Review: Sultan’s Swoop – grab your treasure

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It seems, that rumors of sultan’s generosity did not lie. I arrived in town only a few moments ago, but I already got attention from locals. They all enthusiastically point me in directions to the ambassador and pushed me towards the square. There was a crowd of people already there. Even from a distance, I saw a big silver column, which flashed and shows its otherworldly power to all.  By touching this magic item, I will bring our nation eternal happiness!

New board game called Sultan’s Swoop (Schnapp die Schätze) invites us to visit sultan. It was created by pair Lena & Günter Burkhardt, who released this game with help of company. Illustrations were prepared for the game by Jann Kerntke.

Game in a small yellow box shows raging battle for magical items in the courtyard. Players place a market board in the middle and beside it cup with a stack of eight dice, all with colorful polka dots. Depending on the number of players, they create a structure of different number of building blocks. They are all based on a silver column, that stands in the bottom. On top of it can be magic carpet, treasure chest and small rubies on top. Each player receives one card for his secret task, while gold cards will create four piles according to their value.

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Each game is divided into ten rounds, which always begin with one player rolling the dice on the market board. These dots each participant compares them with colors in his secret task. If threeof  resulting match, then he may try to be the fastest and grab silver column. All players know very well, that as soon as column disappears in one hand, all the other elements will crumble on the table. And they will attempt to catch them with their hand. Their number is not limited to one, but two per player, which means faster can have more spoils.

If everything went according to the rules and player has obtained a silver columen, distribution of gold follows. Silver columns rewards player with the most valuable card. Other smaller blocks offer players one or two coins (cards of this value).

If a player has completed his task, he replaces it with a new one, and game continues with another round. Players thus have to turn back all the magical objects, build them into a new construction and continue like this, until tenth round is played. Winner is the one, who is in possession of the most valuable cards in the sum of gold.

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Sultan’s Swoop’s is new perception game, in which you get tasks from dice. Player needs luck on dice, that should show three sides corresponding to his secret task. But at the same time, it is also very likely, that he will not be alone, who has his task chosen. At this point, the fastest one ultimately wins the round by reaching for the silver column.

In the ensuing chaos, when all other pieces come flying everywhere, its pretty much fun. Grabbing them is not such a hard task in case of large elements such as wooden pieces pillows, lamps and chests. Search and emphasis on attention is the most obvious in the case of rubies, which are tiny and easily roll somewhere else. The game even forces players often to get up and look around on the ground.

That’s just about the most distinguishing element, which Sultan’s Swoop differs from other games. Players can not count on the fact, that a mere quick reflexes will get them all the points. Additionally, they must have a really good point in a broader perspective. You are unable to focus only on certain elements, because they are often looted by someone else. In addition, players never know, if they will catch pole or if someone will be faster and they will be left with remaining items. And here from time to time, you can also experience mistakes.

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In addition to classic turns, dice can also show six different colors at once. Because that does not happen too often, when players see such a result, they can immediately catch the silver pole. At this moment, however, everyone will fight for the pillar and only those losers are fighting for fewer precious artifacts.

Game is obviously very quick and participants are delayed only by constant tower building. It disrupts the overall smoothness as well as any search for small rubies under the table and its surroundings. Players have those ten rounds finished in quarter of an hour even with these delays. It is important to perceive emphasis on number of participants, because the more players will fight for the subjects the more items there are and the more interesting the whole match gets. The rules do also have an exception for two player game, where rules are slightly different. And this time, everyone rolls his own set of dice, whose results are combined together. However, the battle is already not as much interesting, because second one does not have anyone to compete with.

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But the whole box is designed especially for small children. And it totally changes impact of our existing words. The colored dots and magical items can easily host rivals since five years up. Game wants nothing complicated of them. And these kids will really enjoy catching stuff, which is rolling everywhere. Just some parents would not want to play and search for things on the ground. To prepare each round again, they need to be handy, especially when placing rubies on the top.

Sultan’s Swoop is a perception game, which is not unusual and extremely interesting, if we take everything from the classical view. But whereas from the perspective of an adult, this is only about average fun, kids see it a little differently. Additionally, real entertainment for the little ones will change, when as a result of the battle, items start to roll in all directions and they try to grab them. Sultan’s Swoop is one of the few games, that forces children throughout its gameplay to get up from the table, crawl under it and look for rare magical objects.

DesignerLena Burkhardt, Günter Burkhardt
ArtistJann Kerntke
PublisherHABA
Year Published2015
# of Players2 - 6
Playing Time0
Mfg Suggested Ages5 and up
CategoryChildren's Game
MechanicDice Rolling
Primary NameSchnapp die Schätze
Alternate NamesAttrap'trésors!, Sultan's Swoop, De Zilveren Zuil

Infos courtesy of boardgamegeek.com. More Infos.

Review: Sultan’s Swoop – grab your treasure
Final word
Sultan's Swoop is a party game of reflexes. But this time, everyone will partly feed on your succes. Each with another spot number. First and fastest player creates conditions for other players, who are trying to grab pieces, that fell down. They all together have to prepare the building again to be able to play another round, which is quite long to do again and again. Game is still fast and does not give anyone a chance to win in a clear victory. Sultan's Swoop is still just a perception game, which is at least trying to do something a little differently.
Reader Rating0 Votes
Pros
you never know, what you'll be catching
items on the table and below
cliffhanger
fun for little kids
Cons
nothing new besides catching everywhere
dice are a lot of random (as well as task cards)
game needs higher numbers (up from four)
setup for each round
0
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