Hump Day


“Camel Up”

designed by Steffen Bogen, published by Z-Man Games

Can a game about racing cartoon animals around a pyramid and then betting on what is basically a randomly determined result really be a Spiel des Jahres winner? As it turns out, yes. On your turn take one of several options: bet on the winner of a leg, try to sneakily influence the movement of the camels by placing a desert tile in their path, bet on the OVERALL winner or loser of the race, or move a camel randomly by pulling a die out of the pyramid. The camel matching the color of the die that appears from the pyramid will move that many spaces around the track. But, if a camel ends his turn on another camel, he will create a stack of camels, and the whole stack moves together, creating an insane image of a pile of camels moving around a track. After all five camels have moved, winnings are collected by according to the betting tiles, and the next leg begins!

Great movement mechanic that keeps the game tense and picking up betting tiles really amps up the excitement in a sort of chunky, fun way. But it really is about playing the odds and understanding how the camels will move.

One Line Verdict: If you hate randomness, avoid this game like the plague. All other will have some light, gateway fun cheering, and guessing, and betting.

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