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Camel Up (as it’s now undeniably called, thanks to the new logo of this second edition clearing up the ‘Camel Cup’ debate) is the definition of a feel-good game: a fast and fun, simple and silly betting experience that takes the unpredictability of rolling dice and turns it into near-unbeatable entertainment that’s just as good at home with the kids and grandparents or over a few drinks with friends.

The basics here remain the same: roll dice, move camels and try to predict which will cross the finish line first. Camel Up 2.0 takes the brilliant chaos of seeing the racers pelt it around the track with potential passengers stacked on their humps and amps it up even further with two misguided dromedaries running in the opposite direction, which can see the leader quickly carried to the back of the pack. It’s a fantastic addition that leans into the game’s sudden reversals of fortune and riskreward of placing bets early and comes out a complete winner. (The new rules can be ignored for those who prefer less chaotic outcomes – but if you’re not here for that teetering tower of camels, you’re probably missing the point.)

The game’s creators clearly know its strengths as a spectator game: the new 3D pop-up palm trees on the board and plastic pyramid dice-shaker (replacing the cardboard original) join the still delightful camel meeples, plastic Egyptian pounds (clink!) and outstanding refreshed artwork from Chris Quilliams for a table setup that invites the hours of laughter and cheer it deserves.

If you’ve already played Camel Up, you know what you’re in for – only better. The only caveats here are that this comes at a cost: around a tenner more than the original game, depending on where you look, and the inability to use the longer track and modules of expansion Supercup, which makes it a bit of a needless upgrade for existing fans. There’s also a superficial increase of the minimum player count from two to three that has no bearing on gameplay – other than reffecting that the betting still works best with bigger groups. Those minor points aside , if you’re yet to experience the hilarity of seeing a stack of camels wobble its way around a race track, this version of Camel Up will have you laughing harder than ever.


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About The Best Games of 2019

Must Plays and more in our Best Games of 2019 issue of Tabletop Gaming. Over the next 196 pages discover all of the most positively reviewed games of the year. With a massive 181 games reviewed, this is the definitive “what to play next” guide of 2019! Games reviewed include: Wingspan Copenhagen Hellboy: The Board Game Res Arcana Lifeform Century: A New World Megacity: Oceania Pandemic: Fall of Rome Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Rough Nights & Hard Days Azul: Stained Glass of Sinatra Tapestry Letter Jam Hako Onna Everdell Battle Ravens Dune + Many more!

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