Piatnik, £20
Designed by Gerhard Kodys
2-4 Players, about 60 minutes
Reviewed by Mike Clifford

Designed by Gerhard Kodys (Jewelenzauber), Insider is a clever race/card game which can be played to a close in an hour or so.

The Insider in question is a restaurant, and players compete for the best tables. In what is now a well- established gaming device (Barbarossa, Adel Verpflichtet, Automania) a player's pawn is adjusted as a result of points earned (or lost) after the completion of a round. In the case of Insider, seven rounds (sittings) are recommended, although I do seem to remember (no rules translation as yet) that proceedings can also conclude when a player reaches the top of the stairs, and is presented with the bill!

The game board is an abstraction of a skyscraper resplendent with caricatures from high society, with a home base in each corner. Players move their playing pieces (either electing to move '7' or by 2d6) as quickly as possible to the centre of the playing surface, whereby they are 'transferred' to the restaurant. The tables therein are depicted on a pack of cards, which vary in both numerical value and number of sittings. When the restaurant is full, points are totalled and the scoring pawns are moved up or down the staircase, a la Midnight Party.

Players may also influence events with action cards. There are four types, but their effect changes when played as multiples. eg - One Scandal card would cause another player to miss a go, but two will force a player to roll 1d6 until the round is over. These events can, in some cases, be cancelled by Bodyguard cards, but, again, the same principal applies (one needed to cancel one, two for two cards, etc). Some of the encounters cause a player to lose his place in the restaurant, others expedite movement more efficiently. Action cards are not replaced, and may only be replenished (one at a time) as an alternative to moving. There are also four 'Total Out' markers, which act as blockers. These can also be moved by the cards.

Each round of play should take about 10 minutes, and because points can be accumulated quickly, players can easily 'catch- up', so stragglers will retain interest. My feeling is that if Insider had been produced by a fashionable company, the gaming community would be pontificating.

mike clifford

On to the review of Palermo or back to the review of Hacker.

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