Camel Up Board Game by Pretzel Games
Camel Up Board Game by Pretzel Games
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Camel Up Card Game - A Family Review
First things first, this game is about betting and gambling. If that’s not your vibe, no sweat! We encourage you to skip this game and try something different instead. But, if you’re still here, get ready for a zany, fast-paced camel race game in the desert!
You know what our kids loved immediately? The tactile game pieces. The money is actual plastic coins, the board is a sandy racing track (don’t worry, not real sand!), the camel game pieces are colourful and stack on top of one another is a super satisfying way. You can tell a lot of thought went into the visual design of the game.
9yo: “I really liked the money tokens.”
The rules of Camel Up Card Game are a bit dense and change throughout the game depending on the progress of the camels on the track. Our suggestion? Watch a how-to-play video if you don’t feel like slogging through the rulebook.
11yo: “I liked that there was some luck and some strategy.”
Although there’s a luck element to Camel Up Card Game, there’s the opportunity for a lot of strategy as well. We found this added enough thought to make it fun for the adult players and enough challenge for the kids—but the luck element still gave everyone a chance to win.
The kids played their turns with very little help or direction from us, but the setup for each round was cumbersome. We think kids 10 and up may be able to play this without an adult, but younger kids would need help setting up each round and remembering the game rules.
One of our kids’ favourite things to do was create stories for each of the camels! Why was the black camel going backwards? Why was one camel so much slower than the others? Each camel got a name, and the parents were admonished if we forgot to call the blue camel “Blueberry.” By the end of the game our kids were less invested in which player won and very invested in cheering on the winning camel!
There’s an intriguing depth to the way you choose which cards go into the racing deck, and there’s some clever design in how players can “steal” another player’s face up racing card. We figure that this game sits in a really cool space between silly racing game and shrewd tactical engine, but we’d have to play more sessions to really know if careful planning can outweigh the randomness.
If that sounds intriguing to you, pick up Camel Up Card Game! You’ll have a great time stacking camels and groaning when your bet goes backwards.
- We renamed the “crazy camel” to the “confused camel.” Because ableism isn’t cool.
- It’s easy to misinterpret the betting cards in the heat of the game—always read your bets before you commit to them!
In Camel Up, up to eight players bet on five racing camels, trying to suss out which will place first and second in a quick race around a pyramid. The earlier you place your bet, the more you can win -- should you guess correctly, of course.
Camels don't run neatly, however, sometimes landing on top of another one and being carried toward the finish line. Who's going to run when? That all depends on how the dice come out of the pyramid dice shaker, which releases one die at a time when players pause from their bets long enough to see who's actually moving!