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Spiel 2011 Preview
W. Eric Martin
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Spiel, held in the town of Essen each October, is one of Germany's two major game conventions, the other being the Nuremberg International Toy Fair in February. While Nuremberg is a trade show – and therefore strictly business – Spiel is open to the public, drawing roughly 150,000 people over four days. Hundreds of new games will be introduced at Spiel 2011, which takes place October 20-23. This preview covers games that publishers plan to release at Spiel or in the months leading up to it. In most cases, these games will be new for most Spiel attendees. For some smaller publishers, I've included titles released since Spiel 2010.

Details about the Spiel 2011 Preview: While this Preview might appear to be a standard Geeklist, BGG admin and superhero Daniel Karp has modified it to present games in a manner useful for Spiel attendees and for anyone researching information about games that will debut at the show. Specifically:

-----• This Preview is organized alphabetically by publisher, with games ordered alphabetically under a publisher's heading.

-----• If a game appears in multiple versions, typically due to it being in different languages, then each version will appear under its own publisher. I will endeavor to note such things in the "Other information" section below a game's description.

-----• This information is pulled directly from the game pages in the BGG database. Thus, as those pages are updated, this Geeklist will be updated, too. Yay, automation!

-----• Not all of the information on a game's page is included. We want to provide enough details to let you decide whether to investigate further.

-----• If you subscribe to this Preview, you will receive update notices whenever an item is added or edited.

-----• As with a regular Geeklist, if you don't care to read about a game and are logged in, click the red X to hide the game listing for both now and future visits. Please choose "Personal" for the reason when doing so. You cannot hide a publisher due to this Preview's special nature. (Publishers are added automatically as game versions are added, so there's no item connected to those publisher listings that you can hide.)

-----• As more details emerge, I will add publisher booth numbers, preorder information, game designer and artist signings, and much more.

Note that this information has been cobbled together from dozens, nay, hundreds of sources, many in languages that aren't my native tongue, so inaccuracies may have crept in despite my best efforts. I will update game pages as I receive additional information, and your fellow BGG users will undoubtedly do the same, thereby keeping this Preview as up-to-date as the BGG database itself.

If you're a designer or publisher with information to share – or you have details about an upcoming Spiel 2011 release – please send me Geekmail or email (wericmartin @ gmail.com). I'll respond as best I can given the tidal wave of data flowing through the game world in anticipation of the most exciting game convention in the world: Spiel!
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Board Game Publisher: Gigamic
• Booth 12-38

• In addition to the titles listed separately below, which are all new for 2011, Gigamic will also have the following games available for purchase at Spiel 2011, some of which are less available than others outside its normally French-intensive market:

Kakuzu (€30)
Splash Attack! (€25)
Wazabi (€20)
Rök (€20)
Regatta (€20)
Yamy (€15)
Papayoo (€15)
Winomino (€30)
151. Board Game: Gygès [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:2999]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Show More »
Description:

The object of Gygès is to move a piece to your opponent's last row. The catch is that no one owns the pieces. You can only move a piece in the row nearest you. Pieces are made up of 1, 2, or 3 rings; this number is also the number of spaces it must move. If it lands on another piece, it can move the number of spaces equal to that piece's number of rings. It can also displace that piece to another space. Played with tournament rules, you cannot win on an opponent's mistake, but rather only by creating a situation in which your opponent cannot block multiple winning combinations.

Other Information: • Price €30
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152. Board Game: Kabaleo [Average Rating:5.54 Overall Rank:10163]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Chinese
Croatian
Czech
Danish
Show More »
Description:

In Kabaleo each player has a secret color of pyramids – but with six colors in the game, at least two colors won't be owned by any player. On a turn, a player places a pyramid on the board, either alone or on top of another pyramid. Whatever color of pyramid is on top determines the color of the stack. If two pieces of the same color are on top of a pyramid, those pieces are removed from the game, changing the pyramid to the color underneath.

The game ends once all the pieces have been played, and the player whose color tops more pyramids than any other color wins the game.

