Sunday, August 21, 2016

Camel Up

Camel Up or Camel Cup?  One the great debates of our time.

On the first race of the game I bet on the blue camel only to see him surpassed by his brethren.  I bet again on blue for race two, but he fell short.The third round I bet on blue as he was due.   Blue did not in fact win.  The 4th race I would have bet on him again, but he managed to eliminate himself from contention before I got a turn. There is a gambling lesson to be learned here.  Blue is a slow lazy camel.


Pegasus Spiele


Steffen Bogen

Elevator Pitch:

Bet on camels slowly racing around a track.

Personal Impression:

Camel Up won the precious Spiel des Jahre award for best family game.  While I don’t think it is as good as the runner-up from that year, Splendor, it is an entertaining game.  The ups and downs of the Camel race make for an entertaining experience.  Desert cards give players enough control to potentially nudge the results a bit.  The downside of this game was that it often felt like all the good options were taken before I got a turn in each round.  I only played with 7 people though, so I imagine this would be less of a concern with less players.

Good for People who Grew up Playing with

With toy cars that you raced across the living room and recorded elaborate statistics detailing which car went further without flipping… or was that just me?
Ease of Learning:

A straightforward and simple game that shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to teach the basics.  Players have a limited number of options on their turn and none of them are difficult to understand.

Fidgety Index

Players don’t have many pieces to play with, but the toy factor is high,  The climbing camels are fun, and the dice rolling pyramid make it the preferred action choice of kids and child-like adults.

Universal Theme:

Who can’t relate to that time they raced camels.

Player Count and Length:

2-8  One of Camel Up’s main appeals is the large player range.  It probably is best with 4-5 participants, but is functional on all counts.  The expansion increases the max up to 10. With any player number it shouldn’t take more than 30-45 minutes to play.


Supercup adds several modules to lengthen the race, extend the player count, and add more player action options.

Spin Offs:


Introducing the Game to New Gamers: 

I suppose you can talk about the various probabilities of each camel winning.  For the most part though, this game is too simple, balanced, and chaotic for knowing what you are doing to be much of an advantage.


There is an app for IOS/android.  I haven’t tried it, but it has gotten reasonably positive reviews.


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