Updated: 5 days ago
Lucky Langhals is a light easy-to-play game that's aimed primarily at pre-school children. As the box art makes clear, it's a giraffe-themed game but Langhals isn't the German for giraffe (that's Die Giraffe!), it translates to the more descriptive 'long neck'.
In this simple HABA game designed by Felix Beukemann, with cute art by Gabriela Silveira, the 2-4 players take turns drawing and revealing a square token. The pattern on the revealed side will match up with one or more of the various rectangular-shaped tokens scattered in the play area. The player picks a matching token, flips it to reveal the giraffe neck on its reverse and adds that to their individual giraffe. The neck-builder game continues until all the neck tokens have gone and the winner is the player whose giraffe has the longest neck.
There's a bit of a twist in that some neck tiles have the neck running the length of the tile and some running its width, so choosing the longest face-down tile isn't always a winning strategy. If there's a lesson there, it's probably something equivalent to 'all that glitters isn't gold'. The game does have an educational element for younger players, however, in that you're encouraged to measure the giraffe necks by counting the spots: longer neck pieces have more spots on them than shorter neck pieces.
This makes for a quick-playing game that reinforces pre-school counting skills. Except... In order to be helpful for children who struggle with their counting skills, the game includes a Pepe the Parrot piece into which you thread the supplied cord. The idea is that if your child can't manage the counting, they use the cord to compare giraffe neck lengths. This would be a good idea except for the fact that the number of spots doesn't reliably correspond with the actual length of the tile!
As you can see in our example, the red giraffe has a neck that's 12 spots long and the blue giraffe's neck has just 10 spots but, paradoxically the parrot measure would show the blue giraffe as the winner.
That caveat aside, Lucky Langhals makes for a simple game that pre-schoolers will enjoy. A potential Christmas stocking filler, perhaps?