Friday, June 9, 2017

Coloretto Amazonas, the odd man out

Coloretto Amazonas is the red headed step child of the Coloretto family. Out of the six standalone games in the family, it is ranked last on Boardgame Geek. (Which really doesn't prove anything but still is worth noting.)

A big part of that is clearly because it falls under the same category as Halloween III: Season of the Witch. You know, when Carpender thought that the Halloween movies were going to be an anthology series as opposed to all about a Shatner mask painted white. Coloretto Amazonas is the second game in the series and the only one that doesn't use the cut-and-choose mechanic that defines the family.

Since Coloretto Amazonas can be played at, Michael Schacht's site, I decided it was time that I learned it and tried it out.

Coloretto Amazonas is a card game with four different colors for suits. The ranks are different animals. And here is where it gets tricky, each suit has its own set of animals and each suit has a different number of ranks. Personally, this sort of thing makes card counting tough for me.

The object of the game is to collect sets. You have a hand at three and on your turn, you either play a card on your side or your opponent side. To make things trickier, you can only have one of each animal in your collection. You can play the same animal, either on yourself or your opponent, but you have to discard both cards.

When you get a complete set in the suit, is that those cards to one side in the name of points and you can start over. If you are the first person to complete that particular suit, you get a bonus points card. Once someone has two or three completed sets, the game is over.

You score points based on both complete and incomplete sets using a triangular number sequence (you know, 1,3,6,10 etc), which is the only thing it has in common with Coloretto. No negative points though. Whoever has the most points wins.

Out of the four games in the family I have now played, Coloretto Amazonas is my least favorite. The simple binary choice of either adding or taking creates a razor edge choice in the other games, a tension and elegance that Coloretto Amazonas can't touch. Having said that, I still enjoyed the game and I am planning on playing some more games of it online. And I wouldn't turn down the chance to play at face-to-face as well.

The biggest problem Coloretto Amazonas has is that there's no way you can't compare it to the other games and the family. I mean, for crying out loud, it shares the name. And not sharing any of the mechanics or the feel of the other games, it just feels off. On the other hand, I believe it is still in print and I don't think it would be if it didn't have that name.

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