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Around the World in 80 Days

Game rating 5
Playing time 1 hour approx

While on holiday, staying with family near Cork, Ireland, I picked up this little game for 2 Euro. It was missing the rules, but I was able to print them from good old BGG. I didn’t think our hosts would be into boardgames so hadn’t packed any – also my packing was done in less than 10 minutes around 6.30 in the morning, after walking my dog, so I was lucky to remember to bring anything at all, but they suggested trying the game after I got it.

Anyway onto the game:-

This is a race game based on the book. Players compete to be the first round the world. Movement is carried out by playing cards with most movement cards having a number (1-5) and signify a form of transport, elephant, ship, train and cart. The board is divided into spaces which illustrate your journey round the world. A marker on the movement chart signifies which form of transport that can be used. This is where the game mechanics get a bit disconnected from the theme as the form of transport available is in no way connected to your location (you can use an elephant to complete your journey into London, much to the delight of the crowds I’m sure) and each of the different forms of transport have the same movement range. On your turn you can move or pick up 1 or 2 cards. To spice the game up there are a number of special cards, which can be played at any stage during your turn, and special locations.

Special cards
· Change form of transport (can be used to gain an extra move)
· Handcuffs (force the person going next to move back 3 spaces)
· Money (can either move yourself forward up to 3 spaces or cancel the effect of handcuffs)

As you have probably guessed with a decent hand of cards you can get a fair distance round the board (and if you don’t like games with a high degree of luck dependency you will have stopped reading).

Special Locations
· Change form of transport (can be used to gain an extra move)
· Handcuffs (force you to move back 3 spaces)
· Take another turn
· Telescope (for fans of Monopoly this means draw a chance card which can have a positive or negative effect on you or others)

If you had managed to guess the effect a decent hand of cards can have you will no doubt have also guessed that combining the right cards with the right spaces could see you come from nowhere to be in a significant lead.

There are 60 spaces in all, about a third of which are positive special locations, so potentially it wouldn’t take too many turns to cover most of the distance (if lady luck is smiling on you).

I have now played this twice and won both times. So forget everything I said about luck and take my word for it that only superb and subtle strategies combined with excellent card management can win the game.

I would rate this game a 5 (see my game rating system below) and it has justified my 2 Euro investment.

As all other players were non gamers I think this game suited the moment. I will bring it to my regular games group at least once and it may see the light of day again as a filler. I would also play again if we have younger guests or if other non gamers visit, but would suggest moving onto Ticket to Ride or Carcassone after a couple of games.


My Game Rating System

10 The Holy Grail of games (still waiting to give a game this score)
8-9 Very good game.
6-7 Good game. Would happily play whenever it’s brought to the table.
4-5 Reasonable game. Would play and enjoy occasionally if it is brought to the table or suitable to play with certain opponents.
2-3 Poor game, but has one or two good points, such as good quality components which can be salvaged for other games (making it worth a couple of quid from a charity shop, but not much more) or I get the feeling there’s a reasonable game hidden in there somewhere if only I could be bothered to look.
1 Somebody’s had a laugh at my expense. I can’t think of anything good to say about this one (only one game has achieved this, if achieved is the right word, but it’s also the only game I have ever thrown in the bin and I can’t remember it’s name. I had received it amongst a bundle of games from ebay. It was a Power Rangers type game)



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Michele Esmanech
Italy
Milano
Milano
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Dystopian:the manhunt: a worker placement game of investigation, murder and mystery, set in the futuristic megapolis of DYSTOPIA
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I just remembered playing this game when I was 8 years old, over a friend's house... I used to LOVE this game.

cheers
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Emiel Ament
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Nice review! Sounds like the game is pretty simple. laugh

I gotta go and see if mine is still complete.
 
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