Camel Up board game 2014 is a strategic, easy to play family type game where players immerse as Egyptian high society members, who gather to make bets at the camel race. Players are trying to guess the winning camels in each sub-rounds of races called legs, as well as to bet on overall winner and loser of the race. In the meantime, players keep trying to push the luck in their favor by helping out or delaying their chosen camels to earn more Egyptian pounds and win the game.
The game is for 2 to 8 players and takes around 30 minutes playtime. This is a dice rolling game, where colored dices are thrown 1 by 1. Based on the score thrown, the corresponding color camel moves forward in the track. The game presents some interesting mechanics that get players excited, as camels may jump on one another, go under, and move the rest camels along their way if there are any on top of currently moving camel.
On top of that, you never know which camel will be moving next, as dices are inside the Pyramid, which you shake, put upside down to reveal a random score of a random camel dice. Tons of randomness!!! But some probability calculations as well, which can moderately increase your chances of luck to win the game.
The review will be covered in the following structure:
- Replay value
- Art & parts
- Game price
Feel free to read the review details, or just scroll down to the review summary.
Camel Up board game is definitely funny and interesting. One of the best things about this game is how camels interact with each other. If there are numerous camels on a single space of the track, they stack and form a camel unit, standing on top of one another. The last camel that arrives in space moves on top of the other camels (unless it goes backward, and then moves under the already existent ones).
And the funny part, that it is often that the whole stack of camels will cross the finish line together (if 1 camel moves, the rest camels that are on the top move as well). And top camel is always considered to be a winner! So you should now have an impression on “how easy” is to guess the winner of the game. And even if you guess correctly, it does not mean that you win.
Because this game is all about money. Money is your life, money is your purpose, and money is your core motive that lies deep in your soul. Or you love camels, and you need all the money in the world to get as many your dear camels as possible… and feeding them is really expensive!
So I think we might agree that we all need money (at least in this game). But even if you guessed the race winner, it does not mean you will get the most Egyptian Pounds and win the game. Someone could have made a bet before you and therefore could have gotten more EP, or someone could have performed far better by predicting the legs winner more consistently than you or correctly guessing both the winner and the loser of the race!
There are a few negative points in the fun category as well.
Well, this game kind of requests you to remember one of “the basics” of the math – probability theory, if you are trying to win this based on educated guessing rather than random guessing. Not everyone enjoys math based games, we are not saying that there is much of that, but you can certainly feel that, and that creates a slight entry barrier for new players to get into it as well. Some like it, others can feel the opposite way.
The other detail would be slightly monotonic gameplay. There is a certain variability in player actions and mechanics (we will cover that in more detail on replay value section), but generally, all actions and plays can be assigned to either moving camels or betting on them. Therefore some players will be perfectly happy to play it once or twice and leave it for quite some time. And from our point of view, Camel up board game is rarely the main session game, more like INTRO, which you play once or twice and you are good for the night.
For some reason, it is always fun to go get back to this game. You always know what kind of experience you will get, but you never know how the game will end, as there is plenty of the variability once you understand the game.
There are 4 different actions players can take: Moving 1 random camel based on the dice color and score, betting on legs winner, betting on overall race winner or loser, and putting a desert pile on the track (if a camel moves on your desert pile it moves either 1 space forward or backward, depending on which side of desert tile you played).
At first, this might look complicated, but after a few turns, it gets pretty clear and easy at the same time creating that strategic variety element, turning each gameplay into a unique experience.
Art & parts
Game components and art certainly reflect the game theme. Funny, parody like looking Egyptian folks, sand all around you, and nice-looking large wooden camel figures! What I really enjoy is the cardboard pyramid, it is a really crafty device to roll dice, that certainly adds that entertainment & fun stimulus. The problem with the pyramid is the cardboard material itself. Since the pyramid is constantly used for putting in dice, and rolling them, the slider wears off fast, starting to bend to one or another direction. But there is a free 3D printable solution for this, check out this Came up board game pyramid slider replacement.
Camel up colorblindness review
Moving forward, we are looking at how well game parts are adopted for colorblind players. The photo below shows questionable game components in a simulated color deficiency views (3 different types + casual view)
Based on the photograph we can note that camel tiles and camel figures are quite difficult to distinguish in terms of colors, especially for Protanope and Deuteranope types. Green, yellow, and red camel components in some cases really look alike, especially the tiles. To solve that marking would be the best advice, either paint some signs on camel figures or glue some little paper signs (if you want to avoid all the confusion). Never the less, some differences are noticeable, i.e. the darkest yellow should represent green camel, while semi-dark yellow-red camel. Based on that, we assign a colorblindness rating of C (difficult to play).
The amount of components you get is… all right, based on the price, in my opinion. Mostly, for the game experience itself. As for components value – this is acceptable. Though a little larger cards and a more durable pyramid would be great. Overall, this is a steal if you spot any discounts.