Okay, so it’s a weird name for a board game but stay with me. It is all going to make sense in a moment. Today we are discussing Camel Up, the betting game where any experience you have in betting games won’t help you. So, if your plan is to win by betting smartly, get ready to have randomly stacked camels turn your strategy on its head!
What on Earth is Camel Up?
Get ready to place your bets and watch the chaos unfold in Camel Up! Join up to eight players in this fast-paced game of predicting which racing camels will come out on top – literally! Will you be able to guess right and walk away a winner? It’s not as simple as it seems. These camels have a mind of their own, and they can end up on top of each other, sending them racing toward the finish line together. Who will make it first? Well, that’s all up to the dice! Shake the pyramid and watch as the dice reveal which camel gets to move into quick race next.
Hence the name Camel Up. The wild card aspect is that if a camel lands on the same space as another one, it stacks on top of its opponent, drastically changing the order of the race in an instant. One lucky roll can send a camel from being the underdog to your best bet.
How to Play Camel Up
The objective of the classic and the new game modes is to predict and bet on the course and outcome of a camel race, and you do so by being a part of this storyline offered by the game creators.
In the vast Egyptian desert, a gathering of esteemed individuals from high society has convened. Their sole objective? To amass wealth by placing their bets on the winning camel, whether it be a single leg or the entire race. But in this thrilling competition, luck alone does not determine the victor. The ability to comprehend the race’s intricacies and possess impeccable timing is equally crucial in selecting the right camels carried toward the finish, and securing the ultimate triumph!
In the game, you are one of the esteemed individuals placing bets.
The game contains:
- A pyramid dice shaker
- 5 camels
- 5 dice
- Betting cards
- Desert tiles
- Starting marker
- Fake money
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to play:
- Setup: Place the game board in the center of the table. Each player chooses a color and takes the corresponding pyramid and betting tiles. Place the five camels on the starting space.
- Game Rounds: The game is played over several rounds. In each round, players take turns performing one of four possible actions:
- Place Bets: Players can bet on which camel they think will win, place, or lose in the race.
- Take a Tile: Take a tile from the stack on the game board and claim the top leg betting tile. Position it in front of you, indicating your support for the camel of that corresponding color. This signifies your anticipation for that camel to emerge as the leader by the end of the leg. Accumulating leg betting tiles is unrestricted over the course of the game, allowing you to gather multiple tiles of the same color and have them displayed in front of you.
- Desert Tile Placement: When it’s your turn, you have the option to add or move a desert tile on the race track. Choose an empty space on the track that doesn’t already have a camel or a desert tile adjacent to it. Remember, you can’t place your desert tile on space 1 of the track. If you already have a desert tile on the board, you can use this action to move it to a different space following the same placement rules. When placing or moving your desert tile, you can decide whether to have its oasis side facing up or its mirage side facing up. Each side will impact the movement of the camels that land on the tile in different ways.
- Pyramid Tile: Retrieve the uppermost pyramid tile from the stack on the game board and position it in front of you. Next, without delay, grasp the pyramid and vigorously shake it. Upon doing so, uncover a single die from within. Once the die has been revealed, proceed to move the camel of the corresponding color forward the number of spaces indicated. When you move a camel that is part of a stack, it will bring along all the camels that are stacked on top of it. This creates a unified group of camels known as a camel unit. If a camel unit completes its movement on a space occupied by another camel unit, it will jump on top of that existing unit, combining the two groups into one.
- Resolving Bets: After all camels have moved, bets are resolved. The camels’ positions determine which bets win and lose. Bets on the winning camel earn the player more money than bets on the placing camels. Bets on the losing camels can result in a loss of money.
- End of the Game: The game ends when one or more camels cross the finish line. Players count their money, and the player with the most money wins.
Now do keep in mind that these are basic rules for the original game. (Get the full list of rules by clicking here). There are some different features in version 2.
Camel Up Version 1 vs Version 2 vs Supercup
In 2018, Asmodee released Camel Up Second Edition. Reviews on Board Game Geek are mixed as to if version 1, or version 1+ the expansion, or version 2 is the best option. Board Game Bliss does note that the expansion – Camel Up Supercup – is not compatible with version 2, so keep that in mind as you select your preferred first or second edition for gameplay.
What we do know is that version 2, which was released in 2018, features new artwork and a fresher game board design and overall game design, along with a new pyramid design – which is good as that pyramid, that releases one die using a plunger mechanism, can be “sticky” and require several good shakes to get the dice out. The new pyramid design releases one die at a time in a much easier way.
Version 2 also allows for rouge camels that change direction, further making it impossible to bet on the outcome with any shred of confidence.
Now, on the other hand, if you want to play version 1 plus the Supercup expansion, here is what you can expect: four modules that you can use singly, or together.
- Module 1 has got you covered with a longer race track and brand new supporting dice. Now, your camels can move twice per leg, making the game even more exciting. And as if that wasn’t enough, this module can get you an extra action phase.
- Module 2 introduces the photographer, who will reward you for correctly predicting the movement of those sneaky Camel stacks.
- Module 3, betting gets a whole lot more complicated with the introduction of bets on positions.
- Module 4, betting partnerships come into play. Now, you can team up and cooperate openly, giving your games with six or more players a whole new way to enjoy playing the game.
Is this Game Suitable for Kids?
Camel Up, despite involving betting mechanics, is a game that can be enjoyed by kids and offers several benefits for their development. Here’s why this game is suitable for children:
- Strategic Thinking: Camel Up encourages kids to think strategically and plan their moves. They need to consider the camels’ positions, track dynamics, and possible outcomes before placing their bets. This fosters critical thinking skills and teaches them to analyze situations effectively.
- Probability and Math Skills: As kids place their bets, they learn about probabilities and how to calculate odds. They start understanding concepts like likelihood and chance, which enhance their math skills in a fun and engaging way.
- Decision-Making: The game requires players to make decisions based on limited information. Kids learn to assess risks and rewards, weigh different options, and make informed choices. This helps develop their decision-making abilities and boosts their confidence in making calculated judgments.
- Social Interaction: Playing Camel Up allows children to interact with others, promoting social skills and teamwork. They can engage in friendly competition, negotiate trades, and discuss new game board design and strategies. This improves their communication, empathy, and cooperation skills, fostering positive social interactions.
- Sportsmanship and Resilience: Camel Up teaches kids about sportsmanship and resilience. They learn to accept both victory and defeat graciously, as the game’s outcome is uncertain and can change rapidly. It helps them develop patience, adaptability, and a healthy competitive spirit.
- Financial Literacy: Although betting is involved, Camel Up provides an opportunity to introduce basic financial concepts to children. They learn about managing resources, assessing risks, and the concept of investment. These foundational skills can contribute to their financial literacy later in life.
It’s important to note that while Camel Up involves betting, it is purely fictional and played in the context of a game. Parents and guardians can guide children to understand the distinction between games and real-life gambling, emphasizing responsible decision-making and ethical considerations.
With its engaging gameplay, strategic thinking elements, and educational benefits, Camel Up offers an enjoyable and enriching experience for kids, making it suitable for their entertainment and development.
Where to Buy Camel Up
The Camel Up board game is very popular, so it is easy to find. In addition to buying it directly from Asmodee, you can find Camel Up on a variety of e-commerce sites that specialize in board games. You’ll also find it in big box retail stores and online at Amazon.
What are You Waiting For? Play Camel Up Today!
Playing Camel Up is a thrilling and engaging experience that offers endless fun for players of all ages. With its unique blend of strategy, luck, and unpredictable outcomes, the game keeps everyone on their toes from start to finish. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or new to board games, Camel Up provides a fantastic opportunity to gather friends and family, share laughter, and create lasting memories. So gather around the table, place your bets, and let the camels race to victory in this exciting and entertaining game. Place your bets and let the race begin!
A Totally Unexpected Bonus Fact
Hey, did you know that competitive camel haircutting is a thing? Regale your board game group with this knowledge the next time you play Camel Up!