I feel like a lot of my reviews have been too negative as of late (bleergh, Caylus: Magna Carta), so I want to look at a sweet little game I played last year. In the deluge of crap lately, tiny, simple and unassuming Noah stays afloat.
|Noah, mid-game. (Image source)|
In Noah, players take on the role of, I guess, multiple Noahs, trying to place animals into a total of five arcs. Nutty I know. In turns, players place an animal from their hand in one of the arcs and designates which arcs the next player may choose to put an animal into. Each animal has a gender, dictating where it can be placed, and a weight. Once an arc reaches a set weight, it sails off, to be replaced with another arc. When five arcs have sailed away, the round is over and players receive penalty points for the amount of animals left in their hand. After a three rounds, the player with the lowest score wins!
The Deeper Stuff
So as you can see, gameplay is very straightforward. Place an animal, check the arc's weight and move to the next player. There are some cards (the woodpecker) which add some strategy by altering rules and animals also have to follow strict gender rules throughout. If an arc is co-ed, animals placed in it must alternate gender. If an arc is single sex, you must not stick the wrong gender in that arc. The player who decides the gender orientation of an arc is the second player to place an animal there, giving them a reasonable amount of control in the coming plays. Players also have to keep track of the weight of animals in their hand and the penalty points the different animals incur if they remain in your hand at the end of the round.
How it Plays Out
Noah is very light, quick and easy to pick up. It sounds totally dumb - and it is - but my group had plenty of fun with it. There is a fair amount of maths and calculation involved, which gives the game an educational slant too.
This is a standard card game with no quality issues. It comes in a nice tin, similar to the slightly more difficult educational microgame, Timeline: Inventions (see review).
Colour does not significantly factor in to Noah, except when differentiating gender. Colour for this use is distinct and wasn't an issue for me.
Noah is stupid and silly and easy, but it is fun. It's gives a good feeling when you sabotage players by forcing them to place animals in difficult, overfilled arcs. The game is light enough and jovial enough that we were all yelling "Yaay!" whenever we managed to launch an arc, which was an great experience.
This is an ideal game for kids and casual groups looking for something light and simple between bigger games. I don't imagine you'll play it a ton of times, but the times that you do play it, you'll likely have fun.