Water is element, that gets what it wants everytime. Water runs down and does not care, what stands in its way, it always finds some path to proceed. Whether his strength and patience disrupt seemingly indestructible obstacle or it can find another way around. Water is just unstoppable. It contains hidden unknown force in every drop. Humans should respect its power.
In addition, water keeps people alive. Without it, we will not endure even one week. That is why people for thousands of years build all sorts of water connections, earlier aqueducts, now water mains. And more than once in history, there came a day, when two rivaling cities need not share their water supply. But most of the time, they were not able to agree on the subject, who will build linking between cities. Workers then began to build from both cities and race together, who would finish their connection first.
You can now join the race, thanks to the logical board game Caminos from the Swiss publishing company Murmel. Last time, we looked at their frozen game, where icy winds harried place in an abstract game Arktia (review). But nothing could freeze the fun, that came from it. We must build water supply this time.
This time the box is decorated with a simple illustration, which shows the completed aqueduct. Like its sister Artkia, even Caminos has only a minimum of components. And they still provide an interesting entertainment. You’ll find this time a fixed game plan in the box, but on two boards in four different shapes. Also the pieces of two colors – green and yellow belong to it. These are in addition carried out in two temperate shades in case you wanted to play a game with four players.
We will describe the battle in two, because that is the main purpose of Caminos. It is the most interesting match of the game, when there are only two players. The show will also need the board. We choose the square one, which is best for learning. Task of players in one round is simple – to get their pieces to the other side.
But nobody said, that it is simple. The whole route must stay visible in the end, so it must not be interrupted with some opponent color space. Because it is a 3D game, you will need to link also via rise and fall of water. You count these vertical sides of cubes as another piece of the route.
At the beginning of the match, players get all their supplies of wooden pieces. They sort these pieces according to shape into groups for better overview. Among rivals, there lies only an empty game board, which will be filled in few moments.
The rivalry has really easy setting – each contender puts a piece anywhere on the board during his turn and then its opponents time. It does not have to touch your previous cube and so you can successfully block your opponents or prepare the way for your next turns. Because wooden tiles have different shapes, measuring a maximum of two times three cubes, players can put them over each other.
Players must comply with one and only basic rule: each cube must touch game plan with at least one side, so it may not lie only on others, and cover them. This makes it possible to plan well ahead, because you can count the pieces, that can be covereb by your opponent.
Players put stones on table, until one of them successfully creates a path for water from one side to the other. But because each game has really quick gameplay, the author recommends it to play more rounds, until someone reaches for example two or three victories. In addition to a simple score, where you can count point for every win, game offers one more and very elegant solution. Scoring by the length of the river is much more interesting, each box is worth one point. Players can score different values each round, which makes game more interesting.
Caminos is a great connection game. It is basically a 3D puzzle, which was taken and made into a game with simple rules. Game, that brings great fun, and yet ends really quickly. It depends only on yourself, if you long for retaliation in another match, or you begin using it only as logical quickie.
In addition, the author has prepared other variants for fans of his game. And each of them requires also different tactic. Square plan is only for warming up. You can easily predict the future course of the game there. It can also happen, that players learn to play this easy game and always play the same moves. So you can pick up and use also other shapes of board.
Most interesting of them all is a hexagon, which brings yet another scoring option, further altering the player tactics. To get points in a finished game, you need to connect your side with any of the three opposite ones – either the one right in the opposite or its neighbours. But there is a significant difference between those two connections. If you can target that small area directly on the opposite side, then you can double your points (the length of the route to cross from one side to another). But if you reach only its neighboring two sides, they will provide you with only one time the points.
It is therefore important to be fast, secure vital locations and make your way across the board. However, because you have limited supply of stones and none of them can you take back, you have to be cautious. We did not found a match, which was a draw, we always found a winner, if it should be the one, that has the longest path built.
Much depends on the first few moves and the style of players. Offensive style has a higher success rate, than trying to defend and keep opponent from getting his goal. At the same time, you should not just mindlessly attack your opponent, because you can get one of the roads blocked really quickly, if you have not secured it well. Rival could spoil all your intentions with one well-aimed stroke. Therefore, it is better to build a stronger (higher) connection, which is harder to block. But it is hard to get all your stones to a height, where they could not be covered.
At the same time, your choice of stones is also very important. You have to think very well, which to play when, because you can easily find yourself in a need of one you just played. And that would be really a shame.
The game of Caminos hides a lot of depth despite its simple appearance and provides a challenging two-player duel. In four players, two partners are sitting on opposing sides of table and are trying to connect their two sides with their half of tiles in one color. In the meantime, the opponents are trying to do the same with their two sides. You can add also neutral tiles into a match. They provide obstacles for the beginning.
Even with this higher number, the match is interesting. But in a different way. You must change your attitude and adapt to quickly changing game board, but the tile numbers do not change. Players paths must intersect somewhere, which makes this variant really interesting.
Game contains wooden components and is therefore once again nice and with good and persisent quality. Of course, everything is simple, do not expect any graphic illustrations. The theme is missing completely and there remains nothing, but an intelligent and fast fun.
Caminos is once again a pleasant surprise, just like Arktia. It is not so demanding on the tactics and can be played with younger children. They will most likely also train their spatial vision. Players have to constantly think, which way they would like to actually lead their trail to the opposite side. They are constantly rising and descending with the water flow. So our verdict in this case reads clearly: if you love quick logic games, then you cannot say no to Caminos.
Caminos is very nice and simple logic game for two and more opponents. But the most fun you will get, when sitting only with one rival against you face to face. Players are laying wooden tiles on a board in order to connect two opposite sides. But they are also covering each other stones, when doing that. Match is tense and quick. More boards supports variability of play, it has different shapes and also a special scoring. You must not forget, that stones have to be connected not only by looking from the top, but also with climbing and descending. If you like elegant logical fast playing games, then Caminos is an interesting discovery and few people know it.