Authors: Doris Matthäus /
Frank Nestel

Publisher: Doris & Frank 2002

G@mebox Star



Once again Doris & Frank have chosen to set their game in the prehistoric period, and each player in the game will try to lead a tribe of Ichtios (amoeba) out of the prehistoric oceans to live on the first continents. The players each start with a number of Ichtios in each of the different sea-areas around the continents, and they must try to multiply these Ichtios and bring them onto land in order to score points there. During a round of play one player determines one of these land-areas where points can be scored this turn. Each of the 12 different land-areas bears a number and has a corresponding counter, and to determine in which area players will score, the player draws 3 of the 12 land counters counters and secretly choses one of them. The other two he gives to the next player, who will proceed likewise when his turn has come. However, these two players are not allowed to become active this turn, but only the other players may do up to two actions (or four if they want to sacrifice one of their two "+2 actions" markers). The players may spend their actions in a number of ways, speculating which land-area will be scored that turn. Players may move Ichtios from one sea-area to an adjacent sea area, or they may move one Ichtio per action from a sea area to an adjacent land-area- Last, they also have to option to multiply their Ichtios in a Sea-area, and for each set of 3 Ichtios in that area they will get an additional Ichtio (up to a maximum of 2).


Once all players have spent their actions, the area which is scored that turn is revealed and Victory Points will be given to the players depending on how many Ichtios they have in that land-area. The player with fewest Ichtios in that area loses all of them, the player with most gains 3 victory points, and all others get 2 victory points. Once a player has reached 30 victory points the game ends, a final scoring will be held for the players with most Ichtios on the table, and then the player with most points has won the game.

However, this would be no true game from Doris and Frank if the rules would stop here. Instead, a number of special rules influences the standard playing mechanism, adding an even better and deeper atmosphere to the game. Three times during the game an auction of new genes takes place, and here the players secretly bid a number of Ichtios which they later have to remove from the gameboard in order to be the first ones to chose new genes from the genepool. These new genes alter the attributes of a player's Ichtios in some ways: Legs allow movement of more Ichtios to land areas, Wings allow movement of Ichtios between land areas, warm-blood allows an additional action per round etc. In total, 11 new different genes are available, allowing a player's Ichtios to develop slowly during the game. Even more variety is introduced through volcanoes, since - if the game has not ended once the stockpile of land-area-counters has been reduced to 2 - the last 2 land-counters will be replaced by newly erupted volcanoes, killing nearly all Ichtios in adjacent land areas and joining two land areas together.

Urland really is a great game!!! Once again Doris and Frank have shown their outstanding abilities to produce games with not only good graphics but good rules alike. The game is short to play, and when it is over for the first time you will directly feel the urge to replay it almost instantly.

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany