Summer is here, and what happens for the young people at this time of year? Camps of course! Lauren was asked to help out at a youth camp this past week where 14-19 year-olds got together to do some fun stuff. She told me she learned the “new” dances, taught them dances from when we were younger, and even played some dodge ball. Our generation is the king of dodge ball so we already know the winners of that match. While she was gone helping with camp, my parents were able to come spend time at the house with me and the kids. It was great to have some extra help.
My family knows that whenever we are visiting one another, I will definitely have some new games to show them. As was the case this time with Em and Ev teaching some of their favorite games too. We played a 2-player game of Darwin’s Journey, which has been one of my favorites as of recently. Then I thought it would be a great time to open a 2-player game by Iello Games, Royal Visit.
My mom does a great job being willing and able to not only play games, but learn new ones. I know when we get together with family she will always be in on a game. My dad, on the other hand is the hardest to get to play, so with time maybe I will show you him playing a game with us.
Royal Visit is a 2-player only tug of war track movement game. I mentioned above that my generation is the king of dodgeball. Well, I think my mom’s generation might be the king of tug of war. The game has an easy setup, which can be done by placing out the cloth board, setting the figures on the matching spots indicated on the board, then shuffling all the cards together and dealing out eight to each player.
Each person alternates playing as many cards of the same type from their hand until all are done. These cards will indicate movement for a specific figure or show a particular action. As an example, you might choose to move one of both guards by playing guard cards, but you cannot play any other non-guard cards until a following turn.
The goal is to get the king into your own castle on one side of the board. The king always needs to have a guard on each side, so when moving the king, it might only be able to move a certain amount of spaces until it hits one of its guards. Since this is a back a forth of moving the five different figures, some will move over to one side of the board while others might be moving toward the other side. At the end of your turn, if you’ve fulfilled certain requirements, you will possibly move the token toward your side if you fulfilled some requirements, and you will refill your hand to eight cards.
As the game progresses you continue to try moving the king and his court toward your side of the board. There are two special figures, the jester, and the wizard. Both have special abilities that can do some powerful things to move the other figures along the track. The Wizard’s special ability transports a character from its location to the same space as the wizard. The jester’s special ability impacts the cards in your hand, turning your jester cards into wilds. This lets you move any character with them on your turn. While the ultimate focus is on the king and his guards, don’t lose sight of the importance of manipulating the special figures toward your side of the board so you can take their special abilities to ultimately get the king closer to your castle.
As you know, a tug of war with even players on each side can take some time. This is mitigated by the inclusion of a game timer. Once the deck of cards has emptied, you will shuffle the cards, flip the token over, and go through the cards one last time. The game continues until either a player figures out how to get the king over to their castle or if the timer runs out and whichever side the king is on, wins.
Royal Visit takes about 30 minutes, and you are able to quickly get going with setup and clean up pretty quick as well. This 2-player game is tactical and strategic. Copies are currently available online, but we of course continue to encourage you to support your local game store if it is in stock. As a backup, you can grab a copy off Amazon. IELLO specializes in boards games for everyone: Family-oriented games, party games, strategy games, mini games, games for children, and games for the expert collector.
Have you ever participated in a real tug of war?