Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Eurogame Ludicrous Theme Hall of Fame- LOS MAMPFOS

Here at Fortress Ameritrash, one of the things we all agree on is that theme, a sense of narrative, and a tight fit between those traits and solid mechanics are chief among the qualities that make a game great- whether it's from the US or Luxembourg. We've often criticized Euros for their lack of these characteristics and we have chafed at some of the more nonsensical themes (penguins) that the genre is known for. Today I came across a new title that surely must be entered into the Eurogame Ludicrous Theme Hall of Fame- LOS MAMPFOS.




Now, don't consider this a review because I've never played this game from Zoch Verlag and I likely never will- for one thing, I'm not a big Rudiger Dorn fan (outside of TRADERS OF GENOA) but I'm also not a big fan of a shitting donkeys theme. I like WWII and robots much better.

Yeah, that's right. The theme of the game is that you feed these gigantic, squatting wooden donkeys oat biscuits and then they move around these fields. The rules have that irritating Euro-cloyness in describing what you actually do in the game- "once they are well-fed, they lift their tails up and let the recently digested biscuits drop onto the grass." Which is a nice, Euro-way to say "the donkeys take a dump". The goal of the game is literally to collect different colors of shit (which are of course wooden discs). It appears that the usual assortment of "clever" movement rules are there along with some kind of card drafting and selection wheels but it's all just a distraction to picking up donkey turd. The ad copy tells us that the game is " for sombrero wearers with a good memory – and a preference for donkeys’ droppings".

All that being said, it looks like the mechanics clearly illustrate and specify the donkey shitting theme. Which in terms of theme/mechanic integration is more than can be said of say, TIGRIS AND EUPHRATES.

Now, don't get me wrong...Zoch has done some really neat games for children (JOCHEN DER ROCHEN, for example) and I'm sure the game is targeted toward kids who giggle at the thought of poo- but I wouldn't be surprised to see a cluster of adults gathered around LOS MAMPFOS at the next big game event, tee-heeing their way through this madness yet snubbing the themes, dice rolling, and graphics of AT games as "childish" or "immature". If I were an outsider to the hobby and walked in on that scene, I would run home screaming and burn every copy of MONOPOLY or TRIVIAL PURSUIT in my closet to avoid being associated with such an awful, degenerate hobby.

But now, if FFG were to redo it with a shitting Orcs theme...that might be a game.

52 comments:

Mike Zebrowski said...

You know what would add to this game's theme: Scratch-N-Sniff stickers.

Mike Z

robartin said...

I used to have this game when I was a kid where you'd load this cardboard head full of cardboard food like pizza, doughnuts, and candy bars. Finally when you'd loaded enough food into the head it would tip forward and puke it all out onto the table. Maybe this is the Euro remake of that game.

Michael Barnes said...

Hey, I had that game too! I think it was called "Stuff Your Face" or something like that.

TheRankO said...

Gives that hackneyed cliche "dripping with theme" a whole new spin, don't it?

Malloc said...

I don't know about donkey shit selling well, I don't even know about orc shit well.

But something tells me that if this were hot women doing the same thing that it would be a best seller in Germany.

-M

Thaadd said...

You could tap into the kid market even more, by having instead of wooden disks....jellybeans! Although realistically, bunnies would then be a better animal...

the*mad*gamer said...

In all fairness, this is a kid's game (ages 6 up)

Barnes knocking this game is no different than the Grand Poobah rating "Don't Wake Daddy" low in order to maintain the integrity of his game ratings bell curve.

*shaking head* How the mighty have fallen!

Michael Barnes said...

Hey- I said upfront it was a kid's game. The problem is there's a large number of dumpy, middle-aged men who play kids' games as a hobby. Or for some kind of bizarre kicks inbetween games of CAYLUS and DIE MACHER.

Besides, doesn't this one give new meaning to the "murky middle"?

And FYI- I rate POPUP PIRATE a _ten_.

Robert said...

So, a grown man who contributes to a blog about games that are targeted specifically at adolescent boys is griping about the *possibility* that a grown man will play a game that is targeted specifically at German children?

Michael Barnes said...

Oh my gosh Robert, you've got me cornered there. Not only that, but you have once again successfully characterized fans of AT games as post-adolescent regressives. We're so juvenile I can't believe it. If only we would play the more sophisticated and elegant games like LOOPIN' LOUIE. Here you go man, keys to the city.

TheRankO said...

And who says Barnes is "a grown man"?

Robert Bowsher said...

You need to throw this example out there next time poor old _Monopoly_ gets its turn in the barrel. "It's a pity that American culture is too lowbrow and fixated on trash like _Monopoly_ to appreciate the finer things in life, such as _Los Mampfos_."