Other Information: • Price €20
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153. Board Game: Katamino Pocket [Average Rating:6.25 Overall Rank:3275]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 2
Playing time: 10 minutes
Suggested ages: 3 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
French
Description:

The game consists of 12 different pieces constructed of right angled blocks so each piece is made of 5 "squares". (Think Tetris pieces, but 5 squares instead of 4.)

An old version of the game had only 10 pieces; the completely straight 5 square and the 5 square "plus sign" were not included. Both versions also have a bunch of "filler" pieces of 1 or 2 squares.

The gameboard is constructed with a movable divider so one can take sets of 4 up to the whole set of 12 pieces and form them into a 5 block by X rectangle. (Where X = the number of wood blocks in your set.)

The two or three player strategy game is accomplished on a square board divided into 64 smaller squares. Players take turns to place a piece on the gameboard. The first player who cannot place a piece anymore loses. (Similar to Blokus)

The two player puzzle game mode is accomplished by dividing the board into two sections, each player chooses five blocks and are also given 4 small "filler" blocks of 1 and 2 squares. The first one to fit all their blocks perfectly into their half of the rectangle board, wins.

Other Information: • Price €15
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Board Game Publisher: Gmeiner-Verlag
• Booth 12-89, the booth of Gmeiner-Verlag's distributor Hutter Trade GmbH, according to designer Stefan Breuer.
154. Board Game: Dreck am Stecken [Average Rating:5.10 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 50 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Murder in the night club! Ede K., host of nightly poker games, lies dead in his office. Next to him is a mysterious list, which contains the names of six of the city's most notorious crooks. They are quickly tracked and arrested. But which of them is the murderer? And what crimes have the others committed?

In Dreck am Stecken, slip into the role of one of the crooks and find out what crimes the others have committed so that you may get a more lenient punishment!

Other Information: • Price €13
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Board Game Publisher: Grouper Games
• Booth 4-404
155. Board Game: Masters of Commerce [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:1110]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 11
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

In Panic on Wall Street! you take on the role of a freewheeling capitalist out to outmaneuver your competitors and earn your place as a great industrialist.

Players are divided into managers and investors. Your goal is to earn more money than any other manager (if you are a manager) or more money than any other investor (if you are a investor) by the end of the fifth round.

Each round managers and investors negotiate with each other in a noisy, two-minute free-for-all to set a purchase price for shares in the managers' companies. Investors then collect income from the shares they purchased but not until a roll of the dice brings (sometimes drastic) changes to the economy, with major consequences for the balance sheet of each player. Managers collect what they are owed from investors, pay fees for each of their companies, and buy new companies at auction.

After five rounds of play (5 months), the manager and the investor who have accumulated the most money are each declared victors, the undisputed masters of commerce.

Panic on Wall Street! is the new edition of Masters of Commerce. See 'More Information' below for differences between the two editions.

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Board Game Publisher: Gung Ho Games
• Booth 7-10
156. Board Game: Pirates of Nassau [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:4362]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 5
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Italian
Description:

In the early years of the 18th century, the port of Nassau was a notorious haven that attracted pirates from far and wide.

In Pirates of Nassau you become a pirate operating out of this infamous port. You will capture and plunder the merchant ships that ply the nearby trade routes and use your ill-gotten gains to improve your ship and hire a motley crew of buccaneers. As you do so, your notoriety will grow and you will become a target for the Royal Navy, which is attempting to crush the pirates of the Spanish Main. Do you have the skill, daring and low cunning needed to become the greatest of the Pirates of Nassau?

Other Information: • Price €50

• Gabrio Tolentino at Gung Ho Games says that Pirates of Nassau is only tentative for Spiel 2011 given the production schedule in China. "I have asked the manufacturer to send me 20 or so copies via air," he says, but the publisher will have a pre-production copy of the game on hand in case the pirates don't land in time.
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Board Game Publisher: H@LL9000 e.V.
• Booth 9-45
157. Board Game: Ostfriesisches Schafe-Schubsen [Average Rating:5.67 Overall Rank:9759]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 8
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

For the tenth anniversary of H@LL9000.de, the site's feline mascot Hallbert invites you to participate in Ostfriesisches Schafe-Schubsen (East Frisian Sheep Hustle).

