Monday, January 18, 2010
Occasionally I play a new game with my family, and we enjoy it so much that I just have to share it here. This is one I got them for Christmas. My daughters are proud owners of two pet rats, and when I read the premise for this game, I ordered it for them immediately. And I need to give a quick shout out to Boulder Games, who carry a marvelous assortment of unusual and interesting games for all ages (not the kinds of things you'd typically find at Toys R Us or Target, etc.). They ship quickly and are very responsive if there are ever any issues at all. If you enjoy games, please check them out (I have no relationship with them beyond that of happy customer - honest!) .
Abandon Ship was made by AEG and designed by Reiner Knizia. It's is for 3-7 players. The box says ages 10 and up, but my 9-year-old picked it up with no problem. The game involves a long board that is shaped like a cruise ship, and the object is to get your rats off the ship before it sinks. There are bits of cheese for the rats to gobble up as they made their way to the higher decks, which adds points to the players' final score. Complicating matters is the fact that while you have three rats you are trying to save, others may share the same rat as you - or decide to move your rat in a way that makes things harder for you. Periodically, the ship sinks a random number of levels, and occasionally a poor little ratty gets wet. My daughters set up an island nearby, and as rats can swim, they head there and have a little vacation, so no worries!
The board is well made and is colorful and appealing. I wish the rat tokens were a little more stable, as they tend to fall over if the board is bumped, but they are made of wood and - as long as we keep them away from the real rats (who were gracious enough to model the game for me, at the instigation of my daughters) - they should last a good long time. Abandon Ship takes about 30 minutes at the most to play, which makes it a great choice for a school night after homework is all done! It's a fun family game, with enough luck to make it possible for the youngest players to win, and enough strategy to keep the older players (aka me) interested.
Other games I've reviewed:
Hogwarts House Cup Challenge