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Iluliaq

If the query ever comes up while playing Scrabble (Hasbro/Mattel), iluliaq

is a word for iceberg. The word is of Inuit origin and, for the record, it has the irregular plural of ilulissat. None of this of course matters in this light card-chucking dexterity game designed by Jacobo Rufete and published by PIF Games.



You use the box and 14 iceberg cards to construct the eponymous iceberg: building up the sides and creating a horizontal shelf across the top. 'Trampoline' cards are merely the distance markers used to ensure players are equidistant from the iceberg. The 2-6 players are then dealt a stack of six animal cards. Curiously, the rules specify that these should be dealt face down but all the cards are double-sided and so they are always only 'face-up'. In any event, it's these cards that players will be taking turns to throw or flick at the iceberg.


When you throw a card you're trying to get it to land on the iceberg. If it lands in the surrounding area (deemed 'the water') or if your throw dislodges other cards and sends them into the water, you'll have to pick up all the cards 'in the water' and add them to the bottom of your stack. Ultimately, you win the game by having no cards left in your stack or by having the fewest cards in your stack when the draw deck runs out or the entire shelf of the iceberg breaks off.


That's pretty much all there is, except that there can be different effects depending on the animal depicted on the card. Penguins have no special effects. If your card is a Dodo, however, landing it successfully on the iceberg lets you take another card from the draw deck and place it on the iceberg. You might choose to balance it precariously as a trap for the next player, making it more likely that it or other cards may end up tumbling into the water... If a card you throw ends up overlapping a Polar Bear card already on the iceberg, you have to draw a card and add it to your stack.



We always thought cats were supposed to have nine lives. Oddly, the English rules for Iluliaq refer to the Canadian Lynx as having seven lives. In any event, the upshot is that landing a Canadian Lynx on the iceberg will earn you an extra turn. Finally, Seals offer a partial exception to the 'pick up all the cards in the water' rule. If your Seal card falls into the water having at least touched the iceberg or any card on it, you leave it in the water. If your throw misses the iceberg altogether tho', you'll have to add Seals to your stack as you would for any other animal in the water.


Iluliaq benefits from cute illustrations from Oksana Vrzhesnevska and it makes for a fun filler-length dexterity game aimed squarely at children. You'll almost invariably be aiming to land your card on the iceberg regardless of which animal the card depicts but the different animal effects add to the fun of the game; tho', as the rules suggest, you can ignore them if you're playing with very young children and just want to keep it simple. You might also choose to vary the distance of each player's 'trampoline' card to handicap older or more competitive players by placing them nearer to or further from the iceberg.


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