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There is much to be discovered in Europe! Many roads lead to success in this exciting travel game -- you just have to find the right one. Exchange your cards cleverly and find your way through Europe quickly to win.
Players: 2 - 4
Time: 20 minutes
Ages: 8 and up
Weight: 691 grams
Language Requirements: Game components contain foreign text that does not impact play. Manufacturer's rules are printed in multiple languages (including English).
- 60 cards
- 4 trip planners
- 1 double-faced game board
The Moon and Weissblum team have been cooking up quite a few things lately, and Europa Tour represents the lighter end, but not the lightest, of their recent output. The goal is simple: create a continuous tour of Europe by getting ten connected cards in a row. Cards consist of countries (one card per country), ships, and airplanes. The first player to create a connected tour wins.Each player has a plastic form that holds the ten cards in tour order, and begins with ten face-down cards. One at a time, these are placed into your form but once placed they cannot be moved. When play begins, players choose from one of five face-up cards or draw blind from the deck, and they can replace one card in their form with the new card. Sound vaguely familiar? Yes, this is a modern take on Rack-o, but done in a better and more enjoyable form. The airplanes and ships add to the updating, too. The board shows a map of Europe with countries in five colors. Some countries have shipping lines that extend from their borders and connect to specific other countries. A tour is connected if you can walk from one country to another (they share a border), take a ship between the two (three cards total: departing country card, ship card, and arriving country card), or fly between the two (three cards again: departing country card, airplane card in the same color, arriving country card of the same color). Ships and airplanes cannot start or end the tour, but they give good flexibility within. The five cards available for choosing can be stacked as play continues. If I draw from the deck, for example, the card I return to the table can cover an existing card. Staying flexible in the game is important early on; those who wait for the only country that can connect each end of their form are likely to be disappointed. It is better to build the middle of your tour first and move toward the ends, rather than try to connect in the middle. As play proceeds, you get some information about what others are doing but usually not enough to affect your own play. Most games end before the initial card stack is depleted, and what looks like a complete unconnected mess at first can quickly move into a logical approach with the right country or airplane card. The board is printed on both sides, one showing the country names in German and the other side showing the country names in their own language. The cards show both names, and either side will help the geographically-challenged learn which countries are close to others. I strongly recommend taking the board to a color copying machine and reducing it 50%, then making a copy for each player. This makes the game easier to play and allows each player to plan their tours without giving away what they're looking at. Marcia and I have played this as a two-player game requiring a twenty-card tour, and I recommend it this way. The card distribution is the same as a four player game, but having twenty spaces gives some good flexibility and it really doesn't last much longer than normal. This concept has obvious applicability for other continents as well, so I expect that soon we'll be seeing tours of new places. Europa Tour is fun and given the Spiel des Jahres's voting over the last few years I would not be surprised to see this nominated or even make the top three. The game is light enough to play with families or in schools but has a dose of strategy in the card selection and replacement to be comparable to jury favorites like TransAmerica. Along with New England, this gives the Alan/Aaron team a solid one-two punch.