K'Dak's Tower of Confusion and Camel Carwash

K'Dak's Tower of Confusion and Camel Carwash

Players 2
Length 20 minutes
Equipment Required piecepack
Designer JimAdams and AmyEnge
Version 1.2
Version Date2004-11-03
License Copyright © 2004, Jim Adams and Amy Enge , re-licensed CC BY-SA 4.0


K'Dak's Tower of Confusion and Camel Wash is game of exploration. You and your opponent climb through an abandoned tower hoping to collect enough treasure in order to pay for a bath for Phredd. Things go just fine until one of you reaches the top layer, at which time the tower starts shaking itself apart. You then have to get out before the whole structure collapses on you while still finding enough treasure to make the expedition worthwhile.


Reviews & Comments

K'Dak's Tower is a simple dungeon crawl memory game wherein two friends (pawns) gather gold (collected according to hidden tile values as tiles are landed upon and exposed) that was left as trap bait in a six-level tower (each level is two tiles by two tiles square) that begins crumbling as soon as someone reaches its highest level. Ostensibly, the gold will be pooled to pay for a camel wash, but the competition is strictly for bragging rights. The friends enter on the lowest level of the tower and may move orthogonally in any direction, exposing tiles and collecting points according to their values. (Moving onto a previously exposed tile is worth nothing.) The only other movement restrictions are that to move up a level requires at least two tiles on the current level already be exposed, and to exit the tower requires that someone has reached the top level. Once someone reaches the top, all the tiles flip face-down again, and a die is thrown on every turn to see what level of the tower starts crumbling, with higher levels falling down to fill the void. Whoever escapes with the most gold wins.

K'Dak's Tower is really easy to learn and play, and the graphics and story are quite humorous. A fairly handy scoring track is included with coin-sized spaces. The ruleset is clearly written, if somewhat wordy at times. But long paragraphs make it difficult to refer back to the rules when a question arises. The appendix is adequate, as well. Unfortunately, there's not really very much interesting here, in terms of game play, other than the memory element of trying to get the most points on the way down out of the crumbling tower. Amazingly, the crumbling tower is not dangerous at all, and the players are assured of escaping with at least some gold. This crashed my suspension of disbelief for the game, somewhat. Why hadn't the gold been retrieved earlier?

K'Dak's Tower is clearly positioned as a children's game, and the games we played were all under 20 minutes, which fits that target audience well. However, one play tester commented that the tower crumbling mechanism is somewhat fiddly, and might not hold the attention of children playing. Since the points you get while climbing the tower are completely random, there might be quite a large inequity of points by the time the trap is triggered. As a result, the game turned out not to have many meaningful choices, even with the Talisman variant. One suggestion for improvement is to increase the importance of the memory aspect by increasing (perhaps doubling) the value of gold found on the way out of the tower. Or maybe increasing the value of gold found on higher levels? Another minor niggle is that a fully-enumerated and serpentine scoring track would be more ergonomic for use in play than the contest version.

Conclusion: Our group didn't much care for K'Dak's Tower. As is, the crumbling tower mechanism is fiddly and the game play itself is fairly shallow. But there's room for improvement, and we encourage the authors to give it some more work. Score: 19.69

-- ClarkRodeffer

Oct 19, 2004

CategoryGame ThemeMiscellaneousCategory