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Store:  Party Games, Strategy Games
Edition:  Barbarossa


English language edition

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Product Awards:  
Spiel des Jahres
Game of the Year, 1988

Ages Play Time Players
12+ 75 minutes 3-6

Designer(s): Klaus Teuber

Manufacturer(s): Rio Grande Games, Kosmos

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Product Description

Barbarossa is a wonderful family game--it is already a classic! Together you solve riddles, laugh and cheer! Let yourself get caught up in the atmosphere of this great riddle game!

Each player thinks of objects and models them as three-dimensional riddles from modeling clay. Then you must try to solve the riddles sculpted by your opponents!

It is important that your riddles be neither too difficult nor too easy to solve. Riddles that are too difficult may never be solved, losing their creator valuable points. But when riddles are too easy, they are solved quickly losing their creators points.

Barbarossa is the first game from Klaus Teuber. It won the important German game award Spiel des Jahres and launched his career as a game designer.

Product Awards

Spiel des Jahres
Game of the Year, 1988

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Klaus Teuber

  • Manufacturer(s): Rio Grande Games, Kosmos

  • Year: 2001

  • Players: 3 - 6

  • Time: 75 minutes

  • Ages: 12 and up

  • Weight: 1,012 grams

  • Language Requirements: This is an international edition or domestic edition of an imported item. Game components are language-independent. Manufacturer's rules are printed in English.

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.3 in 6 reviews

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Highly original and fun party game
January 05, 2002

Just played this great game last night and when I found out it only had two reviews here, I felt compelled to write another one...

The mechanics are unusual but simple - players try to sculpt everyday objects that the other players have to guess. The skill is to make the objects not too easy or too hard to guess - you maximize the points you score if your object is guessed roughly halfway through the game. The look and feel of the game is great.Those of you that thought the 'Sculptionary' sub-game was the best thing about Cranium will love this!

I suspect that the final game outcome is a little random, but that's not really the point of the game. You'll have so much fun trying to guess what on earth everyone else's strange deformed lumps of playdough are supposed to be, that winning is definitely secondary!

Playdough fun!
June 22, 2000

This is a great party game. It's for 3-6 players and the theme is crazy! Players take their color of playdough and make something out of it. The identity of this 'blob' is secret. The game is played on a circular board, with several types of spaces, some that give you jewels (help you move) some let you guess a letter of someone's blob, some that give points and some that let you try and guess the identity of someone's blob. The drawings on the game are great, the play takes about 1-1.5 hour but passes quickly since everyone is involved. If you want a strange party game, and as long as you're not allergic to playdough I highly recommend this game!

Great mix of social and strategy!
January 10, 2005
What a great game! You get to play with clay just like when you were a kid, and you don't have to be embarrassed about being a bad artist since you don't want people to figure out your object first. My only complaint is that there are several weird mechanics like every scoring peice moving when a ghost gets landed on and things going backwards and several special cubes. My favorite part was playing with the clay and trying to figure out the weird creations of my Mom!
Not too hot, not too cold, juuuust right.
November 28, 2002

This game is sort of a clay-sculpting game. That would normally scare a lot of people away. Bring this to the table and your Aunt Suzie is probably going to say 'Oh, I am no good at those kind of games! I can't make clay look like anything!'

Bear with me here: At the beginning, players pick two objects from a list and make clay models of both. All models are placed in the centre of the board, and players then move around the board allowing certain actions, like asking for letters in the answer, asking yes/no questions, and making guesses. Players get points for being one of the first two people to solve a clay 'riddle', and points for having people guess your riddle -- sort of.

What makes it the PERFECT game for people like Aunt Suzie is the scoring. Why? Because this is a 'Goldilocks & the 3 Bears' kind of sculpting game. People who aren't very good are probably going to do quite well! You see, you don't want to make your 'models' too bad, OR TOO GOOD, because players lose points for riddles that are guessed too early or too late. The way to get lots of points is to create models that just bear a slight resemblance to the object. People will end up in stitches trying to figure out what on earth that half-spherical orange blob with a line on it is. (Clock? Grapefruit? Compass?) It's funny to watch one or two people get an answer right away while the others are dumbfounded.

This game is unique and fun, with great graphics, some fun deduction, and 6 colors of model clay inside. Much fun, and the deduction adds a bit of brain to the game.

by Wendy
Lots of laughs!
March 19, 2002

Played this for the first time a few weeks ago...

Players make 'riddles' (actually, just one word objects) out of clay, that each opponent must correctly guess by moving around the board asking questions outloud to the artist or obtaining the first letter of the word.

This game has a great scoring mechanism, as it discourages players from making their riddles too easy (you lose points) and also too hard, which also penalizes you. Naturally, the more riddles you unveil, the more points you will score. Each riddle is only allowed to have two players correctly guess it, and then it gets two black spears stuck through it. Very amusing. The most fun is in guessing and discovering the clay objects.

Highly entertaining...

It's definitely a 'must have' for my collection.

Try this one for something different
April 13, 2001

I can't believe this is from the same guy who gave us Settlers of Catan! While most German games these days seem to emphasize strategic thinking, Barbarossa makes you excercise the other half of your brain. Players begin by sculpting objects from clay for their opponents to guess the identity of during the course of the game. The tricky part is that the game mechanics reward players whose objects are neither too easy nor too too hard to guess. Although I wouldn't recommend this game to hardcore strategists, it's a lot of fun for families, casual gamers, or even for serious gamers who want to play something 'different'.

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