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Review: Zambezi: The Expedition Game!

What's going on everyone!? A little while back when I was establishing contacts and doing research I got into contact with the father son team that created Zambezi, Peter and Jonathan Burley of Burley Games, and asked about doing a review about this awesomely themed game. To my delight, they gladly allowed me the pleasure! Over the past weeks I've played the game MANY times and put off doing the review(As well as a few others) because of some personal problems with my back and such.

Well, I'm in between appointments and have had time to rest a bit so I'm happy to say that I'll be popping out a few new reviews this week! Normally I try to keep it at around one a week or so but it's been hectic scheduling so it's time to catch up and share some of the awesome games with my readers that I've had the pleasure to test out and review!

So sit back, grab your lucky canteen, put some bug spray on and lets take a look at Zambezi: The Expedition Game!




As always, here's a little excerpt for you:

"In Zambezi: The Expedition Game, players race tugboats from Victoria Falls to Lake Kariba, avoiding crocodiles and rocks along the way while also picking up commodities from staging posts and making "documentaries" about the animals of the Zambezi delta."




Now that you have an idea of the game, let's take a closer look at it.

First off, I LOVE themes that have to do with exotic lands, survival, wildlife and resources. I'm a big fan of watching nature documentaries when and IF I watch tv. Usually there's always something on that has to do with wildlife, fishing, history or science if I'm watching it.

Because of this, when I came across a game called "Zambezi" I just HAD to check it out. I mean, for me to be able to make a nature documentary while going down the Zambezi river was a definite interest for me!

So there are mainly two ways to play this game. There is the full game which includes making documentaries and there is a shorter game that is simply a race down the river and the first one to Lake Kariba wins.


Let's check out the full version of the game. Players each pick their color of tugboat and taking a tugboat dashboard as well as crew tokens and 15 gas canisters. These are VERY important in the game. The crew members are essentially your "hit points" so to speak. Your gas canisters are like your "river currency".




So once each player has all of their starting items, you then each draw from the draw pile, each animal card in the pile has a value. The highest value gets to place their boat at the front of the line and the others follow in order of who drew what.



Now we're ready to play!

Starting with the first player, They draw one card for free (This is to represent the flow of the river carrying you along your way)  but if you would like to, you can also sacrifice fuel to draw an additional card. This can be done each turn with a max of 2 additional cards drawn per turn at the cost of up to 2 fuel canisters sacrificed. The reason behind this is that you are "burning" more fuel to go through the river at a faster pace.

If you draw any two of the same number you are allowed to DOUBLE your movement. However, be sure not to land on a space that contains rocks when you hit the middle of that movement. If so, you are stuck on the rocks and don't get to continue on!



If you happen to draw a "1" for any animal you can start a documentary. To start one, you simply turn the card face down and set it aside on your side of the board to show that this is not available to other players.

When you stop your movement on a crocodile infested space, before your next movement you must sacrifice that many fuel barrels to move on. If you don't have any barrels left at any point, you can simply throw one of your crew overboard to keep the crocs busy while you make your escape.





There are also some docks along the way, these will have a random treasure on them as well as fuel barrels on some of them. When you stop on a space that has one of these you get to pick which of the resources you would like to keep. If you pick up one of the treasures, that will go towards your points at the end of the game.




To end the game, all you have to do is make it to Lake Kariba first! Sound easy? Well, it's definitely a good challenge and chances are, if you don't manage your fuel well then you're going to be stuck at the mercy of the river!





Here's a few more pics of the game too!













Now on to my opinion of this game:

Game Art: The art for this game is beautiful! It's bright and really brings the game and animals to life!

Game Quality: The quality is right up there at the top of the list. Although it doesn't have a ton of components, it has very good quality in them. The board is my favorite out of everything because not only is the art wonderful and the layout great but you even have a logo on the BACK of the board so that when it's all folded up in the box, the second you take the top off, there it is in all it's beauty.

Game play: Now, the gameplay was something I was curious about. Turns out, it's great as well. It has a player elimination mechanic but the players that get eliminated(if any) are only out of the game for 2 - 5 minutes which is completely acceptable times. The way the game is played is fast, fun, strategic and a little bit of "take that" at times.

So, Should you buy this game? If you're a fan of the theme or animals or boats or documentaries or great family fun then YES! If you're not a fan of any of those, I suggest you get your pulse checked because this game has a little bit of something for everyone in terms of fun for all! :P






GRAB YOUR COPY HERE!


As always, thank you very much for reading and take care! :)
-Tim

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