Niagara Board Game
by Pamela Laurenne Laserna
Niagara Board Game
Rio Grande Games
Number of players:
Winner of the Spiel des Jahres 2005 award, Niagara is a fun mix of strategy and chance that will have you wanting to replay time and again.
The game and gameplay
You have to trust the geniuses with this one. A Mensa Mind Games winner, this relatively easy game is set in the breathtaking yet treacherous waters of Niagara Falls.
Award-winning board games
See more reviews of the award-winning board games that scooped a Spiel des Jahres best board games award
The back story of the game is captivating which involves Indians, Desperadoes, Mercenaries and Adventurers. Players assume the role of some of the Adventurers as they traverse the rushing waterfalls in hopes of finding caches of valuable jewels.
This objective is accomplished by moving your canoe up and down the board, which acts as the river, without going over the falls.
Sounds easy? Well, the twist is that the speed of the “river” can weaken your strategy of transporting your collected gems back to shore.
The game involves the right mixture of strategy and luck. There aren’t a lot of rules and the ones that are there are fairly easy to grasp. Do not be fooled, though.
Pros and cons
Winning the game isn’t a cinch as what the instructions may imply. It is a game involving a decent amount of strategizing and scheming. Novice players need not worry as they could probably get the hang of the game and could be able to strategize effectively in a matter of days.
You could opt to be a ruthless player by stealing the gems from other players’ canoes. Players get a whole lot of control in this game; you could even influence the pace which the board spaces move downstream.
While it is true that luck plays some role in the game, this is less applicable to more experienced players as they can anticipate, but in no way predict, the moves of their opponents.
The design and construction of the Niagara board game is seamlessly done. The board itself is unique, engineered as a hinged type with the flap hanging over the box edge to represent the famous Niagara Falls.
Clear plastic discs in a grooved surface are used to represent the river. The grooves allow the “canoes” to be moved downstream toward the waterfall. This attention to detail is impressive as this particular and simple aspect of the game delivers maximum impact to the players’ gaming experience.
With its unique hinged board and fun theme, plus strong strategic elements, Niagara is a game you’ll come back to time and again.
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