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Ages Play Time Players
12+ 60 minutes 3-4

Designer(s): Uwe Rosenberg

Publisher(s): Kosmos

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Average Rating: 1 in 1 review

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Another how-to-hold-your-hand game
July 04, 2001

This game is considered by many to be clever. You are playing four separate hands of cards at one time (one hand associated with each of 4 islands on the table). When the activity moves from one island to another, you must put down one island's hand of cards and pick up the other. That's fair enough, though tedious enough to kill the game right there.

The bigger problem is that this game, like [page scan/se=0027/sf=category/fi=stockall.asc/ml=20]Bohnanza requires you to worry about the sequence of cards in each hand. You can't just pick up all the cards and then start sorting them out, as is the case in virtually all other card games. Nope, in this game, you must leave the cards behind (when leaving an island) in such a way that the cards on top can be drawn (via playing of other cards) into the current hand (off at another island) from the top. However, you also have to worry about the next time you return to an island. Upon returning, you must use only the bottom four cards (cards above that are discarded).

Thus, due to these artifical mechanics, it's very likely that a person will, at some point, violate the rigid rules of hand management. This happens often in Bohnanza when a novice starts to sort cards in their usual manner before realizing their faux pas. Well, the same is true here, as a player picks up a pile of their cards, starts sorting them out, and another player says,'wait, you can only use the bottom four cards.'

I guess this can be considered clever to some, but it's just tedious to me (and I didn't even breach the rules). I say pass on this game.

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