ウサギとカメ (The Hare & the Tortoise)
- 対象年齢 :7才以上
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The Grasshopper and the Ant
|価格||￥ 4,732より||￥ 3,627||￥ 5,097||￥ 1,373|
The box itself is a nice reusable container for the components though for me at least they barely fit. I feel like I'm either not storing them right or maybe I should ditch the contoured plastic insert and just use 100% of the space maybe.
The rules are straight forward. You start with randomly selected (via a blind draw) "bets"--a card representing one of the animals racing in the game. If your selected animal/character wins, you get 5 points. If they're in 2nd place, 3 points with 3rd place netting 2 points. You get a seven card hand to start with but use one of those cards to select a side bet. This is similar to the "blind" bet but you get to choose (though you're limited to the characters in your hand). You can select the same character you already have that blind bet for--basically putting all your eggs in one basket. Regardless, the same point values apply for that side bet (so you can max out at 10 points total if you pick the winner twice).
The track tiles are laid out (you can flip them over to create a turn versus a straightaway) so you have a single course, however windy you want it to be.
Once that's sorted out, you get to the racing part. Each player takes a turn, presenting a certain number of cards for a single character. It can be between 1 and 4. You go around until there are a total of 8 cards showing (total, regardless of character) or 4 cards of a single character (including all players, not just you) showing. Hitting either of these conditions triggers a racing phase where the number of character cards are tallied and converted into tiles to move.
When a character crosses the finish line, they fall into 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner's spots which, when filled end the game. If they don't cross, you start another round of card playing until you hit another race phase and so on.
There are special conditions/rules for each character which I won't go into detail about here. But, ultimately, how you play your cards will either help or hurt your bets and their chances. It's a fun little game that once you're familiar with the rules can lead to a lot of interesting play. You might hold off one one character's cards because you don't want to trigger a race phase just yet or you might play something to totally ruin someone else's plans.
I think my only complaint, if it really is one, is the random aspects of the card draw. Typical of any card-based game, you're at the whim of the shuffle (however bad or good it was) and what cards have been played or are in players' hands. Again, not a big gripe at all but it can put a hamper on your plan to get the tortoise over that finish line first.
When the game begins, each player is dealt a random animal as their first bet. There are only five of these initial bet cards, so each player will be betting on a different animal. Then each player is dealt seven cards from the main deck, of which each card is one of the animals. Each player chooses one of those cards as their second bet. You can double up on the same animal you're already betting on, or choose a new one. Bets are kept face down.
Then each player has six cards in hand, and you go around the table playing cards each round until either four of one animal have been played or eight total cards have been played. Players must play between one and four cards of the same animal, although they can't exceed four of one animal or eight total cards in play. Once either four of one animal or eight total cards have been played, the round is over and the animals move.
The animals all have different movement rules. The hare moves two spaces if at least one hare card was played. However, if four hare cards were played and the hare is currently in first place (or tied for first), he takes a nap and doesn't move that round. The sheep moves the number of sheep cards played plus one. However, there are two streams on the track and when he hits a stream, he stops for that round. The tortoise moves one space even if no tortoise cards were played, and two spaces if four tortoise cards were played. The fox moves spaces equal to the number of fox cards. The wolf moves one space with one or two wolf cards, two spaces with three wolf cards, and three spaces with four wolf cards. Once all animals have moved, all players draw back up to six cards. You'll often end up playing animals that you don't want to win so you can clear them out of your hand to get cards for your animals.
There are also three special wolf cards with a "howl" icon on them, which stops all other animals from moving that round (though you continue to play cards until you reach the limit). Even if you're not betting on the wolf, you can use those cards to stop a good round for the animals you're not betting on.
The animals move in a set order, so if more than one animal crosses the finish line in the same round, they'll place based on their movement order.
There's a lot more luck than strategy involved. Since movement is determined by all players in each round, you have limited control over your animals. You can try to guess what animals other people are betting on and use that to predict what cards they'll play, but that's difficult because ultimately everyone will end up playing cards for animals they didn't bet on. The animals themselves are not completely balanced. In my experience, the hare and sheep are a bit better than the others and the fox is a bit worse. It's not a glaring imbalance though, and most games will end with a pretty tight pack at the finish line.
It's lighthearted, fast, and the components are visually appealing. The track is made of cardboard so it won't hold up to being banged around, but if you don't treat it roughly, it'll hold up fine. If you're after a game with heavy strategy, this game isn't for you. However, even with the limited strategy element, this game has become one of my favorites. It's great if you're looking for something that's fast, doesn't take a lot of concentration, and even if you lose, leaves you feeling like you were on the verge of victory.
My biggest complain, and it was a BIG complaint, is the quality of the components. All of the cardboard pieces that we had to assemble (finish line, podium) were torn and falling apart within a week of using it. You have to place stickers on the game pieces and they don't seem to fit very well and are trying to peel off. I really expected better quality for the price.