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Spice Navigator is a strategy game requiring participants to master negotiation skills, confront pirates, brave the elements or diseases, manage fortunes and recognize spice fragrances in order to return to one's country of departure with a full cargo.
Each navigator, as an East Indies Company representative, must return to his or her country of origin with a ship loaded with spices collected from all corners of the Far East.
Players: 2 - 5
Time: 40 - 90 minutes
Ages: 8 and up
Weight: 1,250 grams
- 18 scent tins containing aromas of spices
- 1 game board
- 5 Merchant Ship pawns & 2 Pirate Ship pawns
- 5 ships that need to be filled with edibles and spice bags
1 bank with 290 pounds
- 1 die
- 9 markers
- 110 cards
- 1 fabric bag
- 3 sets of rules with historical and botanical information (There are three sets of rules depending on the players' age group: 8 to 10, 10 to 13, and adult.)
Average Rating: 3.5 in 2 reviews
Played this game with children when they were 9 or 10 and again after they came home from college. Still lots of fun.
This is a very creative game that involves your olfactory prowess of identifying spices by smell. Trust the French to come out with something like this. If your repertoire of seasonings is salt, pepper and Mrs. Dash, this will be either an epiphany or totally pointless. You must be able to correctly identify, by smell, a certain spice to win a lower buying price as a spice merchant. Using the rather undistiguished little cardboard (bored) ships, you sail about, visiting different exotic lands, trying to fill up your cargo hold with spice bags while trying not to run out of provisions. You have a neat ship board that shows a cut-away view of your schooner (or whatever it is, I'm no sailor) showing provisions, which you spend in order to move across the seas, and your hold, which you fill with the little spice bags. The game moves fairly quickly, and of course the highlight is the spice pots. Small plastic canisters contain surprisingly strong scents of about 18(?) different spices, ranging from Vanilla to Cumin, Cinammon to Cardamon, Cloves to Ginger. Sound easy? Good luck. Some are very hard to differentiate, one I never even heard of, and I use spices in my cooking rather enthusiastically! This game is good as far as it goes, with replay value dubious and the game itself not too riveting. The interaction is good, and the spice-smelling is fun, as everyone waits for someone to guess. The list price is quite steep, and the components are good, but not great. If you're looking for something novel, have money to burn, or have some snooty chef wanna-bees who need to be put in their place, this is a must-have. Otherwise, it's a good, not great game that would work well with older kids and families. It has a unique mechanism mixed in with some fairly standard stuff. I give it a 6 out of 10.
The moment you open the box, a wonderful fragrance arises from 18 scent-pots to permeate your nostrils. Travel by ship with your initial supplies from a starting point in Europe to exotic ports of call. Move one space per turn for nothing, or pay dramatically increasing costs to move up to six spaces at a time. You win by buying three sacks of spice from each of four different regions and bringing them home. Spices may be resold at ports in exchange for new supplies or money. Event cards randomly affect your fortune, and pirate ships will aim to steal your money and provisions. On your turn, you may play a card to adjust the prices of spices in the regions. Can you identify the aroma of a scent-pot chosen at random from a bag? Then you're a spice expert and can buy at a cheaper rate! This is definitely our best-smelling game of the year.