Another Saturday morning of gaming with my mother (AKA Grandma) and seven year old daughter (AKA Maddie). We only played the one game this morning and that was Der Schwarze Pirat. This is a kids game from the German company HABA and was designed by Guido Hoffman. Players use a rubber squeeze tube, or bellows, to blow a jet of air to push their playing piece, a small wooden ship, around the board. The board represents the ocean and a number of islands laden with pirate treasure. The object of the game is to move your ship around the islands, entering the bays (the light blue areas) and grabbing the gold coins. The person with the most gold coins at the end of the game wins.
On your turn you roll two dice. The first die determines how far you can move your ship (either 3 or 4 squeezes of the bellows), or allows you to move the black pirate ship (3 squeezes of the bellows). The second die determines on which islands you will place a gold coin or coins.
This was our seventh time playing the game and we all noticed that our skill with the bellows has improved a lot since our first time. It's much more exciting when a player can skillfully manoeuvre from one side of the board to the other between the numerous islands with four bellows squeezes. Mind you, there's always the chance of shipwreck by either blowing your ship over on its side or by accidentally forcing it on to an island. There's also the amusing chance of having someone misjudge a squeeze altogether and the ship goes nowhere. Having said that, we found ourselves cheering for the other players when they did make skillful (or just plain lucky!) moves. A fun, fun game.
Final scores were me 16, Maddie 11 and Grandma 8.