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Luca Borsa & Andrea Mainini


No. of Players:
2 - 5



When dealing with the German ZOCH VERLAG you can always expect something unusual. Apart from their long-standing series of entertaining microgames with animal illustrations and some lavishly equipped big boardgames, over the years Klaus Zoch and his team also have created games using building blocks, crazy riddling games or even balancing games like the great Bamboleo. Today ZOCH is back at the SPIEL with Nitro Glyxerol, another act of daring mischievousness in which designers Luca Borsa and Andrea Mainini challenge the players to go into the lab, take their testing tubes in mix their individual Glyxs-Formula.

The general setting of the game actually resembles the use of a puzzle toy in form of a competition. Most of you will remember that at some time in the past dexterity labyrinth puzzles have been quite popular, shifting boards or walls to move a ball from start to finish without dropping it into one of the many holes along the way. The flat testing tubes of the players - fittingly called "Myxer" - do not have any holes, but there are some walls which will serve as obstacles. Each round of play the players put an assortment of ingredients in form of coloured cubes into the starting zones of their Myxers, and they try to get these cubes into the slim finish zone, moving the cubes by shifting the whole Myxer.

The gaming aspect behind this dexterity task is determined through the use of playing cards, the "Glyx" cards, which define the order in which the cubes must come to rest in the finish zone, and as indicated the players will simultaneously try to solve this task as fast as possible. To increase the stress factor even more, the game also comes with a sand timer, and the players must stop mixing if the sand has ended. However, the players are free to stop at an earlier moment, even if they have not succeeded in getting all cubes into the finish zone, since they may have a chance to claim some of the Ingredient cards if they got the first part of the sequence right.

When everybody has stopped and taken a Ranking card, the Myxers of the players will be evaluated, starting with the player who has stopped first and taken the lowest Ranking card. This player will be entitled to take all Glyx cards for which he was able to arrange his ingredients in the correct colour sequence, beginning with the first ingredient and then checking each subsequent ingredient. If any colour is wrong, this player will not get any of the remaining Glyx cards after the error, but instead the player with the next Ranking card now will be checked whether his colour sequence was longer, entitling him to the Glyx cards which could not have been claimed by the player with the lower Ranking card. In this fashion the evaluation continues until all Glyx cards of the sequence were claimed or all players are out due to mixing errors.

The game runs over a total of 7 mixing rounds, and to give the quickest player of each round an additional handicap he must place an additional Contamination cube into his Myxer for the following round. This Contamination cube must be the first cube in this player's finish zone, because otherwise the regular ingredients will not be scored.

Being noticed by Nicole on our walk through Hall 3, Nitro Glyxerol is outright addictive, keeping the players frantically mixing their ingredients and building up tension till the end of the last round. With Karl-Heinz Schmiel, Daniel Danzer, Walter Scholz and Walter Obert the game designers credit four well-known gamers and designers for their valuable input for the design of Nitro Glyxerol, and the outcome is as entertaining as it is unusual. Taking the idea of crossovers even further than the aforementioned other games, Nitro Glyxerol wakens the ludic drive in all participants. The easy combination between goals which must be reached through dexterity and a card driven challenge and scoring system has been implemented rather well, giving the game a quite unique feeling. After all, when dealing with ZOCH, always expect the unexpected!

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