In this game the sheep compete in a lively race, which is, alas, not always free of small dirty tricks. While the sheep struggle on the dyke for the best positions, Hallbert is hiding and intends to scare the slowest sheep so that it flops off the dyke.

Meanwhile, the sheep are no angels and are hustling for positions, with all of them wanting to shove their fellow racers onto slippry ground. Those who have a lifesaver are the lucky ones that can continue the race. Without a lifesaver, any sheep sliding down the dyke is doomed to watch the race from a distance. When only two sheep remain on the dyke, the race ends and an award ceremony takes place; according to East Frisian tradition, the most fearless sheep that has not aimlessly rushed forward wins the race - thus, the runner-up is really the winner!

Ostfriesisches Schafe-Schubsen, which will appear in an edition of 500 copies, is being sold on a non-profit basis, with neither the game designers nor the graphic designers earning money from the game.

Other Information: • Price €15

• Only 500 copies are available; reservations are possible on the H@LL9000.de website.
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Board Game Publisher: HABA - Habermaaß GmbH
• Booth 11-14
158. Board Game: ABC: Zauberduell [Average Rating:6.42 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 10 minutes
Suggested ages: 6 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

Witch Hazel and magician Merlin are engaged in an exciting ABC magic duel! In Magic ABC Duel, you'll see who can first spot, amidst the jumble of pictures on the magic word cards, a motif that corresponds to the given letter.

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159. Board Game: Alle deine Tiere [Average Rating:5.90 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Suggested ages: 3 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

Bunny, elephant and mouse – where do they and the other animals hide?

In Alle deine Tiere, whoever has a good memory and the necessary luck with the die will be the first to find the animals being looked for.

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160. Board Game: Auf Beutezug! [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Suggested ages: 5 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

Booty hunters watch out! In On a Mission!, you'll see who has the quickest hand and can catch the fattest prey? But be warned: Not every catch will be worth the effort!

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161. Board Game: Baumhaus-Party [Average Rating:5.72 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 6 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Show More »
Description:

There's trouble in the treehouse! The inhabitants are everywhere but in their own apartments – and now each of the animals wants to return to its own home as soon as possible. Only the one who carefully works out where each of his animals is staying and skillfully swaps their places will be able to bring his six party friends home.

In Treetop Trouble, a specific type of animal lives on each floor of the treehouse and in the elevator. (It's not cozy, but it's home.) To set up the game, each player takes his set of six animal tiles – which are color-coded on the back – shuffles them, then lays out one animal on each floor and in the elevator. The player may peek at the animal in the elevator.

On a turn, a player rolls the die, then moves the elevator up or down or to any floor desired based on the roll. Each player in turn may then swap his animal on the elevator with his animal on that floor. A player can look at the face of one of his tiles only when placing it in the elevator, so you might want to swap willy-nilly until you nail down who's who.

Be the first player to get six animals home and you win.

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162. Board Game: Diego Drachenzahn: Vulkanwettkampf [Average Rating:4.55 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Suggested ages: 5 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

Dragon Diego Dart and his friends have gathered for the annual competition of fireball throwing in front of the biggest volcano in the whole dragon valley. One by one, the dragons fire their balls and place their bets on who will hit the crater.

In Diego Drachenzahn: Vulkanwettkampf, multiple rounds are played. The player whose turn it is becomes the dragon player. At the beginning of the round, the dragon player secretly chooses one of the four fireballs. By tilting the box, he then tries to have the chosen fireball roll into the volcano while trying to ensure that none of the other three balls land there beforehand. As soon as a ball lands in the volcano, the other players guess which ball the dragon player had been trying to maneuver into the volcano. Whoever proves to have the most skill at aiming and making smart guesses will collect the most points and win!

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163. Board Game: Durch das Jahr [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 4 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

Which month follows the month of May? And who can first find December? In the course of three games in Durch das Jahr - a memory game, a tile-laying game and a reaction game – children will experience all the seasons of the year and learn all of the months.

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164. Board Game: Fritz Froschprinz [Average Rating:7.17 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Suggested ages: 4 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

Princess Frieda Frog wants to give away her heart! In Fritz Froschprinz, you and Prince Fritz Frog go on a diving competition together. Who can collect the most golden balls?

