I was looking at this game store and found a 75% sale going on. I looked at Vampire, saw the Wolfgang Kramer on the cover and I saw it was marked down to about 9$. So I just bought it. Today I was looking at the rules on BGG to see if it was simple enough for me to try it on my 5 and a half year old son Sushanth becos he was bugging me about how he could not play Puerto Rico as yet!
So I took out Vampire and began to set it up. The components are really nice. There is a board which has a space for a set of stairs to be attached and a castle set up to give it a 3d effect. and the counters are all placed in the compartments with each floor or stair havving marked spaces. The extended board below has rectangular squares that line up to columns on the spaces in teh sstairs.
The game is quite simple. We have wooden vampire slayers that move on the board below. There are 3 types of surfaces, lawn, bog and bushes. The slayers cannot move on the to bush squares. The castles guests are the vampires and they are set up in different rows over 4 floors. There is a set of butlers on the fifth row and a set of coffins on the sixth row. There is also a count which has the highest points and makes its appearance after all the castle guests have been captured.
There are also two sets of cards – Vampire cards and Chase cards. Vampire cards have to be drawn every turn. The cards have four rows with markings on the number of vampires to be moved on each floor. The chase cards are of two types. One is a bat card and the other a garlic throw card. A small garlic counter has to be moved along the column where the slayer stands and if it hits the vampire u score for it. If a coffin exists in the same column on the 6th floor that is also collected. The garlic counter moves the number of floors or spaces as indicated by the chase card. In case a bat card is drawn, the slayer and the garlic moves back a space. But slayers on bog spaces need not move back.
You are allowed to perform one of the following three actions per turn – Move a slayer – Pick three additional chase cards – Throw the garlic counter. The chase cards on hand are always kept face down. So the throwing the garlic is taking a chance with the cards u have. But u can choose the no of cards u want to use for throwing the garlic from 0 to 6. 0 can be chosen only if there is no vampire in the column where the slayer stands.
The game is very simple and lot of fun for children of 5 or 6 years. There is a bit of strategy in moving the vampires and choosing the no of cards to hit the vampire. because if you choose 5 cards and u hit the vampire with the first, u have to forfeit the rest. But the a 2 player game can be a it long especially when the no of vampires come down and we have to keep moveing the remining vampires until they are in a column where a garlic can be thrown.
I think the game lives upto its rather low rating here. It is only a children’s game and it gives kids like my son a chance to feel important about a game for him. Especially since my older 9 year old daughter plays most of the games in my collection. The bits, the theme and the simple game make it a good addition to my kids game collection. But won’t my son get tired of it soon? I think he will!