It was a Whole New World for our occasional Sunday afternoon gaming social when we played Ravensburger's 'Flying Carpet'. I took it along as something to offer a quick starter game before we played some Cosmic Encounter, but in the end we just played three games and left it at that.
'Flying Carpet' is a beautiful game to look at, and involves up to six players racing flying carpets through an Arabian Nights landscape.
Movement is controlled by cards, which restrict how far and in what direction you can move, plus direction tokens, which can be used to adjust moves but of which there are a limited supply, and the effects of the wind, which blows you in the direction you want to go, but has to be taken into account in planning your move and avoiding obstacles.
Here's Maya looking thoughtful.
And here we are starting the first game. Eric and Marco joined us later for the second and third games, Marco teaming up with Cei, and Eric playing his own game whilst Catherine and Maya teamed up.
Here's the start of the first game. The clouds and buildings are individual pieces, so you can lay out a different 'course' for each game, keeping the number slow for a simple game, and using everything for a more challenging race. For the first game I used a reasonable number of buildings, but kept the clouds small and infrequent.
The players start on the small tower on the left, and have to manouevre to an equivalent tower to the right of the board, landing exactly on top of it.
The end of the first game. It was a close-run thing with two of us making a final run, but I just clinched the victory.
Here's a full shot of the board at the start of the second game
Early on the clouds were rearranged. There are stars dotted around the bard. If you land on one you get to roll a special event dice, which can cause you a range of effects: miss a turn, gain more direction tokens, take another turn, swap places with another player, get a free four-space move or ... rearrange the clouds.
The new cloud positioning made for a tight game, but eventually everyone worked their way past.
I think Maya and Catherine won this second game.
Here's a shot of the lovely wooden playing pieces, jostling for position right at the start of the third game.
We played a much tighter board for this game, and some rearranged clouds made it even worse. I was the white piece, and got well and truly stuck by cards which were geared for fast flying rather than the tight, controlled manouevre I actually needed.
I can't remember who won the third game at all. I know it wasn't me,
Everyone seemed to enjoy it, and eventually picked up the nuances of the flying. We found that the rules were unclear in one or two places and house-ruled on the fly. For example we always applied wind effects to moves; it wasn't clear if they applied if your move didn't involve a card, or had no horizontal component. And we think that the rules on repositioning clouds (or, indeed, positioning them at the start of the game) could be better, as it was possible to create some truly fiendish courses. I like a suggestion I've read elsewhere the the clouds cannot be placed adjacent to each other, and I'd maybe add that they can't be placed adjacent to buildings either.