“ Brand: Out of The Box / For 2 - 4 players / Age: 10 years+ „
* Prices may differ from that shown
I recently discovered this game when my boyfriend purchased it and brought it over to mine one weekend. In the end we played it countless times as it can be a quick game. It is really simple to pick up yet still challenging and really is one for all the family.
The premise is that you must make a plan to travel around Europe for 10 days, by visiting connecting countries or flying between countries of the same colour or by crossing the appropriate sea. You do this my selecting ten tiles (heavy cards) from a pile and placing them in the wooden holders provided. You pick tiles one at a time and once you have placed them in position they cannot be moved unless you discard them. You must start and end with a country tile. Once all players have picked 10 tiles, you then turn over three tiles face up from the remaining pile and this starts off your discard piles. The first player can either pick up from one on the discard piles or from the main deck and use this card to replace one of his or her existing tiles and then place the unwanted tile on one of the discard piles.
I like the idea of three discard piles as you have a better chance of a tile you need still being available when it gets to your turn! Playing as a two player game, you can use the discard pile to put down tiles that are in the wrong position, and (assuming your opponent has not picked it up or covered it with one of his own discarded tiles) pick them up again and put them where you want them to be on your next turn. This is a bit more difficult if playing with three or four players though, as the risk of your tile being covered or picked up increases, but this just adds to the fun.
The plus of this game is its simplicity in rules but throws in the opportunity for strategy along with a little bit of luck (or lack of - that really screws your plans up!). You look at the tiles in your holder and make connections - are there neighbours on the map next to each other in your holder? Do you have cards linked by a coast or a colour two places away in the holder? Or do you have a country tile next to the correct sea/ocean tile? Let's say you have Germany in your holder. You can travel overland to (or from) Poland, France, Denmark or any other neighbouring country. If you don't have any of these tiles you could travel by air. As Germany is coloured beige on the sturdy fold out map board that comes with the game, you would need to find a beige airplane tile to place next to it, if you wanted to use it to add any of the other beige coloured countries on the board to your route. Alternatively you can use an Atlantic Ocean tile or a Baltic Sea tile to link your journey from Germany to one of the other countries along the appropriate coastline. The rules are far simpler to pick up when you see the map and the tiles.
A successful route could be: Germany - Baltic Sea - Latvia - Russia - Ukraine - pink plane - France - Spain - Mediterranean Sea - Croatia. So each tile represents a day in your itinerary. The first one to make all their connections wins. A two player came can be over in less than 10 minutes or up to 20 minutes depending on luck with the tiles and how many times you change your strategy/route! The manufacturers (Out of The Box games) say up to 30 mins for a 4 player game, so it is a quick and easy game. They recommend the game for players of 10 years and over which is fair I think. I like that the board is large and bright and the names are printed clearly in bold print. My stepdad doesn't have good eyesight, but he wouldn't have much trouble reading the map or tiles. It also has the added bonus of being educational, little facts are printed on each country tile and younger players can learn where the countries in Europe are. If I had any niggles is that it is not compact or light enough to use as a travel game for a journey. The game is great fun, games don't go on too long and you have to think about which connections you are going to make, but if the right tiles don't show themselves then all your plans can go out the window and luck comes in to play, which makes it fairer on the younger players who may not see as many potential routes as a grown up.
This was purchased in Harrison & Simmonds in Bedford, and is also available on the web. Prices are around the £20 mark, which is great value when you consider how many times we played it in the first weekend alone. There are also versions that take in the USA, Africa and Asia and it seems that they all have slight variations in transport modes. My decision is which one to get next...
You have ONLY 10 DAYS IN EUROPE Chart your course from start to finish using destination and transportation tiles. With a little luck and clever planning, you just might outwit your fellow travelers. The game contains a Game Board Map of Europe, Destination Tiles representing the countries, and Transportation Tiles for making connections by plane or boat.