Ravensburger, £12

There must be something lucky about these small Ravensburger boxes. My shelves already contain Cash, Kuhhandel, Heisse Schlact, Ausbrecher and Hols der Geier, so I have not yet bought a duff one. Razzia comes in the same size box and is undoubtedly among the best of the bunch. Similar in concept, weight and mechanism to Adel, but in my view better in execution, the game is one of bluff and cardplay.

A number of large cards representing '30s underground nightclubs are laid out on the table and a cash stake is placed at each one. The players are dealt a hand of cards. This consists of gamblers and cops, each rated between one and six, and colour designated to show onto which club they can be played. A turn is simply the secret, simultaneous play of one card from your hand with the aim of having the sole gambler at a club to grab the cash stake, or playing a cop to catch a gambler and then grab the cash by way of a bribe. If no gambler shows at any one club, you all get zip; that club's kitty stays unclaimed. If there are two or more gamblers or cops with a valid claim, there is a deal system to see who gets what, the higher rated card having the advantage if it comes to a die roll. Play content is therefore striking a balance between claiming cash by gamblers or by cops, all the while guessing what your opponents will do and trying to spot trends in their play. Bluff and double bluff emerge in much the same way as Adel, though with the added dimension of clubs having varying amounts of cash to add to the interest - should you go for the big money stack along with everyone else, or duck out into the more certain but lower value clubs? And do you go with a gambler or a cop?

The cash and cards are replenished each turn and the player with the most cash at the end wins. That's it, and it fairly cranks along (about 20 or 30 minutes tops), the skill level is high, with an appreciable level of replayability. The game clearly owes a lot to Adel but the basic system of bluffing and trying to read your opponents holds up much better as a raison d'etre in the shorter game. The key differences are that, due to the colour coding, you don't have free choice of which cards to play where and, more importantly for fighting off boredom, the cardplay is usually a single phase affair which works far better than the two step Adel system. These are slight twists, but enough to give the game merit, speed and substance. The only problem is that there are sometimes enough available clubs to preclude interaction, so I would think 'Clubs = Players -1' should apply for a much closer tussle. Razzia is a pleasing little game, nominated for Game of the Year which is overegging it somewhat (though it is no less deserving than Adel), but well worthy of your attention.

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