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Yeti (AEG)Game Name: Yeti

Publisher: AEG

Designer: Benjamin Schwer

Year: 2016

Players: Two to five players

Ages: 14+ (IMO 8 or 9+ see note in review)

Playing Time: 30 minutes 

Genre: Extremely light dice driven Eurogame

Retail Price: $29.99

Components: 

  • 1 game board
  • 1 mountain
  • 1 photo track
  • 5 peak tiles
  • 7 equipment tiles
  • 1 starting player tile
  • 6 weather tiles
  • 7 dice
  • 1 Yeti
  • 5 base camps
  • 5 mountaineers
  • 5 victory point markers
  • 5 reference sheets
  • 1 rulebook

Outside the Box

The folks at AEG continue to release lighter, family friendly fare and now they’ve brought the Eurogame Yeti to North America. Yeti is a dice rolling, “push your luck” game where two to five players will each attempt to ascend a Himalayan mountain in pursuit of the elusive creature. The first climber to catch up with the Yeti will be declared the winner.

AEG hasn’t provided the Yeti rules online but you can check out the Pegasus Spiele edition in English as there’s no difference in the game play.

As you may have noticed in the video above, two things which will no doubt strike you right away is the whimsical artwork as well as the 3D mountain. In fact, all the components are nicely presented and put together. The rules are short and to the point so it won’t take you long to start playing once you crack open the box.

Yeti Setup (AEG)At its heart, Yeti is all about acquiring victory points and to gather these VPs the players will roll the seven dice. Each die rolled can result in a coin, a tent, a sherpa, a footprint, or snow. Coins allow the player to either purchase equipment or photographs; tents allow the climber to remain at certain levels of the mountain, sherpas move the climber up the mountain, and footprints advance you closer to the Yeti. As for snow? Snow doesn’t have much effect until you’ve rolled more than three (you must set snow aside) as that triggers a blizzard which not only slows everyone down but also moves the Yeti further away down the scoring track. A blizzard removes any dice showing snow faces from play until it’s once again the player’s turn who began the blizzard.

The Yeti begins on the 50 VP space of the scoring track while the climbers start at zero where they’ll begin the pursuit. Unless there’s a blizzard in effect, each round a player will roll as they look to set aside dice which will further their plans. It’s important for the climber to remain as far up the mountain as possible each turn as there are VP bonuses involved with reaching the top as well as scoring more VPs for footprints rolled. If the player doesn’t set aside tent dice, they’ll end up forced back to their base camp which brings the fewest VPs.

Rounds continue as each player does their best to sock away victory points through their rolls. Once a player’s pawn has reached or passed the Yeti, a final turn is triggered where the other players try to catch up. Whoever is furthest past the Yeti when this turn is finished wins the game.

Yeti Player Aids (AEG)Yeti is quite nice bit of light fun. Personally, I’d say three or four players will make for the best experience as there’s noticeable downtime between your opportunities to roll the bones; some players could take a while to figure out what they want to do and what dice they want to set aside and which they’ll reroll. Five players seems to drag things out a little more than the design warrants while only two players loses much of the feel that you’re in a race. All in all most games should finish in about thirty minutes or so.

I should also mention the age appropriateness indicated on the box (14+) is in regards to the number of small, easily swallowed components and not the actual difficulty of the game. I do understand companies have to veer heavily to the side of caution but I can easily see children as young at eight or nine grasping the mechanics without difficulty. Parents, of course, know their kids best but just be aware learning Yeti is far from rocket science.

Sorry to say the Yeti itself isn’t too involved in the proceedings (despite the title) outside of simply indicating a VP target to end the game. It would have been nice to see more interaction with the creature as opposed to just seeing graphics depicting it. I do have to say I like Yeti and, while it doesn’t reinvent the wheel, the charming artwork and simple mechanics are sure to please those looking to while away a pleasant half hour with the family or seeking an introduction into extremely light Eurogames.

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