Ravensburger Games has just launched a flurry of brand new boardgames and Casa Grande is just one of them. Casa Grande is billed as a strategic building game.....has a hint of monopoly, but with this game you actually build structures instead of just placing little houses.
The game can be played by 2-4 players and its geared for age 8 upwards, (though we did have our 6 year old play with us, but ill let you know how that went shortly)
The game has a main board and each player has a set of blocks and bases. The first 15/20 mins i have to say were a bit frustrating. Obviously with a brand new game you have to read the instructions.....to say it took a bit to get the hang of it all was an understatement. We discussed it for a fair while before we started to get the real gist of what we were doing....so don't expect to be able to play this straight off as you need to know the game play before you can get anywhere with this.
This was a bit of drawback at first as my 2 boys did get a bit frustrated whilst we were trying to work out what was going on. My youngest almost gave up.....but we stuck with it, and once we got the hang of the game...we actually all started enjoying it.
The basic aim of the game is that you compete against each other to build the biggest buildings across as large an area as possible. You get money for each new building story and payment is dependent on the area and height of the building. The strategy is to take over as much of the board as possible, build as high as possible and make as much money as you can.
Game play continues until everyone runs out of blocks.......and the winner is the one that made the most money from their constructions.
After the initial 'instructions' frustration this is actually quite a good game. The boys enjoyed constructing their buildings and they actually got quite competitive and really thought about their game play. I do think the instructions need to be a bit clearer and set out easier as you tended to jump from one section to another to work out what you needed to do. That aside this is a great 'thinking' game and strategy is key all the way!! The blocks are easy to use and you have different shaped base cards which you use to lay your levels.
I found this game worked really well with varying ages playing....kids versus adults is always going to be competative.....(adults won though obviously!!)
If you fancy trying out Casa Grande yourself you can buy the game from Amazon for £19.99