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Store:  Family Games
Theme:  African
Format:  Board Games


English language edition

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Product Awards:  
Games Magazine Awards
Best Family Game, 2002

Ages Play Time Players
10+ 50-60 minutes 2-5

Designer(s): Reiner Knizia

Publisher(s): Rio Grande Games, Goldsieber

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Product Description

Daring explorers travel deeper and deeper into darkest Africa searching to discover isolated tribes and interesting animals. Of course, they also hope for rich trade goods, gold and gems. At each turn, the explorers must decide whether to go deeper into the unknown or to search known areas more carefully. The right combination of lust for adventure and tactical play will bring an explorer victory in Africa!

Product Awards

Games Magazine Awards
Best Family Game, 2002

Product Information


  • 10 explorers
  • 20 base camps
  • 96 exploring tokens
  • 5 summary cards
  • 5 scoring tokens
  • 1 bonus token
  • 1 overview sheet
  • 1 rule booklet

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.5 in 13 reviews

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A Brilliant Design
July 07, 2004

Africa is a game that was not recieved by gamers as it should have. They were expecting a game like T&E, RA, Taj Mahal etc... and of course they were dissapointed because Africa is a different game. Its a lighter game for gamers and non gamers to enjoy.

Africa has luck, maybe even more then your regular game but it goes along with the theme (as few german games do)since the game is about exploration. Luck is one of the ingredients that makes this game thematically work, fun and different each time it is played.

As you explore and go deeper into the African continent the more points youll usually score. Those point could represent unknow animal to the europeans, tribes, gold, diamonds, trade goods, monuments etc...

The theme is excellent. An example would be early in the game it would be difficult to discover a 2+ point tribe but as you go deeper into africa it will be easier discovering a tribe that will give you 3,4 even 5 or 6 points. IMO a 5 point tribe could be thematically a very large tribe, a 6 point tribe could be a kingdom etc...

Even though the game is for 2 to 5 players I would suggest playing with 3 or more players.

If you are looking for a nice family game with a brilliant design thats fun to play then take a look at Africa by Mr. Knizia. Its one of the most underrated games ever.

Too little depth and too much luck
August 02, 2003

Compared to for instance Tikal, this game doesn't come close. I guess my expectations were too high; Reiner Knizia, Goldsieber and a lot of positive information floating around.

There's no real strategy to figure out, and the core of the game is luck-driven. Exploit the possibilities each tile gives you.

Although I recognize this as a light family-strategy-game, it fails to trigger the adults.

Light, fun game that is trickier than it first seems
November 11, 2002

I am very glad that I played Africa more than once.

After the first game, I was utterly unimpressed, and bewildered that my friends had recommended it so highly. It seemed utterly random who would end up with the most points (a feeling not helped by finishing in dead last, I must admit). But it was amusing, and quick, and so I was talked into playing again. The second game, I realized that there is indeed some strategy lurking under the surface of this game, and enjoyed it far more.

The main trick, I think, is to remember that points can be scored with revealed pieces as well as hidden ones. So for each move, you can weigh the best possible gain with revealed pieces, with the potential best gain of hidden pieces. And since your reference card tells you how many of each thing exists in total, it helps you play the odds. What can often make the difference in a game is which player is most alert to finding good scoring with the face-up tokens (such as a healthy gold and/or diamond haul), while being aware of the likelihood of finding something even more valuable, and whether that value is high enough to justify the odds.

Choosing your exploration path is not without cause for planning either. You may not always control where empty spots appear, but you can determine where it would be most advantageous for those spaces to be, and go look for them there. And as the game progresses, the players will begin to divide into those who want the game to end sooner (i.e those in the lead who will then search frantically for monuments) and those who want to prolong it (those that are behind, and want to squeeze every last point out of the revealed tokens). So far I have not seen anyone use the 'teleportation' option, but I can imagine scenarios where it could be useful.

I'm not trying to say that Africa is some horrendously intricate, brain-bursting labyrinth of a game, because it isn't. It's primarily an amusing, fast-moving, and quick-finishing game to be played amicably and without stress amongst family and friends that could be described as 'casual gamers'. It is a fine example of this type.

As my friend says, 'The best strategy in Africa, is to remember that it's not without any strategy.'

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