The Curse of the Ruby Rhino
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Behold the Ruby Rhino! The most coveted of ancient treasures stands inches from your grasp but a curse makes it nearly impossible to capture. Roll the dice and try your best to corner this elusive jeweled beast. Watch out for a bevy of fake gold that will get in your way. Hang onto the ruby rhino all by itself and you've not only broken the curse -- you've won the game!
The curse of the Ruby Rhino dates back to the 16th century when King Maximus Gluttonus IV stole the jewel from the tomb of the great Pharaoh Andaway in a desperate attempt to find a belated anniversary gift for his wife, Queen Beatrice. Little did the king know that the Pharaoh placed a curse on the rhino so that anyone who took it would have all of their riches turned into worthless counterfeits. Disgraced by the curse (and abandoned by the queen), the penniless king eventually buried the Ruby Rhino along with his fake fortune in a secret cavern that was recently unearthed by brave adventurers. Little did they know that there is a simple way to break the curse...
I was a little skeptical at first because the game instructions didn't seem to make for a fun game. Well I was wrong. My three kids age 12, 7, and 5 played with me for 2 hours. They were rolling over laughing and even I felt determined to win the ruby rhino. Easy game to play and I can see taking this game anywhere because there isn't a lot of pieces or room required. We will definitely play this again and again. Had such a good time with the kids and it brought a lot of smiles and uncontrollable laughter.
I’m starting to have a negative vibe whenever I realize that the main mechanic of any game is die rolling. A famous game, L-C-R, simply has players roll dice and move chips around in a completely random fashion – yet has many fans! But for me, I have to say that simply rolling the dice with no decision making at all tends to rub me the wrong way. Doing this for lengthy periods of time only worsens the process – it’s the game that never ends.
Unfortunately, this is how I feel about the Curse of the Ruby Rhino: A Dastardly Dice Game (Gamewright, 2007 – Ken Brunson). The back of the box claims that the game takes ten minutes, but the game takes considerably longer than that and feels even lengthier due to the excessive tedium. The components are top notch, and the theme of hunting for treasure sounds fascinating; but it all fails when you realize that each turn you simply roll dice and mechanically follow instructions. Even the children playing the game got bored during the dreary, mind numbing game play.
A treasure box is placed in the middle of the table, and a certain amount of coins are dealt to each player, depending on how many are in the game. The remainder of the coins (if any) is placed in the box along with the precious “Ruby Rhino”. The last person to see a real-life rhino takes two special six-sided dice, and the game begins.
On a player’s turn, they roll the dice and follow whatever combination is shown on both dice. If one of the dice shows a skull and crossbones, then they simply take no action, and play passes to the next player. If the player rolls a “double” – two items that are the same, they take another roll after resolving the action. Actions include:
Some comments on the game…
Great components cannot save The Curse of the Ruby Rhino from what it ultimately is – an overly long, dull game that will fail to capture the imagination of any players. It’s basically a variation on L-C-R, just with prettier components and a pirate theme. Sadly, this is one chest that pirates should avoid plundering; they’re better off spending their time playing Yahtzee, where at least they can make some meaningful decisions.
Tom Vasel “Real men play board games” www.thedicetower.com