Don’t be fooled! The Climbers by Holger Lanz is not a dexterity game. Yes, a small percentage requires needing to ensure the peak remains intact, but the aim of this game is not to maintain the balance of the ‘mountain’. Instead, the winner will be the climber that actually ascends this ever-growing structure. This is actually an abstract strategy game.
Two to five players can play The Climbers, and set-up involves quickly assembling a modular structure using the variety of coloured blocks. There are cubes and oblongs of all manner of different sizes, the point being that all of these shapes have six faces. Each face is a different colour – one matching each of the five possible player colours, and then a sixth neutral colour.
The climbers are only little, so they also cannot pull themselves up to any step that is taller than them. (Perhaps they need to be able to physically see the colour onto which they are about to climb!) Sometimes it’s possible for you to move your climber more than one space per turn, but you can never move downwards.
Ladders are crucial. Players can use these to scramble up to heights otherwise illegal (taller than the climber’s height). They’re a one-time use though – discarded afterwards – so use them wisely! Players can also place their blocking disc at the end of their turn. Again, it’s a one-time use, but it prevents any players from moving onto that block/moving that block/placing other blocks on it for one whole turn.
Once you’ve finished your turn, everyone gets a ‘bonus’ opportunity to move their own climber, if they wish or if legal. Play resumes clockwise, with the next player moving a block and their climber, then everyone else gets a bonus move, and so on. When all players cannot move into any legal places, the game ends. The player currently highest up the structure wins – in the case of tie, the winner is the one that reached that height first!
Therefore The Climbers can quickly become quite the strategical battle, wherein the location in which you place a block might also help (or equally prevent) other players from ascending! The same is true by the space you leave behind, by removing a block in the first place…
Player Count: 2-5
Time: 45 Minutes