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



Klaus Zoch


No. of Players:
2 - 4



Gamebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

An official game of a movie is something a lot of players try to avoid. And indeed, very often these merchandise products are badly designed and the publishers only want to profit from the success of the movie. On the other hand, especially children have a tendency to desire those products, and indeed Ritter Rost is a title of a very successful series of audio books for 4 to 8 years old children in Germany. The author of Ritter Rost, Jörg Hilbert, writes these stories in the city of the SPIEL, Essen. This year the first movie about the main character of the audio books found its way into German cinemas. And so, no wonder, soon after the film start a game followed. To understand my ambitions to do the following review you must know that my older son really loves those audio books and was among the first to see the movie. So when I heard that ZOCH planned to publish the official game of the movie, I, although a bit skeptic for the aforementioned reasons, was anxious to see whether or not my son would like the game. However, as Klaus Zoch himself is the author of the game, I was getting hopeful that Ritter Rost - Eisenhart & voll verbeult was more than a simple merchandise product after all.

In the movie Ritter Rost ("The Rusty Knight") wants to take part in a tournament to win against the narcissist Prinz Protz. He sells the sewing machine of his damsel Bö in order to afford the entry fee of the tournament, but he is fooled by some crooks. As a result, he looses his castle and his damsel is imprisoned by Prinz Protz. To rescue her he must fight a double-headed dragon. That is more or less the story of the movie and this can also be found in the game. Here each player slips into the role of Ritter Rost and is confronted with exactly the same three tasks: winning the tournament, fighting the dragon and freeing Bö.


All tasks are solved in the same way, only that the difficult level increases from task to task. But first of all we have to equip our Ritter Rost with useful gear like a suit of armor, a lance, a knife or a shield. Additionally damsel Bö and the small house dragon of Ritter Rost, named Koks, can help us in form of auxiliary cards in our tasks. Although this seems not fully logical, as our last task is to free Bö (how can she help us before?), we are quite hopeful that we got the rules right (and indeed the apparent contradiction is solved, because in our last task we can also find out that Bö already has freed herself). The equipment and auxiliary cards determine the number of dice we can use to solve a task. When we feel strong enough, we can set ourself to the next task, in which we have to choose between two randomly drawn mission cards that give us the difficult level of the task. We have to reach at least this level with the help of our dice.

So we begin rolling all our dice. If we have equipped our hero well with equipment and auxiliary cards, we can reach up to 12 dice. After the first roll all dice showing the "rust"-symbol are put aside. The rest is added up and taken for another roll. Again "rust"-symbols are put aside and the rest is added to the total of the roll before. This goes on until the difficult level of the task is reached or until all our dice show the "rust"-symbol. In the first case, we have proven worthy and have solved the task. In the latter we must take another try. Depending on the result of the fight, we have to put away up to two equipment cards and all of our used auxiliary cards.

After the fight is before the next fight, so we should have a closer look on how to arm our hero. Instead of trying to solve a task, we can choose one of the openly available cards from two piles in the middle of the table. The chosen card is then sold by auction. Every player has his own set of auction cards, each one consisting of eight cards from "1" to "8". In the auction all players choose one card and put it face-down on the table. At a command all players flip their cards and the player with the highest number wins the auction and takes the equipment or auxiliary card. In case of a tie, the number of gearwheels on the auction cards decides. And there is an exception if one player has played a number "1" card and another one a card with a value of "8". In this case, the "1" beats the "8". Every auction card played is put aside, so if your memory is good enough, you can conclude what cards your opponents have left. After the whole set of auction cards has been used the complete set is given to the right neighbour, so that the number of gearwheels in our set of cards changes during the game.

But Prinz Protz, our archenemy, does not stand idle. Some cards from the drawing piles are Prinz Protz cards. Sometimes the players may be forced to take such a card, and they must get rid of them until the end of the game. In order to do so they can be added to a task, although this increases the difficult level by two per Prinz Protz card.

For a happy end, a player must solve all three tasks and, of course, the player who reaches this aim first wins the game.

As with most merchandise products it is helpful to know the movie or at least the protagonist to really get into the game. However, Ritter Rost - Eisenhart & voll verbeult also introduces enough story to take children along who have never heard of a Ritter Rost.

As a matter of fact, the game is a bit too light for grown-ups and older children, but for the ages from 6 to 12 years the game turned out to be quite entertaining. The playing mechanism is quite simple, but the children can learn to make decisions in the auction rounds and they are forced to calculate up to 30. Especially the rule that a "1" beats the "8" in an auction invites the young players to memorize previous cards and do some speculations about their opponents' next moves. With this, the children learn to pay attention to the actions of their neighbors. And it is exactly this auction mechanism that makes the game one of the better merchandise products, since otherwise it would be a simple game of dice.

All in all, Ritter Rost - Eisenhart & voll verbeult is a well designed and equipped game which does not offer surprising new elements for boardgaming parents, but it is rather suitable for its main target group. So, it's not really a wonder that my son really likes the game...

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Copyright © 2013 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany