Wacky Wacky West
English language edition of Drunter und Drüber
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Just south of nowhere, there's the junction of the Mayfair & Rossdorf RR and the Turvy Trunk Line. Springing up from the desert like a tumbleweed lies the eccentric little town of Rossdorf. Like most western towns, Rossdorf has a Land Agent: Guy Dough, the brother of that wicked varmint Black Benny. A shrewd opportunist, Guy's done sold all the town land ('ceptin' the outhouses) four times over! Every acre in town that ain't got an outhouse on it is owned by the miners, the railroads, AND the fort captain. Just about a year ago, miners digging in the shadow of Fort Rossdorf struck the mother lode! But it wasn't gold, and it wasn't silver. No, my friend, it was just a little spring. Not any ordinary spring, though! It was a torrent of that mind-marbling drink the locals call "Wacky Water!"
Now that water's done what the sun and the wind couldn't do: it's made those landholders brave enough to take matters into their own hands. Now they'll use whatever means they can to bowl over the competition and lay claim to the only fertile spots left in town! Now the only thing stoppin' 'em is the Town Charter Amendment #5, which states (and I quote): "no landholder may move, remove, or detonate any outhouse without a majority vote of the Town Citizens..."
Now one thing's for sure: something is gonna stink in Rossdorf, purty darn soon.....
In Wacky Wacky West you and your fellow townsfolk place track tiles, street tiles, and river tiles hoping to destroy your rivals' buildings. Every time someone tries to build over a precious outhouse, the town votes! You try to enlist your supporters (represented by cards) to vote with you to stop or encourage the play of certain tiles-perhaps saving some of your buildings or taking out those of your dastardly opponents.
Wacky Wacky West is a very casual, social game for 2-4 players ages 10 and older. You can play a complete game in about 45 minutes.
I recently blew $200 here at Funagain on 13 different games, and I have to say that out of the whole lot, Drunter & Druber is my favorite (with Ohne Furcht und Adel coming in a close second).
The game is incredibly simple, but at the same time leaves a lot of room for scheming and strategizing. (Read the blurb above for the general plot.) Each player starts with a number of single, double, and triple-length tiles that (s)he can use to extend the city's road, river, or two city walls. The board is scattered with 5 different instances of 6 different buildings, and each player is secretly assigned one building type that (s)he must try to defend. On your turn, you may extend either of the walls, or the road, or the river with your tiles, and then move the 'builder' pawn to the end of your addition, designating the end of the line where further extentions must be placed.
Usually, you have no control over where other players place their tiles, aside from trying to surreptitiously veer lines away from your buildings, unless someone proposes to build over one of the town's precious outhouses, at which point it goes to a vote. The players begin the game with an identical assortment of vote cards, ranging from 'Jaaa!' (whose 3 a's make it worth 3 positive votes) to 'Neee!' (which gets 3 negative votes from its 3 e's), plus the wild 'Jeein!' card (which can count for either 2 positive or 2 negatives) and the '...?' card (neutral). Everyone casts their vote simultaneously, all the vote cards (except '...?') get discarded, and if there are more negative votes than positive, the tile does not get played. When all the players pass consecutively, either because they can't make any legal moves or they just don't want to, the game ends, and everyone tallies up their score from their remaining buildings on the map.
Don't let the German origins of this game dissuade you; the English rules that Funagain encloses are very well-written, and the only German in the entire game is on the above-mentioned vote cards, which are so blatantly clear that you will never need to refer to the rules to remember what they mean. There's a little more German on the optional cards for the 'Expert Mode' version of the rules, but again these are simple enough that you can look them up once and never need to again.
In our most recent game, we played with the maximum four players. I and the other male in the game were neck-and-neck the entire time, until the very end, when my sweetly meek girlfriend ended up the winner, since her lack of protest when one of her buildings was bulldozed early in the game led everyone to think that no-one had gotten that type. It was awesome, and I definitely won't get sick of playing this anytime soon.
As an old SNL fan, my favorite Steve Martin line was, 'I'm a wild & crazy guy!' It is the perfect sentiment for 'Drunter & Druber'. First though, a small clarification on the name of the game itself. The literal translation in german is Above & Below, which has absolutely no relevence to the game at all. So, I happen to work with (true story!) a 6 ft. German Showgirl! I showed her the game and asked what's with this name. She cleared it up immediately. Used in the context of the game, the name in german would be, Topsy Turvy! EXACTLY WHAT THE GAME IS!! It is a wild, outhouse covering, UN-building game of roads, waterways, and walls. Keep your secret buildings safe, you win.
Every turn, a player places a tile on the board, adding on to an exsisting piece. Sometimes this will cover set buildings on the board, sometimes not. Where the true fun of this game comes from, is when an outhouse is covered. Each player must vote on whether this is a good thing or not. As a player you must vote 'yes' or 'no' to varying degrees. This is where your poker skills come in. Depending on how strongly you vote either way, tips your hand as to what your 'secret' buldings are. After all tile-placing areas have been exhuasted, players total up the value of their uncovered building with high score winning.
What I truly enjoy about this game and why I highly recommend it is the simplicity of rules. New gamers will pick it up very quickly and play can begin almost immediately. Players will groan, wring their hands, laugh, and cheer on the voting as everyone tries to second-guess who owns what buildings. This is not a deep, thought provoking game. It IS a great after dinner party game. Colorful graphics, clean gameboard, and minimal pieces make it very visually exciting and most importantly, FUN! Buy this game!
This game is a tile playing game that is a little similar to Wildlife Adventure. There are 3 types of tiles - walls, earth, and water. Each tile covers either 1, 2, or 3 spaces on the board. For your turn, you get to play a single tile on the board. There are some spaces on the board that you want to keep uncovered, and other spaces that you wish to cover up. Of course, your opponents want to protect/cover up different spaces than you do - that's what makes it interesting. The rules come with 2 versions of the game - I have always preferred the 'variant' or alternate version. While many games need 3 or 4 players to make them interesting, this game plays just as well with 2 players as it does with 3 or 4.