Michael Feldkötter


No. of Players:
2 - 4



G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

Michael Feldkötter shows us in his newest game that even the small things in everyday life can be very amusing. Or would you think about loading several ships with barrels to be the top story when you were creating a game? But it is true. Montego Bay only makes us walk some nice guys and a Lazy Jack around a row of warehouses, gives them barrels to take out of the houses and lets them load the barrels onto the ships at the quay. However, what seems to be quite easy in reality emerges as a tricky task, because you probably have forgotten that you have opponents in a game...

[IMAGE]To load the ships we all get two workers, a small and a big guy in our favorite color. Additionally to this, we get two decks of movement cards, one for each worker and each with cards numbered from one to five. Another worker, called Lazy Jack, only helps us if we pay him money, and - of course - he always helps the player who offers most money. And then there is also the Tally-Man, who watches us loading the ships, but has no other function in the game. All of these wooden pieces can be decorated with stickers before the first game and contribute a lot to the very good design of the game.

Anyhow, the workers can be moved with the help of the movement cards around the warehouses. All players simultaneously choose a card for each of their workers and place it faced-down on the table. Then the cards are flipped over one by one in an order indicated by an order rail on the gameboard. This order changes every round, but it is always visible to the players, so some tactical movements are possible. The workers move exactly in accordance with the movement card along the path around the warehouses. If the space they end on is occupied, the worker standing there is moved on the opposite entrance of the warehouse on the other side of the path. This is real fun in the game, because the warehouses all have different numbers of barrels. So you can send a worker from a three barrel warehouse to a place which is nearly empty, or, much better, to a storeroom with a broken barrel (i.e. he must remove one of his barrels again).

In addition, the moving of other players´ workers has another funny effect. If this worker moves after your own worker, he probably has not just yet the right choice of steps on his movement card, because he planned to begin his move from somewhere else. While this kind of easy movement is most common in a lot of older games (compare the mechanism with Ludo!), it gets a fresh new touch in Montego Bay. You will love sending workers from one warehouse to another, at least as long as not your own workers are involved ...

After all workers are set, we get our barrels (and in some warehouses money, too). Then we can load the barrels onto the four ships in the harbor. Full ships leave the harbor and give victory points to players who have contributed to the load. Empty spaces in the harbor are filled up with new ships until all ships has been loaded.

As you can see, the rules can be explained in less than five minutes. And they are so easy that you immediately can start your first game. No need to try something out - no test game necessary. So, Montego Bay is really not more complex than Ludo, but what gives the game its charm, is the really beautiful design of the workers and the board and the ambition to poke fun at your opponents by setting their workers to other warehouses. This works well with three and four players, because you have specific boards for the different number of players. Only the two-player game is a little bit weak, because here you both take one worker more, but the malicious joy does not really come up. The game can be also played well with children, though they wont have a real chance against an adult, because if you want to be successful, you have to think 2-3 steps in advance about what your opponents could plan.


With Montego Bay QUEEN GAMES leaves its line of more or less tactical and strategic building games like Alhambra, Chicago Express, Eketorp and so on and gives us a much more simple game. Maybe this is the reason why Montego Bay is packed in a new, for QUEEN GAMES quite unusual big box. However, the game definitely offers a good degree of playing fun, and so I am curious if this line will have its successors. At any rate Montego Bay wets my appetite for more.

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2009 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany