Review: Tambuzi – chronicle of a rainmaker

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Fire burns and the smoke rises. Around it, there is a whirl of characters swarming. They all sing or play some instruments. They curse the heavens and pray for cause rain. Begging for a sign, that the drought will soon be over. And when it really happens, they have to be ready. Strength of a storm will chase them into their homes. But this year, one roof is missing. This means, that the slowest villager will have to stay outside in the rain.

We got stuck in one village like this at the beginning of a new game , coming from author . He prepared his latest game in dry place under roof of company. And all components had managed to dry out their colors used by for his illustrations before any more rain comes. The entire game is from year 2014.

Entire tribal village is hidden in a fairly large box, whose contents are not cluttered at all and take up only a quarter of this packaging. There are large cardboard parts showing the village – a master tile with four blades and then four more notches to place in the gaps. Together, they represent individual huts in the village, where animals can hide and walking path around them, which will become muddy soon.

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In the middle is place for main component and that is a large plastic buzzer powered by three AAA batteries. Its upper side is occupied mainly by large gray button, but also a number of slices with options for the draw – white symbol of shack and then one to four paws marking movement. Players also get four stickers for it, which can be used to make of a real part of the jungle, sticked to the side of the buzzer. Village residents also must be present. These natives are represented by wooden columns with animal picture on upper flat side and some skin marks on the round side. Also five numbered scoring tiles (1-5) makes them company, together with other five water tokens.

At the beginning of the game, players create map of the village (board), so there is precisely one hut less visible, than there is participants in the game. Players can then choose each one animal (two figures); in smaller numbers, they get four pieces (two colors). Then they have to randomly draw first pet to wait outside of huts and put it next to the picture of a monkey. All other are then randomly arrangement on the mats in front of each hut.

And crazy dance can begin. This needs to lay amidst a timer, which must be switched to one of the positions A, B or C (making the sounds different). Dance begins with the player, whose figure stands outside the hut. He presses buzzer button and he will not only hear a variety of sounds, but light will show him one of the possible symbols, that has been randomly selected.

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This determines, what he should do with his animal, that is standing outside. Usually, this figure will run around the board on given trail and do as many steps as many paws lit up on the buzzer. This escape makes it stop in front of an already occupied hut. When he encounters pet of another player, who stand on the mat, player is allowed to push it out and take this safe place for himself. Another situation occurs, when the animal hidden inside the house or belongs to the same player. In both cases, player must immediately press the timer again and listen to the call of another lighted image.

When another player’s pet suddenly found itself in danger, his owner must immediately pres the gray button again and try to find free shelter for his pawn by following the same procedure, we have described. But sometimes, revenge can be served. All player needs is for a hut symbol to lighten up. In such a situation, pet can enter the cabin, in front of which it stands and push opponent out into the rain.

It certainly is not safe out there, because once a random time interval runs out, a lightning strikes. It indicates end of the round. Pet, which was at that moment outside in the rain, is eliminated from the dance. One of the huts is now randomly selected and its tile is turned upside down, hiding it. There will be one less shelter for lower player number, since one got eliminated. Again, one pet will have to go outside – the one, that got its house demolished.

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Player, whose pet was eliminated, takes numbered token from the stock with the highest available value and place his figurine on it. The game then continues until the moment, when only three animals are left on the board. Round now ends and those three animals will be awarded points according to shacks they inhabit, six to eight points. Then all runners add up points, player with the highest total wins the round and gets a token of water. The overall winner will be known as the one, who first earns predetermined number of water drops.

Tambuzi is a variation for the famous entertaining party game Last chair. About everyone played it in various permutations, but probably not on the table, but in real life (for example on weddings). This time, there will be not a drop of sweat involved, because running around the fire will be doing wooden figures for us.

It’s simple fun in terms of speed and luck. Coincidence decides, when lightning actually strikes and players must be quick in evaluating and moving their pieces. Now with it comes constant tension and fun, which is especially successful with smaller players around six years. Numbers will no longer be essential, when moving animals by paws and this should small schoolkids not make any trouble.

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Game itself does not offer anything extra besides walking around and tension of lightning strike. Just scoring depending on how long the animal holds in the game. Each player has more of them to prevent one unlucky struck by lightning eliminating anyone. Moreover, to win it all, you need more rounds, minifying the luck even further. But the influence on game length is not bad, because one round takes about five minutes. And the whole match will be completed in about twenty, because there are only five water drops, which is therefore also the maximum number of rounds.

Processing is very nice. Above all, illustrations are colorful and playful as well as processing of buzzer itself, which is robust and durable. The more disappointed is the fact, that you can not in any way affect the volume of sounds, that come from it. You can only switch modes, but even so you can not avoid at least noise of suddenly striking flash.

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Number of pieces is never lowered, so running around board is also interesting in two. Players fight for two colors each and therefore have the opportunity to earn more points. Overall, it does not change the fact, that all the numbers are result of luck.

Tambuzi relies on the child audience loving luck and surprise in their games. Well, we will not probably be very far from the truth, when we say, that this game is just a chain of sudden lightning strikes. Unfortunately, it does not offer anything extra and this fact pulls it down a bit, as well as the excessive volume of the speaker. Even so, Tambuzi is fun crazy children game.

DesignerGünter Burkhardt
ArtistMichael Menzel
PublisherHABA
Year Published2014
# of Players2 - 4
Playing Time10
Mfg Suggested Ages6 and up
User Suggested Ages4 and up
(1 voters)
CategoryAnimals, Children's Game, Electronic, Real-time
MechanicPlayer Elimination, Roll / Spin and Move
FamilyAdmin: Better Description Needed!
Primary NameTambuzi ... den Letzten trifft der Blitz!
Alternate NamesTambuzi

Infos courtesy of boardgamegeek.com. More Infos.

Review: Tambuzi – chronicle of a rainmaker
Final word
Tambuzi is a place, where every storm comes with lightning. And who wants to be safe, when it hits, he must run for it. Players have their chances drawn by a battery-powered buzzer. Whenever their animal stops at some point, they exchange positions with the current resident and thus find shelter. But lightning can strike at any time and that brings tension, because whoever is out there is eliminated. Unfortunately, this is the only really interesting element of the game, although other actions are there and it still does good job in entertaining children of all permitted (2-4) numbers. Tambuzi is a random game, which is especially good with starting schoolchildren.
Reader Rating0 Votes
Pros
gameplay of the classic chairs
tension in each round
two player fun
kids have fun
processing
Cons
luck and walking around
too loud buzzer
0
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