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165. Board Game: Ganovenbande [Average Rating:5.62 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 10 minutes
Suggested ages: 6 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

The police in Goldtown are looking for Iggi Inkognito and his crook gang! In Ganovenbande, you have to help chase the cunning crooks. Which eagle eye can count as fast as lightning the real crooks?

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166. Board Game: Gary Gouda [Average Rating:6.25 Overall Rank:8159]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 10 minutes
Suggested ages: 4 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Show More »
Description:

Shoo, get away! Was that really Gary Gouda, the mouse, cheese-hunting again? The greedy mouse just can't stop! Not one piece of cheese is safe, and he risks becoming stuck in the mouse holes with his big belly. He really should have memorized by now which holes he can pass through after eating one, two, or more pieces of cheese! He also has to avoid the quick pet cat, Kiki, who always seems to be ready to pounce on the next mouse hole. Who can help Gary memorize the best way to the target mouse hole and collect the most pieces of cheese?

The bottom of the Gary Gouda box contains the game board, which resembles an apartment with 16 rooms arranged in a square and archways connecting each pair of rooms. Before the game begins, players slide archway tiles into the walls to adjust the heights of the various archways at random. The cat token is placed in front of any orange mouse hole to keep his eyes out for Gary.

On a turn, a player wants to move Gary from a corner of the house, pick up at least one pieces of cheese, and make it safely to the target corner without being seen by Kiki. To set up a player's turn, he draws four cheese slices, then places them in the rooms designated on the slices; he rolls the color die to determine where Gary starts and where he must move to. He is then free to move Gary through any archways possible – as long as he doesn't enter Kiki's sight – to reach one or more pieces of cheese. Gary eats this cheese immediately, with the player stacking Gary on the cheese slice to make the mouse fatter. If Gary ever gets stuck trying to fit through an archway, then the player's turn ends and any cheese on Gary is removed from the game; if a player reaches the corner, he claims any cheese eaten.

The game ends when a player can't place out four slices of cheese. Whoever has collected the most cheese wins!

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167. Board Game: Hoppe Reiter [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:8902]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Suggested ages: 3 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Show More »
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

It has been such a nice day for the horses in the field! Now they must quickly trot back to the horse farm – but they need different things in their stalls, such as a bundle of carrots or a sack of oats, so the players have to collect these items on the way back to the horse farm. Whoever chooses the right die and has some luck will be the first to bring his horse back into a stall.

In Hoppe Reiter, the players bring their horses back from the paddock to the stables. On a turn, the player rolls both dice before deciding which to use. He can either move his horse toward the stables or collect an item and fit it into his puzzle board. Only when the puzzle board is full can he move his horse into a stall, and the aim of the game is to be the first to do just that.

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168. Board Game: Keks oder König [Average Rating:5.67 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 5 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
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Game description from the publisher:

King Kyle Kilo the First loves sweets and he munches on them all day long. So he is always sending out his eager jesters to bring back new tidbits, with the promise of a royal reward. Who can wait for the right moment and win the biggest heap of sweets with his cards?

Keks oder König, part of HABA's "Fex" line of games, includes tougher rules in which players have to avoid claiming particular types of sweets while still trying to grab as much as they can of the other goodies.

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169. Board Game: Kleiner Obstgarten [Average Rating:6.08 Unranked]
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Number of players: 1 − 4
Suggested ages: 3 and up
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Description:

Game description from the publisher:

It is harvesting time in the orchard! The cheeky raven, however, also wants his share of the delicious cherries, apples, pears and plums. He hops from tree to tree, pinching fruits here and there. Will you be able to harvest the fruit before the greedy raven reaches his nest?

In Kleiner Obstgarten, the children - with a bit of help from the die – try to pick the fruits from the trees before the ravens reaches his nest.

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170. Board Game: Krims-krams [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
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Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 10 minutes
Suggested ages: 4 and up
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Dutch
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Description:

Game description from the publisher:

What a mess! Squirrel Sammy Walnut likes to collect trinkets, and they are piled up all over the place in his home. The bicycle helment is in the refrigerator and the toothbrush underneath the sofa. It's time to clean up! But what will fit in which box? Only the one who helps Sammy to tidy up and find the corresponding boxes for the colors things will receive the valuable nut coins!

