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Indochine-2000 is the first game of the many invented and marketed by Joli Quentin Kansil that is solely for one player. The game is based on the popular solitaire card game, Klondike, but it incorporates many fresh innovations.
Deluxe wooden tiles instead of cards are used, and there are 81 of them: 6 suits of 13 tiles each, plus 3 jokers. The two additional suits are Wheels and Anchors and both are green. There is a lot more action and decision-making in the play of Indochine-2000 than in other solitaire games. Moreover, there is a scoring table so that the player can attempt to reach the maximum points in one game, which is 2000.
All Indochine-2000 games have been manufactured in Thailand by Thai Wooden Games, a company that makes many games and puzzles, including Mah Jongg sets distributed world-wide. The rules are in color, as is the strategy section written by Tom Braunlich, games expert and author.
Indochine-2000 is easy to play! If you play standard Solitaire, you will have no difficulty. This game is destined to be a classic, like many of the other popular games of Joli Quentin Kansil -- notably Bridgette, Zig-Zag, Marrakesh, Krakatoa, Itinerary, Quinx, and Knock-on-Word.
The game's tiles are of extremely high quality, made in Thailand from rubber tree wood and hand-painted there. The handsome box is made from lush raintree wood and is felt-lined. Each tile is the size of a Mah Jongg tile and has the same half-inch thickness! The box, and tiles inside, are so beautiful that the set is a fabulous addition to any coffee table - and a great conversation piece! Each Indochine-2000 game is really solid, with a weight of over two pounds. Also included in each set are rules, strategy and scorecard in color, plus score sheets.
Average Rating: 5 in 5 reviews
Yes, the price tag is steep, but this solitaire game is so beautifully made and the tweaks so inventive and fun that it's worth the extra dollars. The game includes three colors instead of red, and jokers add a whole other level to the strategy. As for the construction, it's elegantly designed with all wood pieces and wood tiles, and looks like something that will last forever. This is definitely worth checking out.
Solitaire is usually dull and not worth the time. Indochine is something else altogether. It is a strategic challenge and is addictive as well. The designer of Marrakesh and Bridgette has once again produced a classic game. The components are of heirloom quality.
The play presents constant decision-making options. The scoring system is actually a built-in strategic element of the game. It is simply the kind of game you want to play again and again, and you do unless someone else in the family gets to the game before you. It is worth the money and worth the time--a great game in a great package.
Don't let the price tag drive you to a German game with counters. This solitaire game tempts you to keep the Aces on the table and to still be in a position to win before the stock runs out. Constant, nailbiting decisions are a must. It's well produced and has very smooth gameplay. You'll be fighting the early morning hours trying for the elusive 2000 score.
I can see why this game is so highly acclaimed. It's very addictive with a really nice scoring twist and is quite challenging for any level player. My wife and I both really enjoy it a lot.
What's truly an extra big bonus is the beauty of this game. With its beautiful wooden box and real elegant wooden pieces, it feels like something designed in the 1600s for a king. The gameplay itself has class and the game box and pieces themselves have a lot of visual style. It's not plastic but beautiful wood.
Though based on some of the mechanics of the no-brainer solitaires that Americans are used to, this game is well designed and thought out. It adds more suits and the option of saving a buried tile with a joker. Thinking and strategy play a part, yet not so much that you can't savor the flavor of that scotch you have wanted to try.
The wooden blocks are well produced and are a pleasure to look at as well as play. Like many of the old Xanadu Leisure games, this game has color and depth and a feeling of antiquity. Indochine-2000 ranks along with Bridgette, Marrakesh, and Zig-Zag--games which are fun as well as a good test of wits. Like Krakatoa, they introduce new concepts into gaming. Joni Kansil's products are for gamers with a taste for something a bit different. I've never, in over 20 years of playing, ever missed a chance to purchase a new product, and have never stopping playing them.
J. Q. K., our Ace of games, and erstwhile columnist for this magazine, has given us a handsomely produced solitaire game that can best be described as a form of Klondike on steroids. It uses tiles instead of cards: two new green suits (wheels and anchors) are added to the customary four. Exchanging a joker for whatever tile it's representing earns you the ability to retrieve a buried tile from the discards. You were once in a hurry to play aces to the foundations, but keeping them in the tableau (layout) enables you to move queens (and sometimes jacks) as well as kings to empty columns. This elegant wooden set is the ideal gift for your favorite solitaire addict.
When I read Ben's list of 5 best games of 2001, I was intrigued. I normally keep my gaming ear pretty close to the ground, but this was one that I had missed and by the sound of the description, it was good! Soon after my curiosity was overcome and I played my first game. Indochine 2000 is another of Prince Joli Kansil's games based on a well-known game. This time it is Klondike, the most common form of patience. You know the one: you have a set of 0 to 6 cards in 7 columns face down. Another card is turned face-up on top of each column and you play red five on back six. Aces are promoted to above the game area, where they form the basis of a suit that can be built on with consecutive numbers. So on top of the ace of hearts is the two, then three of hearts all the way up to King. The cards not used in the set-up are taken out in threes, with the visible card able to be placed on promoted areas or columns. You are trying to get all the cards into the promoted positions, forming foundations of Ace to King in each suit. Indochine 2000 uses Klondike as its basic premise, but the first obvious difference is that the game cards are wooden tiles, about the same size as those in Mah Jong. I don't know about you, but I like the sensation of riffling through a deck of cards. However, shuffling these wooden tiles is a pretty close second. And wood looks good of course, so the aesthetics are pleasing to the eye and the hand. The tiles in this game are also unusual because there are 6 suits, rather than four, and three colours, green joining the familiar red and black. The new suits are anchors and wheels. Overall, the tiles are well produced and arrive in a wooden box, with a cushioned velvet lining on the base. I only emphasise this because when you are investing in a game of this quality, you want to make sure you get what you expect. And in Indochine 2000 you do.
