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I want the black horse… no, the brown one.

July 28, 2011

Giro Galoppo has been around a few years, but I had only heard of it fairly recently as a game similar in mechanic to Ave Caesar. Anyway, it sounded like the sort of thing we’d all like around here, so what the heck, let’s order a copy.

Opening the box took me back to my time in the early 90’s when I was first introduced to German boardgames with their lovely wooden pieces and well illustrated and produced cards and boards.  I mean, who wouldn’t love little wooden horses, all in different colours, with coloured jockeys to go with them.  You can mix and match and then name your horses.  All win so far.  Plus the set up involves placing fences and hedges around the course to add some variety.  Times have changed though, as you no longer have to go through the hunt for a rules translation like we used to: the box contains a shiny colour rulebook in German, plus a black and white booklet containing translations into several other languages.

The mechanism is fairly straightforward, everyone selects a number card from their hand; lowest numbers move first, if you land on someone else you bump them back, and you can’t move onto a fence or other obstacle.

Actually, although this game is aimed at children, this is one of the harder ones for Miss B to play right now as it involves a fair degree of thinking and planning ahead.  B is getting pretty good at making instant decisions, but trying to guess what other players are going to do is an important part of this game.  She loves the horses and riders though, and the deeper understanding will come with time.  Again, this was fun as is, but would be a lot more fun with more players.

The verdict from Miss B (aged 4½): “I liked the game because we keep bumping into each other and I liked me being yellow and Daddy being green.”

The game: Giro Galoppo (Selecta Spiel), 2 to 5 players, aged 6+.

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