Monday, December 14, 2015

Go Postal with Thurn and Taxis


This game has nothing to do with yellow cars honking their way through the streets of New York. It does have to do with the Thurn and Taxis family, the founders of the first postal services in Germany and Austria. Now, that might not sound like a fun premise for a game, but it is. And if you don't believe me, trust the Spiel des Jahres jury who awarded it the biggest game prize available in 2006.

It does fly under the radar, though. Maybe because of the unassuming brown box with a busy picture on the front. You wouldn't know from the illustration what the game is about and once you know, you still might not be impressed. But if you like Ticket to Ride, you'll like this game. It has the same sort of feel, but instead of establishing train routes, you're building a postal network from city to city. 

There are differences, of course. No cute plastic trains, for one thing, just cards and tiny wooden post offices in various colors. Also you don't have pre-established routes to complete. You're on your own to decide which neighboring cities to connect. Points are awarded for completing longer and longer routes and bonuses are given to the first, second or third player to achieve certain objectives. It's not hard to learn. 

It did take us a while to get interested in the brown box, but now that we have it, it comes out of the closet more often than Ticket to Ride. It's faster and I can beat the accountant at it. Something I can't do with the train game. Just for that it deserves a prize. 

# Players . . . 2-4
Ages 10 and up
Game time . . . . . . . . 60 minutes
Set up . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 minutes
Luck . . . . . . . . .7 . . Strategy
*Interplay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Visual Appeal . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Component Quality . .. . . . . 8
*Replayability . . . . . . . . . . . 9


*See "How we Rate" for a definition.

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