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Subject: The Witching Hour Is Here! rss

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Marvin the Mudswain
United States
Idaho
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Das Kleine Gespenst, 'The Little Ghost', is as much a toy as a game, which is a plus when you consider it is intended for pre-reading aged children. The group --all from the under-five set-- that I introduced to it definately enjoyed the toy aspect of play, by which I mean making the Little Ghost to hover over one of the doors and open it with his Magisches Schlusselband. I happened to say Magisches Schlusselband when I was describing the game to someone and one of the under-fivers corrected me, saying 'No, it's a Magic Keychain!' She has told me before that she doesn't like me to speak German, though I am surpried that she learned the words in one session of the game. Kids have that knack, I supose.

The game plays like this: There is a clock dial with a wheel of 13 pictures underneath it, one of which can be revealed in the window at the 12 o'clock hour by roatating the assemblage with a red plastic stick, which will proabably be lost by the second play. Surrounding the clock face, in the bottom of the box, in fact (the lid of the box is also part of the game), are 13 doors, all but one having under them a picture matching one of those on the clock wheel. The players do the memory matching thing, each correct guess or choice earning them another turn and the opportunity to discard one of the cannonballs in front of them. Each player gets 8 marbles to start and the object is to get rid of them.

If a player guesses correctly 12 times, they win.

When the player guesses wrong, they have the chance to use the inside of the box top wherein is depicted an attic room full of suits of armor and chests where The Little Ghost rolls his cannonballs about in the night. There are several circles cut out from the picture, just large enough to catch one of the player's marbles. The players puts all their remaining marbles in the Rittersaal (as it is called) and attemps to get them all into a hole while the other players count backwards from 10.

The Rittersaal portion can be frustrating for impatient little ones (and adults as well) and my first group preferred to leave it out all together or few it as a seperate use for the toy.

This is a very attractive game and implementation of the memory card-flipping mechanic in the magnetic keyholes on the doors is fun. The Rittersaal is pretty painless, as it lasts only 10 seconds or so and it is a dexterity challenge.

Ultimately, since it's not availible in English (yet), I will have to say it's probably not worth ordering from overseas if you live in the US, but I think it would be a good addition to a kids' game collection for those in Germany and nearby.

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Mikko Saari
Finland
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http://www.lautapeliopas.fi/ - the best Finnish board game resource!
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Mudswain wrote:
The players puts all their remaining marbles in the Rittersaal (as it is called) and attemps to get them all into a hole while the other players count backwards from 10.


Actually, it's not the remaining marbles, but as many marbles as you found correct pictures. So, in order to get rid of marbles you need to find the right pictures and then succeed in the Rittersaal.
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