The Bucket King
English language edition of Alles im Eimer
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It's bucket-cleaning day on the farm and the children and animals are making a game of it. The children build pyramids with the clean buckets and the animals rush from pyramid to pyramid, trying to knock the buckets down. In the end, the player who has the strongest pyramid and best uses the animals to knock down others' buckets will win the game and be crowned bucket king!
Players: 3 - 6
Time: 20 - 40 minutes
Ages: 8 and up
Weight: 716 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.
- 95 buckets in 5 colors (plus one spare)
- 110 cards in 5 colors
- 1 rule booklet
Average Rating: 3.6 in 5 reviews
This game is great fun and perfect for those times when you can't decide what to play. Plays well with all types of gamers old and young.
It's kind of unpredictable and you never really know who'll win until the very end. I've held my buckets the longest and then lost them all in 2 or 3 rounds!!...
Most enjoyable, pick it up.
Every once in a while, a game comes along that I really want to dislike, but somehow becomes a favorite (Medici comes to mind too.) Well, this game has a lot working against it for me: the English-language title is kind of weak, I really don't like the box art, I don't like the card art -- but I really like this game.
Randall Peek descibes the game well enough, so I will just try and communicate what I like about it: it is simple and fun. Each player starts off with 3 buckets in each color and makes a 'pyramid' out of them. Then a player plays a set of cards in a color. On your turn, all you do is raise the previous bid. If you can't, you lose a bucket in that color and any buckets that were on top of the bucket are lost too. If you can raise the bid, then the next player has to try and beat it. Around and around we go. The fun is in trying to hose other players' bucket-piles, and trying to decide when to take a hit yourself, or up the bid.
The game is so simple a 5 year old could play (I am quite serious), but hardened gamers even seem to really like this one too. It is simple, and you don't have a lot of control, but there seems to be some strategy in building your bucket-pile at the beginning, and their seems to be an illusion of control that somehow satisfies even if there does seem to be a lot of chaos.
This is one of the better non-gamer games I have ever player because of theme, the shorter playing time, the simplicity of rules, and the fun decisions each turn. It doesn't really 'wow' you, but it never seems to get boring. This could be a runaway hit...but just don't call it the Bucket King! It's the bucket game!
Alles im Eimer is better known amoung English-speaking gamers as The Bucket Game. It is a fairly lightweight card game with a couple interesting mechanics to its play, and it plays quickly. This is just enough to elevate this game to classic filler status. It is fun, fast, silly fun.
Each player is dealt 12 cards from a thick deck of 110 cards in 5 suits. Card values range from 1 to 8. After evaluating their hands, players each build a pyramid of fifteen bucket counters, 3 of each of the five colors. Well-represented colors usually wind up at the base of the pyramid, while those that have few or no cards tend to wind up higher in the pyramid. Why? More on that in a moment...
The first player lays down 1 to 3 cards of one suit, attacking the pyramid of the player to her left, then draws a card. The next player can defend by playing 1 to 3 cards of that suit with a higher total, which moves the attack on to the next player, and so on. The attack goes around and around until a player can not or does not choose to defend against it. A bucket of that color is removed from that player's pyramid, as well as any higher buckets supported by it. This player then starts the next attack, and then draws a card.
Play continues in this fashion until one or two pyramids have been completely dismantled, in which case the winner is the player with the most buckets remaining. There is not a lot of depth or strategy here, but it is a fun game with a real feeling of one-upsmanship. It is great fun to see a seemingly impregnable pyramid suddenly fall when one of the lowest buckets is removed, taking its higher neighbors along for the ride. Fun as long as it isn't your pyramid, that is!
The game is more fun with more players, but is still playable by as few as two. This is a wonderful family game, and should appeal to hardcore gamers as a good opener or closer for the evening. Recommended.
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Arrange your 15 colored buckets strategically into a pyramid design, guided by the cards you're dealt.
The starting player discards up to three cards of one color, announces their total value, and draws one replacement, whereupon the next player discards cards of that color of greater value. The first player who cannot discard loses a bucket of that color. All buckets left unsupported by two below also disappear. The loser discards first in the next round. When a pyramid disappears, your remaining buckets earn points; most points over several rounds wins.
Rio Grande's translation of last year's Games 100 selection Alles Im Eimer (Kosmos) ensures that this fast-paced, addictive game won't kick the bucket any time soon. In fact, many other card games pail by comparison.
Who said kicking buckets wasn't fun? Everyone gets 15: three in each color shown on the numbered cards. Arrange your buckets into a 5/4/3/2/1 pyramid, guided by the colors of your cards in hand. The starting player discards up to three cards of one color, announces their total value, and draws one replacement card. Subsequent players in turn must discard the same color to exceed the previous contestant's total, or lose a bucket of that color. If this leaves a bucket unsupported by two in the row below it, that bucket also vanishes! The loser discards first in the next round. Play ends with one pyramid demolished, and players score for remaining buckets. Most points wins after several hands. You'll get plenty of kicks from this jolly attacking game, to be released soon by Rio Grande.
The latest in the medium box sized series from Kosmos is at the lighter end of the spectrum and that also covers the theme. The game is about knocking down buckets. These are set up in the shape of a pyramid and cards are played to determine which bucket falls over and then which other ones fall as a result.
The buckets come in 5 colours and each player receives three of each. Before the pyramids are formed, players are dealt 12 cards, which are also in the same five colours. The cards are numbered 1-8 and your initial hand will be used in determining how your pyramid is set up.
Play starts with a player playing one to three cards of the same colour from their hand. The player on the left then has to "defend" this by playing one to three cards in this same colour whose total exceeds that of the cards played. If this is not possible, or if the player chooses not to defend the position, a bucket of that colour is lost. If the bucket is not off the top of the remainder of the pyramid, then other buckets will fall and the pyramid will be smaller. You will then get the chance to play to the player on your left. If the defence is successful, the next player on the left has to defend the new total. That person can then decide what to do -- lose the bucket(s) or play cards to defend the position. The decision whether to defend the bucket will depend on which bucket would be lost. If it is one at the bottom, several more buckets will be lost. If it is at the top, it may only affect one bucket.
Knowing this, when a player receives the initial hand, the set up of the pyramid can reflect the strength of their hand or it may not. So if you start with three high value cards of the same colour, you may place the buckets nearer the bottom. Or you could bluff and put them nearer the top. Or double bluff and --, well you see what I mean. There is no right answer, as these cards can only be used to defend your position once. Cards played are discarded, but you only replace with one card, so your hand size depletes. Worse still, the player on your right may play a colour that you did not expect and cause you to lose several buckets.
A round ends when one or more (depending on the number of players) loses their last bucket. Each player scores one point for the buckets remaining in their pyramid. We play one round for each player, which means that there are some tactical decisions to make (and shouts of encouragement!) when a leading player's pyramid is successfully attacked.
That's all there is to this, and while there's lots of luck, the game is good fun. It's easy to play and non-regular gamers seem to enjoy the game's features too. I like the little touches that good games companies bring to their games and Kosmos has moulded the plastic tray in the shape of a bucket. Good job! And at 15 Euro, it's good value too.