Mississippi Queen Board Game

by Pamela Laurenne Laserna

(boardgamebeast.com)

Click to buy Mississippi Queen from Amazon!Click to buy this item from eBay!Mississippi Queen Board Game
Manufacturer:
Rio Grande Games
Number of players:
3-5
Ages:
10+
Time:
20-30 mins

Quick verdict

Mississippi Queen is basically a race game. It has a light but interesting concept, and is heavy on visual appeal.

The game and gameplay

Obviously the game is set in the glorious Mississippi River where steamboats still abound. The river is represented by a series of cleverly designed jigsaw tiles. These tiles can be connected at each end in three possible directions.

This, in turn, allows the river to bend unpredictably and gives the players a different topography for every round of the game.

The game is very easy to learn. Each player acts as captain of a steamboat carrying very limited amount of coal and a charter. The coal is used to change the boat’s speed or for a course correction.

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Image courtesy of Phil Romans under a Creative Commons license from Flikr

Their goal is to race their steamboat down the river, pick up two Southern belles on the way, and deliver them to the dock. Certain rules apply when picking up the passengers, such as having a speed of 1 notch upon reaching the dock.

Having good foresight is an advantage in this point of the game, considering you only get a scarce amount of coal to accelerate or decelerate the boat. Your steamboat will crash if you run out of coal.

Award-winning board games

See more reviews of the award-winning board games that scooped a Spiel des Jahres best board games award

The game has a feel of solitaire as player interaction is quite limited to bumping an opponent to an adjacent space to nab the passenger he/she set his/her eyes on.

A few strategies are applicable: 1.) play it quick by grabbing passengers early and zoom to the finish line 2.) Get in the lead and pick up passengers later 3.) playing it safe by only picking up passengers whenever they’re convenient. The lead boat won’t really have an advantage, though, since he/she generally has no idea what the river ahead looks like. In fact, it can even be more difficult being the lead boat.

Pros and cons

In a nutshell, there are only three crucial things to bear in mind when playing: the shape of the river (with a bit of luck, maybe you could anticipate its bend), the position of other players and the timing when picking up the passengers. Despite what the box says, the game lasts for only about 20-30 minutes making it the perfect game for busy families who wish to break open traditional games but don’t have the time to do so.

The verdict

Another winner of the Spiel des Jahres for best board game, Mississippi Queen is a fun filler for a regular group, and can introduce family game players to more complex board gaming.


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