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Product Awards:  

Ages Play Time Players
10+ 70-90 minutes 3-4

Designer(s): Wilko Manz

Manufacturer(s): Kosmos

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Product Description

Players compete to earn the most money in the world of Oil Exploration. Players explore the oil fields with their trucks and decide whether to establish oil rigs on the sites they find. Each established well produces one barrel of oil per day, which must be transported back to the refineries via rail line or it will be lost. Since the rail line gradually extends across the board throughout the game, transporting any oil found beyond the current range of the rail line is more costly. Money is earned by selling the oil to one of the three oil companies, but the price is always fluctuating, and each company will only make one purchase per round, so players compete to sell in an auction. The game ends when the public rail line reaches the far side of the board, at which time each player earns a bonus for the value of his remaining oil wells, and the development of his rail line. Adding this to the money each player has earned through oil sales, the player with the most money wins the game.

Product Awards

Spiel des Jahres
Finalist, 1999
Deutscher Spiele Preis
6th place, 1999

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Wilko Manz

  • Manufacturer(s): Kosmos

  • Artist(s): Franz Vohwinkel

  • Year: 1999

  • Players: 3 - 4

  • Time: 70 - 90 minutes

  • Ages: 10 and up

  • Weight: 1,730 grams

  • Language Requirements: Game components are language-independent. An English translation of the rules is provided.

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.9 in 7 reviews

James Dean would be proud
July 31, 1999

Giganten (Giant) provides an excellent evening of gaming into the world of oil. Like my 1974 MB King Oil, it is a visually appealing game with a large game board, colorful playing pieces, (trucks, trains, oil rigs) and easy to read cards. Each player attempts to amass the most money through three 'phases', exploration (moving your truck accross the board to oil sites), development (building rigs, and providing transport to the refineries with your train) and bidding (selling of your oil at the three refineries). Players can stymie their opponents through card play, i.e. drive back their trains, but as everyone can see what cards are chosen, you can usually counter that attack.

The most dramatic phase of the game is in the bidding. This delevops into an intense 'poker room' feel as your 'Licenses' as kept secret. Get caught bluffing and you will pay dearly.

The adage 'money is like manure,... it doesn't do any good unless you spread it around' truly defines the strategy of 'Giganten'. While prices at the three refineries fluctuate widely, it is good foresight to store oil at all three refineries. Going for the financial 'kill' at the highest selling refinery will not win over a balanced bidding attack at all three refineries.

'Giganten' is for any gamer that enjoys a 'poker room' feel to his/her game night without getting covered in crude.

A Great Game With a Real Theme
March 12, 2001

Anyone familiar with German games knows that, in most cases, the theme is as important to the game as the type of paper the rules are written on--the list of games (even great ones) that fit that description is too large for me to write here. Giganten is a nice change of pace, as the theme permeates what is a delightful game.

I won't go into the mechanics of the game, as they are well-documented here. I will just say that playing the game is a tactile treat, with the chunky plastic pieces. I must admit that I was somewhat less than impressed with the cardboard oil site chits, however; they could have easily been made of that same chunky plastic!

Once the players understand the order of events the beauty of the game appears. The 'exploration-drilling-production-sales' turn structure allows the game's theme to shine through. If you don't feel like an oilman during the play of the game, you must have a hole in your soul!

I give the game 4 stars rather than 5 because of its length. Each time I've played the game it has taken nearly two hours for the black train to reach the end of the track. A theme, even as engaging as Giganten's, can only hold one's full attention and entertain for so long.

Even with that quibble, however, I do enjoy the game and heartily recommend it.

by Mike
Black Gold... Texas Tea... Neat Bits... Good Game!
January 17, 2001

The most impressive thing about Giganten is the bits. Part of the Kosmos 'Spiele Gallerie' line, the bits are impressive. There are little oil derricks, a little molded train for each player, a neat molded dumptruck, a very thick game board, and little stock cards for everyone (hint: read the cards... it's very funny). The bits alone are impressive enough to make me like the game.

On to the game play... first note that this is not a language intensive game and the rule translation is very good. The rules are straightforward and the game mechanic is clean and straight forward if not a little regimented.

The object of the game is to get the most money at the end of the game. This is accomplished by moving your truck to an oil derrick tile (prospecting), paying for the oil that you find and erecting an oil well (excavating), having the oil produced and sending it to the market on your train (transporting), and selling your oil at market from the oil reserves of one of three oil conglemerates (selling).

This entire process is carried out in turn order and is accomplished by the choosing of cards that allow you to allocate certain resources... similar to Lowenherz, and has been described in other reviews.

Anyway, the mechanic is very clean but can be passionless depending on the group that you are playing with. The only other complaint is that the oil is discovered randomly, which can sometimes disrupt the balance of the game.

This is a game that I would give three stars to if playing with rather shy and reserved gamers, and four with a more competitive group.

Overall I like the game, and will play it again once in while. Recommended.

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