Having a well-produced game with a high heft factor is very pleasant, but if the game was no good, it would be nothing more than a wooden box on your shelves to show people when they come round to view your collection. This game, though, is good and so you will be happy with your purchase. As I mentioned, the game is clearly based on Klondike. So what are the differences? Well, after the tiles, the next significant change is the set-up. There is a wooden rail that displays all the suits in ranking order - anchors, clubs, diamonds, hearts, spades and wheels - and the three jokers -- red, black and green. The tiles are placed above the rail, with increasing numbers as you move across from left to right. Above the clubs there is one tile, the diamonds two and so on until there are 8 tiles above the green joker space. The tiles are all played face down. Below the rail there is one tile face-up for all nine columns. This completes the tableau.
These visible tiles are the ones that you move by playing the tile onto another column, below an existing tile, so that the tile they touch is a higher rank and different in colour. For example, a red five can be moved onto a green six. A block of red five, green 4 and black 3 may also be moved as a unit onto a green six. When a column is empty, the top most block in the column that is emptied is turned over and placed in the vacant space. This presents more options for play to continue. When there are no more tiles to reveal, a king (and any other tiles with it) can be moved to head this vacant column, as in Klondike.
An ace can be promoted as in Klondike to form the basis for a sequence of ace to king. Unlike Klondike, these are always arranged in the same sequence as the rail, so that scoring is easier. Aces may be retained in a layout for tactical reasons. When there is one ace in a layout and a vacant column occurs, a Queen may also be moved instead of a King. This obviously allows more options and is a balance against promoting an ace early. This principle is extended further so that Jacks can get promoted if there are two or more aces in the layout. Overall, it is best to keep at least one ace in the main area to allow more flexibility of movement of the tiles.
The remainder of the tiles not used in the opening set-up is held in a stock, which is formed into a block of 3 by 4 by 3 deep. When moves are not possible, or chosen, a tile from this block is turned face-up and acts like the cards left over in Klondike. This is called the Talon. Unlike the card game, the tiles are placed in a row. The right-most is the one that was drawn last and is the only one that can normally be played. When the block is exhausted and there are no more moves, the game ends.
Tiles from the Talon can be freed through the action of the jokers. When these are turned up, you can play them as any tile of that colour, without specifying which specific tile they are. So the green joker could act as a green seven, either the green anchor or green wheel. The only tiles that the joker cannot represent are tiles in the existing layout (the visible ones) or the tile that is at the front of the Talon (the one that is playable) or one that is played on an existing foundation (the aces to kings). When a tile is turned up that represents the joker, the joker must be exchanged. The joker is then promoted (to the area where the aces to kings are placed) and as a bonus, a tile that is in the Talon may be moved to the front of the Talon, where it can be played. This device allows the discarded tiles to become available and open up more plays. Jokers can be promoted directly only if all the six aces are also already promoted. This can happen late in a game when a joker is not much use in substituting for a specific tile.
The other main difference between the card game and Indochine 2000, is that the tiles are used to score. In the card game you either succeed or fail and although there are scoring mechanisms that can be applied, they are not usually used. When the game ends and all possible plays have been made, the wooden rail is used to value the tiles promoted. The left most suit tiles score 10 points, with the most valuable one, wheels, scoring 40 points per tile promoted (in the ace to king foundation). Each Joker scores 5 points and a further five point bonus is earned for a wooden logo marker being used. This is allowed when a player has a sequence of King to Ace in a column in a layout. I've found that this is pretty easy to achieve and I suspect was a mechanism that was created at the last minute to enable the best score to be 2000 points. If you do not get all the tiles promoted and jokers and logo scored, you deduct 5 points for each tile that is still face down in the opening layout. These are the tiles that were placed above the rail.
The well-written rules (with clear examples of play) suggest that a score of 500 points is considered a single victory with 1000 and 2000 representing Double and Triple Victories. My experience after about 30 games is that a single victory is not hard to get, but I have only got a Triple victory once.
The game is designed to be like 'normal' solitaire, so it is bound to be easy to pick up the rules and feel familiar. My bias is toward card games, so this makes Indochine 2000 doubly easy for me to appreciate and like. I see that there are many decisions to make and the choice of tile to use when jokers are available rarely straightforward. It is great to play on a table and quite compulsive. The rules are well described, and I enjoy the formal aspect of the starting set-up. Anyone who has played Mah Jong or watched it played, will appreciate the ritual of the set-up and Indochine 2000 has a similar feel. I also like little touches in a game that make it clear that someone cared when they designed or published a game. For me, in this game, it is the selection of suits. The green colour is distinct from the other two colours and the naming of the suits and placement in alphabetical order just make a difference between producing the game and doing it right.
Having re-read Ben's comments in Counter 16, I can see why it made his top 5 for 2000. It is really enjoyable to play, does not last long and the quality of the components ensure that you will play the game just one more time. There haven't been many games in the last few years that have made me say that. Highly recommended for card addicts everywhere.