Date: 14th March 2003
Game played: Capt'n Clever ( Zoch Verlag ) BGG Id: 5704

I am perhaps unusual (no comments thank you Mark or Nige) but I am equally happy playing quite involved games like Euphrat & Tigris and simpler affairs like Hick Hack Im Gackelwack. However, I sometimes feel the inward groans from some of the others in the group when I bring out something with an age guide of 6 and up and try to persuade them to give it a try. Capt’n Clever lies very definitely in this group of games, but I had heard some good things about it and was determined to bring it to the table. The board shows nine islands each hiding a particular type of buried treasure. Players have to travel from island to island attempting to uncover these. However, you have to discover them in the order determined by your right-hand neighbour and he’s not going to make it easy for you. Each of the islands is linked to a number of its neighbours and you can use these links if there is a boat in position to travel the link. On your turn, you can move your boat (each player controls one boat) if you want to but you must move your Captain if you can. You can move across multiple islands if the boats are in place to do it, but you can’t stop at an island where there is already another Captain. The game revolves around manoeuvring your boats to help your cause while also attempting not to help others and blocking their way with your captain, if you can. You also can help yourself by picking treasures for your opponent where they are likely to move boats to aid your travels.

Our game was pretty tight to start off with and as it developed, Nige was in pretty deep thought at times for a game aimed at 6 year olds. I managed to grab a useful lead which meant that the others then tried to hamper my progress. Nige and I got to 8 treasures each and I passed him his last treasure at the location where my Captain was sat, protecting it until I chose or was forced to move off the island. I then managed to force him off the island where I needed to get to and on my next turn moved in to claim the final treasure and the win. I enjoyed Capt’n Clever and can see it being good with a variety of groups. It is simple enough for non-gamers to pick up easily and enjoy, but has a nice light screw-your-neighbour element that will appeal to gamers.

Mark G

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