Saturday, 11 February 2012


Plays: 3Px1.

The Game

The objective of the game is to be first to complete 4 out of 5 possible rides. Each ride needs four different parts. This basically corresponds to cards in 5 suits numbered 1 to 4. On your turn you roll three dice and use two of them to perform actions. Every die result has a specific use, e.g. allowing you to draw a card from the draw deck, from an opponent's hand, or from an opponent's play area. In some cases you must give a card in return, and this is sometimes good, because sometimes you want to get rid of unwanted cards in order to be able to draw free cards.

Everyone starts with a joker, which is handy, but rides completed using jokers are not protected, unlike those completed with the exact cards which are flipped facedown and cannot be stolen. There are special ticket tokens which can be used to re-roll, to adjust your die rolls, or to cancel an opponent's die roll. You only have a few of these, so use them wisely.

In a nutshell, you roll dice to see what ways you can gain cards, and you use cards gained to complete four sets as quickly as possible.

There are 5 types of rides you can build, and you need to complete 4 to win. The card at the bottom left is the wild card. Everyone starts with one.

The game board at the top is just a reference board about what each side of a die does, and a reminder that you normally can only use two dice. The reference card at the bottom right reminds you what each side of a die does too. Ticket tokens are at the bottom left.

The Play

I did a 3-player game with Allen and Han. The game is quick and straight-forward. There is luck in getting the right cards to complete your sets. You need to watch which sets your opponents are making, because you may be able to steal their cards, or they may do the same to you. You constantly try to find the fastest way to complete four sets, preferably making protected sets so that there is less chance of being sabotaged.

I have completed the ride in the second column. I did not use wild cards for it, so the ride card is flipped over to indicate that it is protected. The card back show a ticket, which means I also get an extra ticket.

The Thoughts

Carnival is very well produced. It is funded via Kickstarter but the component quality is better than some professionally produced games. I found the game too light for my tastes. Even if I'm looking for a filler I'd prefer something a bit more meaty. It is more suitable for casual gamers and for those who like lighter games.

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