Every now and then, there’s a game that pops out at me just because of the name. Such is the case for
Banjooli Xeet is a game from designer Diego Ibañez and published by Asylum Games, a Spanish publisher. It’s a game for 2-5 players that takes 30 minutes. It was initially available as a print-and-play, but was released in a full version back in May. Essentially, you are wizards trying to predict the outcome of ostrich races.
In the box (which is fairly small), you get 10 double-sided race track tiles, 5 ostrich tokens, 5 movement dice, 1 sorcery die, 11 berry tokens, 10 predictions, and a lion token. At the start of the game, you’ll randomly draw four tiles (or more for a longer game) to form the track between the start and finish tiles. The five ostriches are placed on the nests of the start tile with their running side up, and one prediction is dealt to each player.
The race goes until three ostriches have crossed the finish line. On your turn, you roll all six dice. You can have one reroll. You can choose to use the movement dice to move an ostrich, or you can use the sorcery die to scare an ostrich.
MOVEMENT: Move an ostrich that matches a color rolled a number of spaces equal to the number of dice that show the color. There are jokers that can be used as any color. Ostriches must move forward, never sideways or backwards (though they can move diagonally). You can’t pass over rocks or land on other ostriches. You can’t change lanes in a curve.
SORCERY: Flip the matching ostrich to its other side. If the ostrich is now scared, it can’t move until someone flips it back to its running side.
The race is over when three ostriches cross the finish line. At this time, you score everyone’s predictions. If you have the first place ostrich in first place, you get 5 points. If you have the second place ostrich in second place, you get 4 points. If you have the third place ostrich in third place, you get 3 points. If you guess any ostriches that crossed the finish line, but not in the correct position, you get 2 points for them. If you have the correct ostrich in last place, your score is doubled. The player with the most points wins.
This looks like a very light racing game. It’s a roll-and-move game, but it takes that aspect in a different direction because you need to try and manipulate your own ostriches into position. It’s not a unique mechanism – I remember hearing about a 2008 HABA game called The Garlic Vampires that does the same general thing. This isn’t even the first ostrich racing game I’ve heard of – the Lamont Brothers came out with Savannah Tails in 2009 (coincidentally, the same year that the PnP of BX came out). Still, I think this game just looks cool. It’s absolutely NOT going to be a big hit among hardcore gamers, but I think it would make a great bait game. It looks appealing while set up, and it has a pretty cool variable track – there are even advanced tiles you can add to make things more complicated (crocodiles, a ravine, a laval river, and a vortex), as well as berries that can help or hurt.
So that’s Banjooli Xeet. Check it out. Thanks for reading!