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Subject: Review of Canyon rss

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The Dude
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Gameplay: Canyon is basically a trick taking card game with a board as a point tracking device. The deck has six suits with cards numbered 1-10 in each suit. Then, one card is flipped over from the remaining cards and the suit represented is the trump suit. Each hand each player is dealt a certain number of cards. A chart on the board tells you how many cards you get each turn. The number of cards ranges from 1-7 or 8. Each player determines a blind bid, and they reveal simultaneously. Then play begins and the trick taking is similar to Euchre, Hearts, or Wizard. For every trick you take, you get to move your canoe piece one space around the river. If you make your bid exactly, you will get bonus moves. This allows a person to bid 0 tricks and still move their canoe. Game progresses this way until a player moves their canoe from the starting docks to the ending docks. There are several pinch points on the board, and since you can not move through other people's playing pieces, you can effectively block other player's progress. Near the end of the board, there is a waterfall section. In this section, there are two rule changes. First, you may only use your bonus points for making your bid to move in this area. Second, each space has an arrow, and your piece will move one space in the direction of the arrow at the end of the turn. If you fall off the map, your canoe is reset to the beginning of the waterfall section, but not the beginning of the game.

Length: About an hour with six people.

Review: I think that the game is OK. It is a trick taking game with only one change. The canoe movement can be frustrating because if the player directly in front of you is not moving very far, you could potentially lose many movement points because the must be forfeited because they block your path. The movement around the board seems to take away from the other part of the game. Additionally, the waterfall area can extend the game unnecessarily especially if the players are out to "get" the player in the lead by playing cards in a manner to make them miss their bid. If I wanted to play a game like this, I would reach for Wizard long before I reached for this one.
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