M. Braff, D. Erhard,
S. Pauchon


No. of Players:
3 - 4



Our modern society is developing faster and faster, and the things and behaviour which are shown in movies and television make it even more harder to pass honest values and good moral views to children which are constantly exposed to our modern day life. In former days such values were presented in the form of fables, but today there also exist other, more interactive means to give children some first impression of the different faces to be discovered about side effects of our society all around the globe. Games are one of these means, and thus I was rather interested to have a closer look at Kimaloé, the newest game from GAMEWORKS which had been created under assignment for the reknown relief organisation "Terre des Hommes".

Kimaloé is a game about children's rights, and during the game the players travel with their truck to the five different continents where different children each long to be given certain rights. Nine different kinds of rights exist in the game, and each player has his own deck of rights-cards (27 cards, three of each right, having values from "1" to "3") from which he receives seven randomly dealt cards at the beginning of the game. The destitute children also are represented by randomly drawn cards, and at the beginning of the game five children cards are aligned around the world so that one child is placed adjacent to each continent.


During their turn, the players move a little truck on a roll of a dice clockwise from continent to continent, and upon arrival at a continent they may examine the present child card to find out which specific rights the child is missing. If the player has one or more of these missing rights on his hand, he may place the cards on the child card to cover the symbols of the missing rights in order to symbolize that the player's delivery has made a difference and changed to situation.

If the last rights-symbol on a child card has been covered, an evaluation takes place, and now all players who have delivered at least one right card to this child will add up the values of their delivered rights cards. The player with the most valuable cards will receive the value of his cards as grown-up victory points, whereas all other players will receive the value of their card(s) as children's victory points. The distinction between both kinds of victory points is important, since each player actually possesses TWO figures on the track for victory points - a child and a grown up. Each of these figures may only move forwards if the fitting kind of victory points is scored, but since Kimaloé is a game about solidarity none of the figures ever may stand more than three spaces apart from the other. Thus, it may well happen that victory points are lost because one of the figures would move too fast, and so it is important for the players to spread their aid shipments around the globe while at the same time focusing on certain projects in order to score equally on both kinds of victory points.

However, Kimaloé would be rather luck-dependant if players would have to live with a simple roll of the dice and the cards they draw, and so several side effects need to be taken into consideration which will influence a player's decisions. Foremost comes the fact that each player's truck starts the game with an aid shipment cube on its loading space, and a player may unload his aid shipment upon arrival on a continent in order to move his truck for one additional step forwards OR backwards. Apart from the fact that this increases a player's possibility to decide which child he wants to help during his turn, it also allows the player to take the special action symbol of each continent into consideration. Thus, apart from the adjacent child card each continent also allows the players to perform a special action, and these actions range from the restocking of a player's hand of cards over three freely distributable victory points to coloured card symbols which allow the active player to play rights-cards of this colour on ALL continents around the globe. Finally, there also exist some special action cards which also may be drawn on one of the continents, and a player must keep such a card and may use it during a later turn. Again, these cards may allow the playing of certain rights cards on all continents, free truck movements or some amounts of victory points, but most important here is an "After you, please" card which allows a player to switch between the two kinds of victory points when he is assigned victory points of a kind which he couldn't really use.

Empty trucks can get an aid shipment back whenever they arrive at a continent where a player has dropped such a shipment cube during an earlier turn, and then they can deliver the magically "refilled" crate to a child on any of the following turns. Any children card which has been evaluated because of all rights being covered will be replaced with a new random card, and the game continues in this fashion until a player has reached the final space of the victory track with one of his two figures. That player will have won the game.

Although Kimaloé is not a complex game, there is more to the playing mechanism than a first glimpse of the playing material would suggest. First looks are attracted by the unusual but fitting artwork, and this first curiosity is turned into a nice challenge by the scoring mechanism which is used in Kimaloé, since the coupled movement rules for the two victory point figures of each player at the same time increase the strategic potential and reflect the background topic of the game. As an interesting (but seemingly intended) sideline, playtesting with children revealed that the illustrations of the different rights cards get younger children to ask their parents about the intention of each card, since there is room for discussion which specific right of a child could be depicted by a card's illustration. Here the authors have reached their mission's goal - to get children involved with developments of a modern society.

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2009 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany