Ronald Wettering


No. of Players:
2 - 5



Gamebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

Loch Ness, a funny small family game published by HANS IM GLÜCK is based on the old story of Scotland's most famous mythical creature. Lately, there have been fresh rumours about the creature and a large crowd of reporters has set out for Scotland to lift the famous Loch's secret. The players act as these reporters, trying to take the best pictures of Nessie and send them to their desks.

The board shows the Loch as well as 15 places along the bank where players can position their cameras. Each player possesses three cameras in his or her colour as well as five drawing cards showing possible draws of 1-5 steps. The monster Nessie is placed on any of the 15 Loch fields adjacent to the bank. During the game players position their three cameras around the Loch in order to get a good shot of Nessie. Obviously, the most promising position is the one directly adjacent to the creature. But occupying this position is not that simple. On the one hand, space onto the 15 places along the bank is limited: No more than two cameras may be placed onto one and the same field. On the other hand, Nessie does not keep still - this would be much too easy! Instead, Nessie's movement is steered with the help of various cards played by the players.


In each round, the players must shift the positions of two of their cameras, clockwise. But prior to deciding on their cameras' new positions, they choose one of their drawing cards and place it upside down on the table. After having chosen their cards and shifted their cameras, players turn over their drawing cards. Each of the drawing card accounts for a specific number of steps and the number of steps taken together is the number of steps Nessie moves forward along the bank of the Loch. Obviously, moving the cameras exactly to that section of the bank where Nessie shows up will play the trick in winning the game. And since each of the three cameras is assigned a different value (3, 4, and 7 points, respectively), it is a good idea to have the camera with the highest value in place when Nessie shows up.

Of course this is not so easy as it seems to be. You must guess the sum of all drawing cards, but you only know the card you have chosen and not the ones of your opponents. Two things help you by your guess. The first one is that you conclude from your opponent's choices of camera positions what number they could have chosen. A player who has set his cameras far away from Nessie's actual position probably has chosen a high number. The other help are special abilities each player can choose from every round. One of these enable the player to look under one drawing card from an opponent, before the cameras are positioned. A different ability allows the player to move Nessie one step further after the normal movement, and yet another ability to set an additional camera on the third place of any place along the coast. The latter can be extremely useful, when you are quite sure with your guess. For it is the only possibility to place a camera on a field along the coast that is already occupied by two other cameras.

Now what do you get as a reward, if Nessie actually ends its movement right in front of your lens? Of course, you will get victory points, even if you are not exactly in front of it, but only on the same coast segment. But if you really meet Nessie from eye to eye, you have the chance to take a real good shot of the creature. The pictures can be taken from an outlay of three prints or from the picture pile. Each print shows one part of Nessie, the head, the body or the tail. If you are able to take a series of three different pictures, additional victory points will be the reward at the end of the game.

Loch Ness is a pure family game. It is easy and especially smaller children will have fun trying to take pictures of Nessie. The mechanism of guessing the movement steps of Nessie is quite nice, but nothing totally new. Two smaller variants alter the game, but basically Loch Ness remains quite simple. The material of the game is of good quality and the graphic design funny. Although you have certain chances to guess where Nessie will show up in the next turn, luck plays a major role in the game. This indeed fits to a family game again, but players with high expectations in game depth could be a little bit disappointed from this new game from HANS IM GLÜCK, compared with lot of other titles from this publisher.

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Copyright © 2011 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany