Betting board game series Camel Up is getting an upcoming spin-off title that reveals what the humped racers get up to off the track.
Camel Up: Off Season is a board game for three to five players based in the same Saharan setting as the original family game, but this time focusing on a desert market rather than racing. (Thanks, BoardGameGeek.) When the camels aren’t tearing their way across the track, they’re pulling caravans heaped with goods designed to be sold in the weeks where the races remain quiet.
Throughout the game, players must bid on who gets to choose from the available markets first. Each market can carry between three and six different items - ranging from carpets and vases to dates and other fruit - which players will be able to select if they’re able to successfully win the bidding phase. Every bidding phase will have a set of rules which are displayed on the back of the goods card sitting on the top of the deck.
Whichever player wins the bid will have to pay, but will be able to use the power granted by the market of their choice, as well as taking all of its featured goods. Any players who did not win the bid get to keep their coins for the next round. Purchased goods must be loaded onto the corresponding camel, with each camel able to hold a different type of item. Should a camel be carrying the maximum amount of that type of item, then the player is forced to throw away any they cannot load.
Once the player who won the bid has taken their goods, the other players are then able to pick between the remaining markets. Players are then able to sell any goods from one of the loaded camels, with each good providing a different benefit. This process is then repeated until the end of the game, with the player holding the most coins being named the winner.
Camel Up: Off Season was co-designed by Stefan Kloß - creator of the card game Beasty Bar, in which players attempt to get their animal guests into a nightclub - and Anna Oppolzer, who previously worked together on expansions for Beasty Bar.
Pretzel Games is the studio responsible for releasing Camel Up: Off Season, as well as being the newest publisher of the original Camel Up, alongside dexterity titles such as Junk Art and Men at Work.
Camel Up sees players competing to earn the most money by betting on camels at the races. Each round has players placing bets on whereabouts each colour of camel is going to come in the current race. Once all bets are placed, then different coloured dice - each representing a camel - are rolled and randomly drawn, with the corresponding camels moving however many spaces are shown on their die.
The release date for Camel Up: Off Season is set for June 2021, with retail stores receiving the game in July.