In Krimskrams, the players help Sammy to tidy up his trinkets. All the various things are different sizes, however, and each will fit only in one specific box. Sammy has to go from box to box to see what might fit and then place the corresponding piece. To get that nut coin as a reward, the item must fit perfectly. The first player to collect five nut coins wins!

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171. Board Game: Lieselotte lauert [Average Rating:5.25 Unranked]
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Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 10 minutes
Suggested ages: 5 and up
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Description:

Game description from the publisher:

Each morning while being milked Lieselotte impatiently peeks out at the farmyard. Lieselotte has a favorite pastime each and every morning: She loves to startle the mailman! The farmwoman, however, disapproves of this behavior and Lieselotte has to be careful not to be caught in the act. Who can help Lieselotte frighten the mailman and not be caught by the farmwoman.

In Lieselotte lauert, the faces of the four dice indicate the right moment for Lieselotte to frighten the mailman with a loud "Boo!" without getting caught by the farmwoman. When certain combinations of symbols appear on the dice, Lieselotte can moo as loud as she likes. The player who first spots a matching combination among the jumble of colored dice hits the cow buzzer and receives a mailman tile, worth one point. Collect the most points, and you win!

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172. Board Game: Lieselotte teilt aus [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
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Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 10 minutes
Suggested ages: 4 and up
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Language:
Dutch
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Description:

Game description from the publisher:

Lieselotte the cow's dream has come true. Finally she is allowed to help the mailman deliver the mail – but it is not so easy as the pile of parcels is very heavy and wobbly. And before she can deliver anything, she must first find the chicken that is to receive the parcel. Who can help Lieselotte deliver the parcel to the right chicken without anything falling off?

In Lieselotte teilt aus, the cow is ready to deliver the mail and the parcel tiles indicate which chicken receives which package. The players must carefully push the cow with its load to a mailbox and look to see whether the right chicken lives there. Naturally the load may not fall off in the process. When a parcel is successfully delivered, the player may keep the parcel and the associated tile. Collect the most packages, and you win!

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173. Board Game: Mein erster Lernspielzoo [Average Rating:8.20 Unranked]
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Number of players: 2 − 4
Suggested ages: 3 and up
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Game description from the publisher:

In Mein erster Lernspielzoo, Zookeeper Tim and his curious animals are ready to play with you! Twenty-five wooden play figures and ten different games make up this beautiful and big HABA educational games collection. Find animals by touch; help the giraffe detectives or search for the colorful chameleons. Ten educational topics vary from counting, concentration and memory skills to quantities, tactile skills and color/shape recognition. All wooden pieces are made from sustainable forests.

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174. Board Game: Nachts im Stall [Average Rating:6.51 Unranked]
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Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 10 minutes
Suggested ages: 2 and up
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Language:
Dutch
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Description:

Game description from the publisher:

In Evening in the Stable, the animal parents at the farm are all out in the field, having a great feast! Thus, Hannes Hahn (Roy Rooster) has to put the children to bed tonight – and that's not easy for him as he is used to waking up the children in the morning, not putting them to sleep. As a result, from time to time, a "cock-a-doodle-doo!" slips out and everyone wakes up once again. Can you help Hannes Hahn put all the animal children to sleep?

The rulebook also includes a competitive variant.

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175. Board Game: Piraten-dukaten [Average Rating:5.68 Unranked]
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Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 5 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
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French
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Description:

Game description from the publisher:

Bad luck! Finally the pirates have succeeded in seizing the valuable gold treasure. Unfortunately, the cheeky monkey Pinky has now come along and pinched the whole treasure chest! So begins a zippy chase for the valuable gold ducats. But watch out! The chase requires you to be not just quick, but also a smart pirate in order to recover the treasure.

In Monkey's Gold, Pinky jumps from vine to vine, hanging on to the gold coins. The excited pirates can't do anything else but run behind him along the beach. In order to tease the pirate gang from time to time, Pinky drops a coin. Only the one who manages his die score skillfully will be at the right place at the right time and get his hands on the precious coin. Whoever collects three gold coins first wins!

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