Every month we get together with our friends from church to play board games. During that time we’re looking for shortish games that can be played in 15-45 minutes. I’m always on the lookout for games that would work for our monthly game night, and when we went over to our friend’s house for an afternoon of board games, this was the big hit: Camel Up. I think it could also be used for gameschooling, but really it’s more of a fun game.
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What is Camel Up?
You and your friends all live out in the desert with a bunch of camels. One day you are all really bored and decide to race your camels. These camels aren’t just ordinary racing camels, no! These camels can still race with other camels on top of them!
And to make the race even more exciting, you have two crazy camels running the race backward. What is going to happen?
How to play Camel Up
I just explained all of this last night to my boys as we went on our night walk.
This game is played in heats. You don’t have a set number of heats, it is all dependent on how long it takes to get that first camel to cross the finish line.
Here are your actions you can do on your turn:
- Pick a camel to finish first in that heat. You can see I’ve grabbed two of the cards thinking red will finish first in this heat.
- You can make a bet for an overall winner of the race. There are five different camels racing. Once you make a bet on a camel, you cannot change your bet. At the end of the race, the first person to get the overall winner correct gets 8 coins, going down from there. For each wrong guess you pay 1 coin.
- You can make a bet for an overall loser of the race. Same as before, the sooner you make your correct bet, the more money you can make. But, once you’ve made a bet for that color whether it’s in the winner or loser category, that’s it.
- You can place your participation tile. If a camel lands on your tile you get paid a coin, and depending on which side is up the camel either moves forward a square or back a square.
- And finally, you can choose to roll the dice and see which camel moves.
You see the pyramid? That holds all of the dice. You push the button on the side of the pyramid, and whichever color dice comes out is the color camel that moves. A camel can move up to 3 spaces a turn. Rolling a dice gets you a coin.
Once five camels have moved the heat is over, and all bets for who will place first and second are paid out, and the next heat starts with everything but the camels reset.
What’s unique about Camel Up?
We actually already own a game similar to Camel Up, but Jeff likes this game more. Lemming Mafia is a similar game, where you’re betting on who will place first and trying to mess with the end result.
Two things make Camel Up unique.
First, camels can ride on top of each other. The camel at the top of the stack is considered to be further up in ranking than the other camel. So, in the picture up above, blue is in first place and red would be in second place.
So, if you roll red right now and it moved two spaces to cross the finish line, then blue would win at first place because it’s on top.
Second, are the crazy camels. The crazy camels are moving backward. If red rolls a 1, and lands on top of the black camel, then both red and blue will start traveling backward around the board as the black camel moves backward.
Of course, that assumes black is rolled. Our entire first game, black was never rolled. White ran the wrong way and got halfway around the track, but black never moved.
That is where the randomness comes into play. There’s just a bit of randomness.
I don’t know what the right strategy is for Camel Up
I don’t know. There are probably lots of great strategies, but we played it twice with our friends and there is no set great plan.
Which makes it a great party game.
Our first game, my friend came in last place. Jeff won, and I came in second. Her husband came in third.
The second game she won. I don’t remember where everyone else was, but I do remember having the exact same score as the first game.
It was a lot of fun to play.
Camel Up game is a fun party game.
More gameschooling fun
- Quacks of Quedlinburg
- Books of the Bible cup game
- Unexploded Cow game
- Axis of Villains
- Marrying Mr. Darcy