Have you ever felt the itch to go to the racetracks and place a bet? If so, Camel Up satisfies your craving for gambling without the risk in the form of a fun and family-friendly board game. In the world of Camel Up, you’re a rich desert inhabitant looking to score a fortune by betting on some speedy camels. Do you have the skills to choose the winner?
Legs of the Race
The game begins with each player taking on the role of a rich desert inhabitant placing bets on a camel race. Five camels race around the game board, giving you different opportunities to place bets and potentially win or lose coins. Each camel starts out within 1-3 spaces from the start line depending on the roll of a die. The race is then run in several legs, with each camel moving once per leg.
Each turn you get four options. The first option is to take a betting tile, which allows you to bet on the camel you think will win that individual leg. First and second place winners get coins, but losers end up with a one-coin penalty, so place your bets carefully!
You can also bet on which camel will win the overall game at any time, which will remain secret until the very end. The earlier you place this bet the more coins you’ll win, but patience may allow you to weed out the strongest camel from the rest of the pack.
Taking a pyramid tile will allow you to roll a die and move the camels. One of the coolest elements of the game is the cardboard pyramid located in the center of the board, which allows you to shake one die loose at a time. The color of the die corresponds to the color of the camel that moves, and the leg ends as soon as each camel has made their move.
One final option that you have each round is to play your desert tile, which each player has one of. This tile can be placed on an empty space anywhere on the board, and if a camel lands on it, they’re forced to either move one space forward or backward. You’ll also gain a coin every time a camel lands on your space, so it pays to place your desert tile wisely in order to rake in those valuable coins!
Totaling The Score
The game ends as soon as one of the camels crosses the finish line. You’ll calculate everyone’s total points and then read through the bets on the winner in whichever order they were placed. This is where betting early can make a real difference, as correct early guesses can win much bigger awards than ones placed later. Your prediction skills will be on full blast in Camel Up, as you may have to risk it all if you want to walk away the winner.
Later Editions of Camel Up
Camel Up is a simple game that allows for anywhere from 2-8 players. Later editions, however, have implemented new elements that make gameplay a bit more challenging and even allow for as many as 10 players in one game. The 2018 second edition of Camel Up comes with a new game board and pyramid design. It also comes with new and interesting game modes such as rogue camels, which begin the race by running in the wrong direction.
Camel Up: Supercup builds off of the base game with four additional modules. The new modules add elements such as an extended race track that lengthen gameplay or betting partnerships that allow for greater cooperation between players. This expansion can turn a simple game of Camel Up between into a captivating game for a large group.
All Bets Are Off with Camel Up
Camel Up is the perfect family game, with incredibly simple rules and gameplay that’s suitable for ages 8 and up. Playing time is only 20-30 minutes, so you’ll be able to get multiple rounds out of this entertaining game. Place your bets and choose wisely with this lighthearted game in the land of Egypt!
This is one of the best games there is… You want it. (Jedi hand wave)