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Ages Play Time Players
8+ 30 minutes 3-5

Designer(s): Reiner Knizia

Manufacturer(s): ASS

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Product Description

He who always wins, loses.

Is this familiar? One moment everything is in perfect harmony; then a crazy bird comes out of the blue and you're in danger of losing your balance. In real life, as in this game, you need nerves of steel to keep going along the tightrope.

In this game, the winner of each trick gets points, as does the loser. This can be good or bad: if you always win or always lose, you'll get out of balance. Keeping your balance is what this game is all about.

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Reiner Knizia

  • Manufacturer(s): ASS

  • Artist(s): Thorsten Schafer

  • Year: 1999

  • Players: 3 - 5

  • Time: 30 minutes

  • Ages: 8 and up

  • Weight: 170 grams

  • Language Requirements: Game components are language-independent. An English translation of the rules is provided.


  • 50 number cards
  • 11 scoring cards
  • 50 balance sticks

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.5 in 6 reviews

Excellent game but you have to like math!
April 16, 2003

This game is excellent! Simple one of the best games that I have and its a great choice to play with friend that doesnt like 'heavy' boardgames. There is luck, but the the strategy is much more important. Those who think this game have much luck arent playing it right. The first rounds are the most important. If you play anything you will need luck in the next rounds. But if you try to maximize your chances playing high or lower cards in the first rounds, youre goind to heve better options latter. The problems is that most of players dont think this way, so they give up on any chance of winning in the first round. Theres more strategy on it than you can think!

Light Fare
May 06, 2001

This game is a great filler. You know, not ready to call it quits? Too late for another round of Catan? I really had a great time with it. My friends, on the other hand, were clamoring for another game of hearts... not for everyone, but a keeper in my closet :)

Classic Knizia!
April 16, 2000

Drahtseilakt is a quick bidding type game with the classic Knizia emphasis on mathematical calculation. However, unlike Ra and It's Mine, the mechanism behind this game is much simpler and, I think, more sophisticated.

The basic idea is that you are walking on a tightrope: success is measured by the extent to which you remain balanced. Each player is dealt nine cards with numbers ranging from 1 to 50. Nine rounds or tricks will be played. Whoever wins a trick (by bidding the highest card) takes a specific number of blue rods. Whoever loses the same trick (by bidding the lowest card) takes that same number of red rods. Each round the number of rods to be won and lost changes. Now, blue and red, like winning and losing, balance each other out. For example, if you just won 8 blues, you want to try to lose a later trick or tricks to balance those out with reds. The goal is, at the end of nine rounds, to have the lowest difference between blue and red. The ultimate goal would be to never win or lose a trick, and sometimes this is possible. But the beauty of the game is that you can often balance out an off-balance hand by bidding for a big win or loss.

The instructions suggest that a few games be played and the scores from each summed. If you have zero game you can even erase your worst previous game! This helps balance out the luck element, which is large, but also makes Drahtseilakt lots of fun. Also, for those familiar with German games the quality of the pieces will not disappoint: the graphics on the cards are cute and the blue and red balancing rods look just like the streets from The Settlers of Catan!

Add this clever Knizia game to your collection!

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