Hol's der Geier
1996 German edition
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Average Rating: 5 in 1 review
I purchased this game several years ago in a differenly named and themed edition called Raj. I was sad when it went out of print, until I learned that this was the exact same game under a different title.
The game is simplicity itself. Each player has an identical set of cards, numbered 1 to 15. There is a set of scoring cards (tiles in Raj) as well, which range in value from a high of 10 down to the horrible -5.
Each turn a score card is turned up, and players make a single card bid for it. In the case of positive numbers, the card is taken by the highest unmatched card. In the case of negative numbers, it is taken by the lowest unmatched card. After all score cards have been taken, the highest score wins.
So, sounds boring, right? It isn't. The whole unmatched mechanic is the key to the game. As an example. If four players all secretly bid their 15 card to win the 10 score card, and one player uses her 1 card, the 1 card player will take that valuable 10 score. This is a game of subtle bluffing and out-guessing your opponent. This is a game with almost as much subtlety and derring-do as a good game of poker.
Highly recommended for those wanting a quick, simple, and classic game.