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Sac Noir
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Store:  Family Games
Edition:  Bausack / Bandu
Genre:  Action & Dexterity
Format:  Boardless Games

Sac Noir

English language edition

List Price: $99.95
Your Price: $79.95
(20% savings!)
(Worth 7,995 Funagain Points!)

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Ages Play Time Players
5+ 40+ minutes 2-8

Designer(s): Klaus Zoch

Manufacturer(s): Zoch, Rio Grande Games

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Product Description

There are five variations on how to play. The goal in all of them is to build a tower. The bag contains very different wooden pieces (e.g. a cube, an egg, a ring, a fir tree etc.), as well as a sack of beans for the "auction variation" of the game.

Depending on the variation you choose, either each player builds his own tower or, all build one together. The "auction variations" are the most suspenseful and surprising. One might end up spending quite some beans to avoid building an especially difficult element. Gambling and bluffing abilities are needed just as much as a feeling for positioning and construction skills.

It's a game with almost endless building possibilities. It's a challenge for steady hands and shaky suspense for clever tacticians.

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Klaus Zoch

  • Manufacturer(s): Zoch, Rio Grande Games

  • Players: 2 - 8

  • Time: 40 or more minutes

  • Ages: 5 and up

  • Weight: 1,331 grams

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

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Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.3 in 3 reviews

by Joe
Great game
August 14, 2003

I've played Bausack which is essentially the same game as Bausack: Sac Noir, but the Sac Noir edition has extra pieces. I really enjoy this game for a few reasons:

  1. People instantly 'get' the game. Don't let your tower topple is the general gist of it.
  2. Deeper strategy than at first appearance.
  3. There is an element of hope for almost every play. For example, I have landed and seen pieces landed on towers that I thought were for sure going to topple. It is at that moment - after you land it - when you feel a major rush of fun.
  4. The game generally makes you root for everyone. I play a lot of games and am pretty competitive, however I find myself rooting for the guy I just gave an evil piece to.

I've played Villa Paletti and Jenga. This game takes the cake for build/stacking type games. I'm anxious to try out more like this.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Excellent dexterity & thinking game for all types of players
July 14, 2003

In this game, there are several different methods to play, but the crux of the game involves each player building a tower out of various shapes and sizes of wooden blocks. Each player has one tower built upon a single small wooden block, and each addition to the tower increases the chance it will topple. Pieces are either purchased (to stablize your structure) or forced upon other people (to require them to play space-occupying or unwieldy blocks), until only one tower remains, and that person is winner. Strategy arises in determining whether to pass on a piece by paying the appropriate cost, or playing the piece for free onto your own tower and dealing with its potential consequences.

I purchased this game on the recommendation in designer Klaus Teuber's (Settlers, Starfarers, etc.) interview, albeit somewhat hesitantly, because I am an extremely shaky person and while I enjoyed the concept of another popular dexterity game, Villa Paletti, I hated ruining that game for everyone else every time I made an uncoordinated move and crashed the structure. Additionally, I never felt like the winner in that game (the last person to successfully make a move), really felt satisfied by a win. The game focused on who was the LOSER. I felt that in Villa Paletti the most pleasure derived from seeing how high the structure could get and still stand.

In my opinion, Bausack overcomes this problem by its last-man-standing win condition, and yet retains the pleasure of seeing a complex structure, because a game between skilled players will sometimes result in some amazingly elaborate buildings.

So, I love this game because when you mess up, you only trash your own building. Everyone has their own tower to build, which means that by the end of the game, everyone has these interesting, always-unique buildings.

A final word about this game is that almost everyone who has played this game with me has enjoyed it. While I would be very hesitant to introduce Settlers or El Grande to a large subset of people, Bausack is easy to explain and introduce to anybody, and you can play with almost any number of people, although the bag says 2-8, we've played more than that. And, its universal appeal does not fault its strategy or complexity as other popular games might. There are some very interesting strategies that arise, and the game does NOT rely on who has the steadiest hand. (As I win this game MUCH more often than my shakiness should dictate)

I've noticed a price increase in this game recently, and I almost docked a star from the game because of that. The blocks, while interestingly diverse and painted, aren't extremely unique and admittedly look like a children's $15 playset, while this game goes for double that of many high quality wooden and painted boardgames. Nevertheless, we can't get enough of this game in both my hardcore gaming groups and when I bring it home for a game with my family, so I will keep it rated at 5 stars.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Let the buyer beware
March 13, 2005

This is a fun game but the buyer should beware that the number of pieces seems to vary from game to game.

My game had 85 pieces and I've heard of others with as few as 78 and as many as 98. There doesn't seem to be any set number.

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