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



Guido Hoffmann


No. of Players:
2 - 4



Gamebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

My children and me are always exited when a new big game by DREI MAGIER SPIELE is announced. The publisher is a specialist for children games, and their games have a great renown for that certain something. For instance, I am still fascinated by the simple but effective mechanism which has been created for freeing the princess in Der verzauberte Turm. The new game Der unendliche Fluss (The Endless River) now deals with little magicians who want to prove their courage by visiting various scary creatures living along the shores of a river. On their journey they must follow the course of this the long and windy river, and the special nature of this river is the main feature of the game. Actually it is more like a castle ditch without the castle, since the river is a circle with no end, so that is why it is called "endless"...


Preparing the game is quite simple: The three magicians are put in boats (already firmly connected with the magicians' pawns) and placed on their respective start spaces along the river. Then all of the 36 playing cards are shuffled and one card is dealt to every player.

On most of the cards the players find one of the mystical creatures that also can be found at places along the river. Alternatively, a card may also show one of the three magicians, and they can be distinguished by the colour of their hats. During the game it is the players' task to help the corresponding magicians to move along the river to reach the creature that is shown on the player's current card.

However, such a task can be fulfilled during any player's turn - it does not have to be the player's own turn. Whenever the condition of a card is met, the player can interrupt the game, show his - up to that moment hidden - card and get his reward (the card) as victory points. After that a new card is dealt to that player until no more cards are left.

So far, so good. But the major feature of the game is the mechanism to move the magicians. When it is a player's turn he does not move one of the figures, but the river gameboard itself is set in motion, moving all magicians at the same time. How does that work? Well, DREI MAGIER SPIELE uses a simple but effective mechanism. All along the river, glass marbles are installed within the thick game board, and these marbles are set in motion when the board is moved over the table, and this in turn makes the magicians move along the river. For children as well for the grown-ups this clever mechanism is not only nice to watch, but it also promotes visual thinking, because you must move the board into a direction opposite to the movement direction of the magician. Most of the time this works rather well, but one rare occasion two or more magicians may get stuck together, and then it may get difficult to move them along the river. Apparently this effect was seen by the author, too, because some cards let the players return the magicians back to their starting positions and so they get released again. Furthermore, the board sometimes must be lifted and once again put down in the centre of the table, because otherwise it might fall over the edge, but despite these minor setbacks the game still plays fluently and children quickly get a grasp on moving the magicians to the right positions.

Once again DREI MAGIER SPIELE has surprised me with a rather innovative playing concept. From an abstract perspective of the game rules, Der unendliche Fluss seems to be a very simple, almost unspectacular game since moving a magician from one place to the other to find creepy creatures does not really knock your socks off. However, the innovative mechanism of the moving river catapults the game right into the spotlight as a great game for smaller children. Although it can be foreseen that the game does not guarantee long-term gaming fun like other games by DREI MAGIER SPIELE, Der unendliche Fluss sets itself off from the mainstream and can be recommended especially for games with changing player groups.

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