At the 2012 New York Toy Fair, U.S. publisher Mayfair Games was showing off Giza: The Great Pyramid from designer Dave Heberer, which was released in January 2012 as well as Fréderic Moyersoen’s Whitewater and James Spurny’s Rocket Jockey, both of which hit retail shelves in the U.S. on February 23. Here’s a description of Whitewater:
Danger and excitement lurk around every bend of the river in Whitewater. Race down a deadly river, carefully navigating your raft through the obstacles, while trying to keep your paddles and crew inside the raft.
In Whitewater each player directs the actions of four courageous rafters. Each raft in the race contains four crew, with two crew from you and two from another player. Players control the crew within a raft, but also may use Energy cards to additionally help one raft or the other. Dice represent the effects of hazards you encounter, and even your best-laid plans can be spoiled by another raft pushing you a direction you don’t want to go. Earn points for getting your rafts and passengers home safely, while navigating through treacherous waters containing rocks, driftwood and the dreaded whirlpool!
As with Friese’s Fast Flowing Forest Fellers of a few years back, Whitewater includes multiple boards that can be used to create hundreds of routes, and the bluffing aspect of how much you’ll work to move a raft (while hoping the other player does more) is a nice twist. My main complaint is that Mayfair spells the game as both “White Water” and “Whitewater” across its press catalog, its website, and press releases, but that’s the obsessive cataloguist in me coming out. Consistency, people!
by W. Eric Martin