Author: Günther Cornett

Bambus Spieleverlag 2003

Awards: none



At the SPIEL 2003 Günther Cornett presented me his new cardgame Flaschenteufel ("The Bottle Imp"), a title in his new series Literatur und Spiel.

The game is named after the novel by Robert L. Stevenson, which is a novel about a bottle imp who can fulfil all wishes. If however the owner of this bottle would die while still being in possession of the bottle, his soul would be doomed in lost to the devil, so the bottle needs to be sold on. But there is a hook: the bottle only can be sold at a price below the price at which it was bought...

The game itself is a typical cardgame with cards numbered between 1 and 37. These cards will be evenly distributed between the players, with the exception of No. 19 which will be put openly on the table with a bottle-marker on top of it. This card will be the initial value of the bottle.

In turn, the players now will play one card per round, and the player who has played the highest card into the round will get all cards of the round. If, however, a player has played a card with a value which is lower than the current value of the bottle, then that player will win the round and get all cards - together with the bottle. Consequently, the card that player played also will become the new current value of the bottle.

The game continues until all cards have been played. Afterwards, each player will get victory points according to the values of his cards, with the exception of the player who became the last owner of the bottle. This player will loose points according to the value of his cards. Playing several rounds, the game continues until the first player has reached a fixed sum of victory points.

Flaschenteufel actually could convince me of its very high quality because of a number of aspects: first, it combines literature and gaming, since it is based on a topic taken from literature (a copy of the short story by Stevenson is included!). Second, the game comes with very fitting and quite beautiful artwork and also very good rules. And third, game-rules, playing cards and the novel are included both in English and in German. I do not know what else a player could expect of a game, but I would say that this new concept for games certainly has a bright future! (Note: The game is for 3 or 4players, but a two player variant is included.)

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany