Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de



Thomas Dupont, Arnaud Ladagnous

Blam! / Blackrock Games

No. of Players:



G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

About 7 years ago, I first came in contact with the ingenious The 7th Continent by Ludovic Roudy and Bruno Sautter. At this time, I played a well advanced prototype of the game at SPIEL in Essen. I still remember that I just could not believe that the designer team had foreseen all the possible ways and situations the players could face in the game. I mean, do the players have a shovel in a certain situation or do they not? In the first case they would have been stuck at some point of the story, if the designers wouldn’t have foreseen this situation. I really loved this game, although it seldom found the way on my table, because I just didn’t find the time to continue my journey with the same fellow players.

This time problem might be solved with the new card game series Cartaventura from BLAM!. The series follows a similar approach as the older title. Basically, all you need you find on the square cards of the game, 70 in total. You just begin reading the first card following the instructions. You are sometimes asked just to read the next card after this, sometimes you place a card on the table to form a map with various ways and places you can go, sometimes you find an item that might be useful in the further curse of the game. Often, you also have to choose if you want to do the one or other thing in a certain situation. For example run away or talk to a stranger. Dependent on your choice, you are then asked to take the one or other card next.


Click on image to enlarge!

An interesting detail is that even the rules of the game are introduced in this way. There is no rulebook, you just take your first card and begin to play. That’s definitely by far my fastest introduction in a new game so far!

Up to now, there are three different titles of Cartaventura. All of them let you experience the story of a historical person. But, as said, you make your own decisions. So, the story has multiple endings, one of these is the real outcome of the story, the others possible other endings. Some even lead to death, which was often not an unlikely ending in history, of course.

I played the variant Cartaventura – Oklahoma that takes place in the year 1854, the time right before the American civil war. In the game you play the role of Bass Reeves, a 23 year old black slave who escapes his master and must now find a way to live his own life. You can imagine that this was not easy at this time, and as a result, there are many perils and challenges to face. All the more as Bass’ master, George Steele Reeves, is chasing him, his revolver always at hand.


Click on image to enlarge!

I must say that I really enjoyed to play the game. I mean, it’s not very complex and there are not really hard decisions to make. But it’s great to experience an episode of history in this narrative and entertaining way. Of course, 70 cards do not guarantee life-long re-playability. But Cartaventura uses a simple, but effective mechanism to change the options you will face between two games: all cards have two sides. And during the game you are often asked to turn a card and follow the instructions on the backside. The card is then discarded. During clean-up, not all cards are flipped back again. As a result, you face the backside first during your next game, and this again can alter the game. So, if you want to find all available options it will take you some time.

Cartaventura can be played by a group, it is the ideal solo game for me. In a group you just decide together which way you go or which option you choose. But of course, you can do so by your own too. It’s a nice game to play everywhere you go. You don’t need much room for this, even a small table in a train will be enough. Together with the compact box, it is a great game to take along. And once you are fed up with the game or have found out all available endings, you can still give it away to a friend who also wants to learn more about the historical person.

[Gamebox Index]

Google Custom Search

Impressum / Contact Info / Disclaimer


Copyright © 2021 Ralf Togler & Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany