Burn Your Brain in Timbuktu
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Camels. Some of the best board games seem to have lots of them. Timbuktu (aka Tombouctou) has some of the nicest, relatively large, wooden camels. Add some brightly colored stickers, lettered A through G, and your playing pieces for Timbuktu are really fun to use.
During the course of the board game Timbuktu, you move your camel caravan from one section of the board to another until you reach your destination (the last section of the game board). The number of sections – as well as the amount of other bits to use – depends on the number of players in the game.
As you move along, you have limited knowledge of the best place to position your camels. Ostensibly, there are thieves along the route that want to steal the goods (tokens representing coffee, gold, water, pepper, and salt) with which your caravan is laden.
You have a hand of 3 cards that gives you information about the whereabouts of these thieves in the upcoming section of the board. There are certain board spaces that trigger passing your hand of cards to the next player. You, in turn, receive new cards from the player on your right.
If you end up placing a camel on a spot where the thieves were hiding, you will lose some of your goods (to them). At the end of the game, you multiply the number of goods you have left of a given type times the number of goods of that same type that everyone had stolen during the course of Timbuktu.
The player with the highest overall total is the winner.
Timbuktu scales well from 3 to 5 players, since (as I mentioned above) the number of bits you use varies with the number of players. No matter how many players, Timbuktu can be a real brain burner; that is, it will put your powers of deduction to the test. If you enjoy Clue but find it too easy, try Timbuktu instead. You won’t be disappointed.