lach and Uwe Rapp, was kindly provided by Zoch GmbH .

The theme of this game conjures thoughts of warm summer holidays by a swimming pool disturbed by noisy kids delighting in jumping in and out of the pool, occasionally stylishly from a high board, but as often as not bombing their fellow swimmers.

What follows is an overview of the game broken down into 5 sections: The Game Components, Setting Up The Game, How To Play The Game, What Did We Think? and finally Who Do We Think Will Like It?. So if you don't want to read the whole review scan down to the heading that interests you.

The Game Components
24 Pool Edge Cards including a start card with a deck chair and four pairs of coloured sandals.

1 Initial Jumper

4 Scoring Markers (Red, Yellow, Blue and Green)

4 Sets of 6 player cards (3 Divers and 3 ‘rascals’!)

Setting Up The Game
Depending on the number of players lay out 18, 20 or 24 pool edge cards. The pool edge card with the deck chair and sandals in one corner goes in one corner. The pool edge doubles up as the scoring track.

Each player chooses a set of six jumpers and places the associated scoring marker on the corner tile with the deck chair and sandals.

Throw the Initial Jumper into the pool area so that he does not touch the sides of the pool.

How To Play The Game
Each player has 6 cards, three divers who will score points if they land in the water without touching any other cards whilst the Rascals score a varying number of points if they manage to touch a specified card.

Each player in turn can choose to use one or other type of card.

If they choose a Rascal then the player to their left nominates one of the divers already in the pool and the Rascal card has to be thrown so that it lands on that card.

Depending on how much of the target card is touched then the player score 3 points for just the edge, 2 points if the card touch’s the other divers body, 1 point if the body is obscured and obviously zero if the card is missed completely.

If the player chooses one of their Divers then they can either hold the card over the pool in a sitting or standing (the spring board) position and let it drop. If it touches another diver it scores nothing.

If however it lands in open water then you score 1 point if it is your first jumper, 2 if it is your second up to 6 if it is your sixth and final jumper. If you have dropped your card from the standing position (the spring board) then the points are doubled.

However if a Divers (including Rascals) card touches the edge of the pool then they score -1 point if it was a normal jump and -2 points if it was from a standing position (the spring board).

What Did We Think?
This is a game clearly targeted at children with a relatively short playing time that we found was enjoyed by the children we played it with.

The idea of targeting other swimmers appealed in particular but it didn’t take long for them to catch onto the tactics of picking targets for other players rascals that were near the edge of the pool and so making it difficult for the player and giving them an increased likelihood of hitting the edge of the pool and so getting negative points.

I suspect that as a game it will have a limited life and if you have a number of games for younger children others will find their way to the table more frequently. However it offers a fun 20 mins and as is so often the case with Zoch games a degree of dexterity that helps build motor control and precision in children.

Who Do We Think Will Like It?
Families with young children looking for a fun game that will call for some simple dexterity.

It has an age on the box of 8+ but as with our review of Wollmilchsau we thought this would work for children aged significantly younger.

If you liked this review then other games I have reviewed can be seen here
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