Rio Grande threw a few more games my way. One of them was Caravan which, at furst blush, reminded me of (what’s that game again?)… oh, yeah – Tsuro. But the big, chunky grid is where the similarities stop. i also invoke The Voyages of Marco Polo for another swing and a miss – the two games are nothing alike!

(click to view transcript)

Hi! It’s Ryan from Nights Around a Table, and the fine folks at Rio Grande Games have sent me a game that i know nothing about, except the fact that it’s got a camel on the front of the box. It’s called Caravan, and it was billed to me as maybe a little bit simpler game than what i’m used to… lighter, possibly family friendly affair, possibly? Let’s open it up and find out! (good-natured humming) One tip-off that they’ve made it – or they tried to make it – a family friendly targeted game, maybe for some younger players, is that the box says “Not recommended for children under three – small parts may be swallowed.” So i found out a little bit more about these guidelines, and i made fun of them in past unboxings because – you know – games like… possibly Roll for the Galaxy? i’d have to go back – say stuff like, you know, “Not for children under 13!” And i’d think, well, thirt… like, kids under 13 can play Roll for the Galaxy no problem! And it… it’s not about whether or not the game is appropriate for kids under that age. They actually have to do different testing on board games to make sure that the component… they have to pay for this testing to make sure that the components are appropriate for customers of different age ranges, and it’s more expensive – the testing is – the lower y- you go. So if you are making game that you hope that families can play with maybe younger players, then you have to spring for the more expensive testing. So when you see “0-3” “…Not…” “Not recommend for 0-3” on a box, well that means that this is definitely targeted for a skewed-down age range, because they wanted to make sure that those younger players could actually enjoy it… legally, safely, non-chokingly… and then all the other games that they make with lead pieces in them are for 13 and up. i don’t know if they’ve got lead in them, but we’re not about to put them in our mouths. (humming) Although… (box opens silently) Box Fart-O-Meter on Caravan: it’s a zero. i was gonna say: although, i did have one post kicked off of Reddit because i asked “Which board game components look the most delicious?” and of course, they gave that the one the hook as soon as they possibly can. But… you know what? This is my… this is MY space. This isn’t Reddit. This is MY channel. i’m gonna ask you: Which board game components look the most delicious? Let me know in the comments. Here… a couple of promos for other Rio Grande Games stuff, and the rule book. Ah! And this is how you really know that they’re really trying to target a family audience, because the rule book ain’t a book at all! It’s just a one-pager, double-sided, big type… so you should be able to… This is, you know, on par with anything that comes out of a Milton Bradley/Parker Brothers/Hasbro wheelhouse. Really simple set of rules to figure out how to play. i could almost read them to you right now… but i ain’t gonna. Here is the other stuff in the box: one big-looking board. i like to compare games in my collection with other games in my collection, and i think that this is the second game in my collection that involves camels. i know that there are others out there, but the only other one that i have that involves camels is The Voyages of Marco Polo. Shameless plug: if you want to learn how to play that game, i’ve got a video, and clicky… clicky-click… click. Here it is! It’s reminding me a little bit already of… What IS that game? i can’t remember. It starts with a “T” and it involves dragons, and i didn’t like it, so i got rid of it. But it’s very popular with families because it’s very easy to play, and you’re moving dragons around the board. This one looks like you’re moving camels, presumably, around the board. Mm! We’ll take this little piece of brown paper binding the bits. So these are player boards that describe the different actions that you can take in the game. Each player gets a board, presumably… a bunch of punch-out money a, bunch of punch-out… ha-WHAtt? What even is that? It looks like a thief who’s dragging stuff away in the… under guise of night. i don’t really… is THAT what that is? i don’t know. One moment please… Aha! Look: it says right here: Theft Markers! Aces! My brain works! …Occasionally. So those are the punch-out pieces, so a couple of markers and some player boards describing the rules. You also get a drawstring bag, a black one, that’s… Rio Grande, i think so far, is the only one that i’ve seen that’s doing the pull from two sides. i have a friends… a friend whose wife is sewing some of these together, and there’s much debate at his house about whether to make it the single-side draw bag, or the double side draw bag, and i’m sure that when i look at the stats for this video, the fall-off of interest of people leaving is gonna be right around the point where i start describing the merits… of draw string bags. There’s a bag of wood inside. i think this is where most of the excitement lies for me, because it’s kind of cool: the camels are much larger than the ones in Voyages of Marco Polo. You get a couple camels per player color. The player colors are orange and green and blue and black. Here they are. This one’s upside down – oh, no. He’s fixed. i fixed him. It’s like i’m a veterinarian over here. Only with wood animals, though. Please don’t send me your flesh and blood animals, because they’re …yucky. Wood animal veterinarian. This guy, see.. this is a condition that we find that’s common among camels. It’s the camel.. woooden… wooden camel faceplant. It affects wooden camels more than flesh and blood camels. Wooden camel faceplant. And we can just fix it by pushin’ on their bums. There we go – fixed! So here they are, they’re gonna lie down. What’s kind of cool about this is i think it’s a bit of a pick-up- and-go game… pick-up-and-go? Pick-up-and- DELIVER game… if the back of the box is doin’ me proper. So you’re moving these camels around, and they can actually… the little resource cubes go in the crook of the two humps on the Bactrian camels. How do i know they are Bactrian? With a mnemonic device that i learned when i was 9 years old! Bactrian. B. Two humps on the B, 2 humps on the camel. Dromedary. D. One hump on the D, one hump on the camel. And hopefully YouTube doesn’t flag this video because i just said… “one hump on the D.” THAT IS CARAVAN! And that’s all the stuff you get in it. How to play? i dunno, but it would take me five minutes to learn, and probably you too! Thank you very much for watching! Did you just watch that whole thing? Oh – hey! To 100% this video, click the badge to subscribe, and then click the bell to get notifications when i’ve got new stuff! [Music]


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Caravan straddles a nice position between “easy enough to play with your family” and “not insipidly adorable and boring.” Your mileage may vary on the use of those thief tokens, which i could see sending certain players off pouting (my wife included!) Use the Amazon link below, and i’ll receive a small commission.


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