Catch the Moon

I have gone for something less dramatic this time, the three on the left are official the three on the right are not. See if you can find the game without googling/bgg searching the word “Duck”, cryptic answers only please this time, non-cryptic after Friday or ask me at the club.

The last quiz picture was correctly guessed as Nuclear war which if I remember correctly got heavily criticised by one of the national newspapers many many years ago as glorifying nuclear war obviously by someone who did not have a clue what it was about. A nice game but with a high luck factor though this can be mitigated by a simple rule change.

 Scythe mid-battle

Scythe mid-battle

 A Fistful of Penguins

A Fistful of Penguins

 Die Holde isolde (library picture)

Die Holde isolde (library picture)

 Sushi Go! - not a high score here.

Sushi Go! - not a high score here.

The spotlight again falls on something fun, I have chosen Catch the Moon an interesting balancing game that I came across recently. The box contains a plastic base in the shape of a cloud and a large number of wooden ladders with side rails and steps at all sorts of angles (some even with broken steps), a dice and a number of wooden teardrops. Three of the ladders are straight and true, two of those are inserted into the base to start the game, the third ladder joins the others to create a random draw pile.

 The base and the set-up ladders

The base and the set-up ladders

On a turn a player rolls the dice takes a random ladder and attaches it to the ladder(s) already in play, a placed ladder must follow the directions of the dice, which are that it can only touch one ladder, it can only touch two ladders or that it must create the highest point (touching only one or two other ladders). If in placing a ladder any ladder falls or touches the base or ground you collect a wooden teardrop and your turn ends immediately all fallen ladders and your own if unplaced being discarded from the game, the player who has the least teardrops when the last ladder has been used from the stock wins.

 The structure after a minor collapse, the lost ladders are to one side and now out of the game

The structure after a minor collapse, the lost ladders are to one side and now out of the game

The concept is simple and the game has similarities to other balancing games in that you take a piece and add it to the stack, however the lightness of the ladders and the strictures on how many other ladders it may touch makes the balancing more tricky than in other games of this nature, the delicate balance reminded me of an old game I had as kid called Vertigo where even the weight of a small piece of paper would change the structures appearance and its integrity, however the ladder pieces themselves are quite robust, another nice aspect is that despite the appearance of them easily interlocking it is often awkward finding the ideal spot to balance the ladder, the game can be made easier by placing the starting ladders closer together thus making for a firmer base for the central structure. Overall I like the game, it may not be as silly as Rhino Hero or as structured as Junk Art but it has its own beauty and plays simply and quickly and I have certainly had pleasure from playing it.

 A Linnet at Oare Marshes

A Linnet at Oare Marshes