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Take the Family to the Races in Camel Up Second Edition

D Updated October 03, 2021
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
749 0
Take the Family to the Races in Camel Up Second Edition

Game Information

Game Name
Publisher
Players
3 - 8
There Will Be Games

Put your sandals on because things are going to get weird.

Place your bets!

Bang!

And they're off.

Five coloured camels are competing to be the fastest land animals in the desert. They run at a speed of 0-3 spaces around a track. Determined by dice falling from a fantastically whimsical plastic pyramid under your control.

Meanwhile, there's the black and white crazy camels who've clearly had too much cactus juice and are headed the wrong way!

When any camel lands on another, they are stacked, and when the bottom camel moves; the stack moves. Don't ask me how this is physically possible, it just is. Allowing camels movement to get bizarre. As with a bit of luck, camels can catch a ride and move a lot further than 3 spaces a round.

This works with the black and white camels too. Any camel unlucky enough to land on these guys has a chance to be camel-napped backwards towards the starting blocks.

This camel-backing mechanic is at the centre of Camel Up, as while the odds of it occurring seem low. It happens all the time. Creating pandemonium. Making a thrilling race, where the rare becomes run of the mill, and the extraordinary, ordinary. You never really know how it's going to end up until a camel crosses the finish line.

This makes betting on the race, or even one leg of the race such a compelling activity.

Middle of a game of Camel Up, Green camel is currently winning. The pyramid in the middle holds all a die for each camel.

Off to the races

For your part in this camel madness, you'll be making bets and playing supporter/saboteur to the camels on the track.

You can bet big by playing one of the camel cards from your hand to either the winner's or loser's column. Or bet small by picking up a coloured ticket for the current leg of the race. Either way you'll be wanting to do this sooner than later, as Camel Up rewards you for making these bets as early as possible. A leg bet, for instance, awards the first person to pick the right Camel: 5 coins, the next 3, then 2 and so on.

The worst feeling in the world is when you roll the die, making the outcome of a leg a foregone conclusion. Then watching, as everyone around the table picks up tickets for the winning camel, leaving no tickets left when it comes back around to your turn.

In trying to avoid this, Camel Up puts you in the precarious position of taking chances when you're not sure of the outcome. Only what the odds are. It replicates the feeling of betting on a live event perfectly. So much so, you'll find yourself hooting and hollering for a camel like it's your favourite sports team.

Alternatively, if you're not up for betting, you can always place down your supporter tile which can either give any camel a speed boost or speed bump. Moving any camel who lands on it either one space forward or back, and you a coin. This gives you an alternative way to get rich, while sowing more chaos onto the track.

Inside the Camel Up box, showing the plastic insert that houses all of the components perfectly.

Counting your chips

Along with the new artwork, plastic pyramid, weighted plastic camels, the second edition of Camel Up introduces a new partnership mechanic, but by the time I've written this review, I never got to play with it given you need 6 players. However, it's also added the fantastic crazy camels. Who while not always effective, provide an ever present threat, and add a lot of uncertainty to the race.

And for a game that revels in the improbable they are a perfect addition to the game.

Camel Up is one of the best gateway games to come out in recent history. A cracker to play with the family, or at the bookends of a board game night. It takes around 20-30minutes to play, and because of it's somewhat deterministic nature it allows you to engage with the decisions you make throughout. It's perfect for players of all experiences.

If you haven't played it already, it's one to keep an eye out for.

Cute old corgi looking at the camera next to the box of Camel Up.

Thanks for reading. Visit Roll to Review, where I'm ranking all games I review.


Editor reviews

1 reviews

Rating 
 
5.0
Dumb, fun, racing camels. This one isn't a brain burner but so much fun. Which camel is going to win? I have no idea! But go green!!
D
David Norris  (He/Him)
Associate Writer

David Norris is a board game reviewer from Brisbane, Australia. When he’s not writing reviews, he’s usually playing board games or reading rules. And when he’s not doing that, he’s goofing around with Steph, his loving wife, toddler son, Jay and Chester the Corgi.

You can find more of his work at Roll to Review, a one man blog that pumps out fortnightly board game reviews.

Articles by David Norris

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