Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de



Emmanuel Arnould

CEPIA 2010

No. of Players:
2 - 4



During my days at the SPIEL '10 convention I spied an interesting looking racing game at the booth of the French publisher CEPIA. They had tables on which big plastic racing tracks were set up, and on first sight the tracks with guard railings around the bends reminded me a bit of the old Carrabande / Pitch Car game by Jean du Poel. However, instead of snipping wooden disks along the track the game Bisikle requires the players to use a small plastic ball, and after the snipped ball has stopped the players place small bicycles in order to show how far they have come.

I was wondering whether a plastic ball really would be a better playing component than wooden disks, since a ball usually will keep rolling for quite a time, and furthermore a snipped ball tends to move sometimes in a quite unpredicatable fashion. In essence, I feared that this would make movement in a dexterity based game quite uncontrollable, but in case of the Bisikle-Z-Ball one snip of the ball instantly showed that I was wrong with this presumption. Author Emmanuel Arnould actually had designed a very special ball just for this game, and he showed my a specially manufactured transparent version which revealed all of the ball's secrets. The plastic ball is hollow and partly filled with small metal balls, and in addition the inside of the ball's shell is spotted with dells. This gives the ball a high degree of precision when handled in the right way, and furthermore the ball simply stopps when it falls below certain speed because the small metal balls then will remain in the dells and keep the ball in place. This invention really is ingenious, and playtesting quickly revealed that the snipping of the ball is not just more predicatble, but instead the more skillful players can use this ball with an astonishing degree of precision.

Bisikle can be played with several players, and CEPIA also offers expansion parts which can be used to add more bikes or to enlarge the track. In terms of rules the game does not need much - all the players have to do is set up a track and agree on a certain number of laps. However, there is some room for additional rules, since the game also includes small flags which can be used to mark certain points among the track so that a race for points can be made. Thus, players can go for a whole tournament!

In addition, CEPIA is about to release a car-version called RoadZters, and this one comes with small cars which make it more difficult to stage overtaking manoeuvres due to the size of the cars. However, a daring player actually can snip his ball into the car which drives just ahead of his own car, and since the cars trunks are formed like small ramps there is a possibility to simply jump over the other car.

Overall, the Bisikle-Z-Ball brings lots of fresh wind into the field of racing games based on player skills, and for me Bisikle is one of the most innovative games I have seen in 2010!

[Gamebox Index]

Google Custom Search

Impressum / Contact Info / Disclaimer


Copyright © 2010 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany