Explore the jungles of the Amazon as an intrepid explorer, attempting to find biological specimens while avoiding fires, crocodiles and Jaguars.
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Amazonas is played on a map of the Amazon rain forest, along the banks of a large river. The jungle contains many villages, each of which has one of five types of specimens that can be found there, if a player sets up a hut in that village. Each player takes a set of cards, a set of huts in their color, and draws a "special mission" card which shows four villages which the player must place a hut in before the end of the game to avoid a penalty. Each player places a hut on the board, and takes a token of the type of specimen found in that village, and the game begins. An event card is turned up, which is in effect for the entire turn, and then the players all simultaneously takes one of the cards in their hand, and places it face down on the table.
But what about the 0 card and the six? The zero card shows all of the specimen types, and whichever type of specimen the player has the most of, that is the type that is added to the zero. The six card shows a native, and if a player has a native token or tokens, these are added to the six. In addition, if the event card being used for that turn has a negative effect, the player can ignore the negative effect.
And the negative events can be really negative, preventing jungle "movement", river movement, loss of income or even no income for a turn. They can also help, giving a bonus for each token of a particular species, or allowing a player to gain a native token. Native tokens are "wild", and can be used to represent any type of species the player already has, (this IS the way the rule is supposed to be played, but the English rules do NOT make this clear, but the designer and Mayfair games have confirmed that this is how the natives are supposed to be played). But only one player can take the native token, and if a player chooses to take the native, they must forgo their entire income for the turn.
When the 18th turn is over, the game is scored. If a player has collected all five types of specimen, they will have a bonus tile, which scores from 5 to 2, with the first player to do so taking the five, and the next the four, etc. Also, if a player has at least three of a single type of specimen, then they receive one point per token. Finally, players reveal their secret mission cards, losing 4 points for each village on their card in which they did not place a hut. The designer has also said that he plays the game with an additional bonus of 2 victory points for the player who has the most type of each specimen, with tied players each getting one point. This is an excellent variant, which increases the need to diversify, and can make a 2 specimen collection actually have a value.
The game is very good looking, with a lush board, thick nicely illustrated tokens, etc. The tight economy, and rapidly escalating hut construction costs make for a nice feeling of pressure and turn angst. In terms of a nice "gateway" game, one could do far worse than Amazonas.
seem to be a lot more negative comments about Amazonas than positives.
not a tremendous degree of interaction, though the race to a particular
building spot does create tension. Also, the blind bidding mechanic
will turn a
lot of players off. The game plays far, far better with four players
three, as with three the interaction is lessened even further. Some
complained that as there are only eight mission cards, these will be
memorized over time, leading to a lack of replayability. I happen to
with this assessment, as I think that only once all the players know
will the game shine, as then players will be able to try to determine
villages their opponents are trying for based on their starting hut
and their first few hut placements. This is also reflected in the fact
board contains a serious "sweet spot", a village which is located in
a very prime spot, giving access to a wide variety of species and
locations. Send me an email if you can't figure out which village this
On the whole, while Amazonas is a fine
game, there really isn't enough interesting things going on to make it
a keeper in my collection, as I have other games that fill the gateway
Buy/Read about Amazonas now at Funagain
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