Einer Geht Noch aka One Still Goes
8+ Age Group 2-5 Players 20-30 minutes Paco Yanez / Dennis Lohausen
Zoch zum Spielen are one of the most prolific publishers of children & family games that have that added strategy factor that gamers really appreciate.
EINER GEHT NOCH! (Translated to One Still Goes! by Google Translator) has eight 12cm square pages of simple rules coupled with illustrated examples.
The components are 5 sets of 12 Animal cards (each set valued 0-11), 5 Boat cards, 20 Cupid (who knew that Cupid was a Winged Chameleon?) cards all valued at 2, a Start player Buoy, and 30 weight tiles (used to give random values to the Boats).
Players have their own 12 card deck, shuffled and ready to play. From these, three cards are drawn to form their hands for each Round, thus making this a 4 Round game. Lay out a Row of face up Boat cards, one per player, and give each a random value weight tile. Now you are ready to play. The artwork ranges from cute to comic and the rules are clear as long as you understand what each Animal's Action is.
Select a Start player (Start player changes each Round) who then chooses one of the cards from their hand and plays it either face-up or face-down under one of the Boats. Your choice of Animal card should be decided by the weight on the Boat as Boats that are overloaded will generally sink and all animals lost. As play continues around the table until all players have played out three cards and each Boat has 3 Animal cards below it, there are opportunities to play your cards for either your advantage or your neighbour's disadvantage.
The choosing and placing of your card each turn is very important. Of the three cards you play each Round one has to be placed Face Down and two Face Up. Boats are full with three Animals but until all Boats are completed no scoring is made. Once you have played a few times try, as we have, reversing it so that only one card is placed Face Up and two cards are placed Face Down.
All cards are then turned Face Up and each Boat's weight is determined. Of the different Animals on the cards there are four that may become active: the Mouse, Fox, Monkey and Lion. Animal actions can change the grid by moving animals from one boat to the next, thus altering the value of both Boats. Animals are activated prior to the final weight determination.
0, 1, 2, 4 & 9 are the card values of each Animal card set are the ones with Actions. All Animal cards from each set are equal - all 0's are Mice, all 1's are Peacocks, all 2's are Foxes etc and each card number with an Action has the same Action as its equal number if the other sets; for example All Mice (0) cards have the same Action that only activates if there is an Elephant on board.
After every Boat's weight ratio (Animal weight value compared to Boat weight) and each Action has been evaluated the players check to see if the Boat is light enough to reach the Harbour; start with the left-most Boat. This is where the game may get a little confusing for younger players and where strategies of gamer players will come into play.
The overall value of the Animals left on the Boat has to be equal to or lighter than the weight value of the Boat. Using an example from the rule book, there is a Boat with a weight of 17 and three animals, a Squid (3) and 2 Zebras (both 7) thus 7+7+3 = 17 and the Boat is safe. The two Zebra fall in love and gain Cupid card points for their owners but the poor old Squid has spent too long on the Boat and dies from dehydration. If the Boat had only had a weight of 12, with those same three animals, the weight would have caused the Boat to sink. The Zebras would drown but the Squid would swim to safety.
None of these animals had special Actions but if they had have had, the Loved-up Zebras would have been not been affected by any Animal Action, nor would they have triggered any other Action and also they do not have any specific Actions of their own, except in the case of the above examples, they are in love.
This is a game of playing the hand dealt to you. You have options on where to play them but these diminish each turn until the last player has to play their remaining card in the only space available. This may be seen as a slight disadvantage, the same as going fifth in a 5 player game (you never get the chance to play first as there are only 4 Rounds) but we have had winners and losers from no matter where they started, it has always been a matter of luck of the draw and skill of the playing.
After all four Rounds the players will have collected Animal cards and possibly some Cupid cards in front of themselves. The player with the highest total value of cards is the winner.
We are all gamers but we approached EINER GEHT NOCH! as we would any other Euro game, rather than as a family or children's game, and found it to be thoroughly entertaining and all round good fun.