Robert said...

"...you have once again successfully characterized fans of AT games as post-adolescent regressives."

No, actually I didn't. My point is that the target market for many of the games listed on this site is adolescent boys. That's a subtly different statement than the one you're attributing to me. Who else did Hasbro think was going to play Nexus Ops or Sword and Skull?

I didn't say, or mean to imply, that adults that enjoy these games are regressives. I like Nexus Ops, too. I just don't think that the marketers at Hasbro expected to sell the game in vast numbers to folks in my (and your) demographic.

Ken Bradford said...

Someone should do an article on that whole Hasbro thing.

the red phantom said...

Someone should do an article on that whole Hasbro thing.

Someone should, instead of an apologia for a company that obviously couldn't get its act together. ;)

I have to say I'm in agreement with Robert on his marketing point, something that those numbskull AT-haters on BGG never had the wit to point out. Doesn't change a thing, of course, but I notice it most in some of FFG's art (WK being particularly egregious), and FFG's games should be marketed equally to adults.

Mr Skeletor said...

Michael, I hope you don't take this as a personal attack - oh wait, Karp's not around so you can - but you sire, are a cookoo head.
Shitting Donkeys is the greatest Euro theme ever! Donkey turds are a lot more fun then kissing some Kings ass or growing corn.
Why, such a fine theme could even save beowulf! Instead of the nonsensical 'helping beowulf' bullshit I'm meant to be doing my cards could represent farts I'm forcing out - it gives a new meaning to the term "taking a risk!"

First Robartin complaining about 300 and now you acting like your too highbrow for poo jokes. Are we seeing the first recorded cases of Amerisnoots?

boner teasdale said...

I'm taking a shit right now.

We can make a game of it, if you like.

Michael Barnes said...

Too highbrow for poo jokes? Dude, this whole article was nothing but one long poo joke. You should listen to the language around our typical game table...no one would mistake us as "highbrow", that's for sure.

You do have a point though...I'd rather pick up donkey shit than impress Beowulf.

Robert said...

"Shitting Donkeys is the greatest Euro theme ever!"

I agree. Maybe it could be repackaged as a Collectible Crap Game. Each booster would contain a variety of distinctly shaped, hand-painted turd figurines.

Maybe they'll do this for the 10th Anniversary 3D Special Edition in the wooden treasure chest.

boner teasdale said...

Who'd have thought that Ameritrashers would be so picky about a piece of ass?

Daniel said...

Holy Crap, seriously, Holy Crap! I thought this was a fucking joke when I read it. I thought Barnes had put a bunch of components from other games together, along with some shitty americana junk from a yard sale (the donkeys) and took the picture. I was even afraid to type it in at BGG thinking that some joke was being played on us the readers.

P.S. I wanted to let you guys know that you are getting through to some gamers. While I will always love my Euros I have been scrutinizing those "elegant" games more recently, and thinking how much I DID miss games that I would remember who the winner was ten years down the road. So on that note I just traded for Nexus Ops. This weekend I am having some of the friends over for the first AmeriTrash night of games.

Jan Lucas said...

Very funny. I also thought this was an elaborate joke using photoshop etc only to find out the game really exists! Brilliant. As far as 'Fortress' goes, great job Malloc, Michael, Ken Branford, Mr Skeletor and everone else involved. Thanks.

Friendless said...

Umm... is this site about Euros or Ameritrash? If I wanted to read about Euros I'd go to some other site.

TheRankO said...

If I wanted to read about Euros I'd go to some other site.

Weird: I didn't know there was another site where one could poke some well-deserved fun at Euros without being trolled.

pbwedz said...

Actually, due to its theme, it might do well for ages 5 to 8. The theme could well carry this one.

Barnes knocking this game is no different than the Grand Poobah rating "Don't Wake Daddy" low in order to maintain the integrity of his game ratings bell curve.

I know I rate most kids games low, because even my kids don't want to play them.

Michael Barnes said...

Points to pbwedz...yeah, if my parents brought me a donkey shit game like this to play, I probably would have called DFACS myself.

teknomerk said...

I also thought this was an early April Fool's joke. This is just SO unbelievable! Just when I thought I've seen it all in games, now there's one about scooping poo... What's more puzzling is that folks willingly pay for and play this game for entertainment???

If folks really lack that much discernment in games, maybe I should should re-introduce pet rocks and retire early. Good grief!

StephenAvery said...

"I'm sure the game is targeted toward kids who giggle at the thought of poo-"

Poo-

Hhehehe.

robartin said...

So how long until Steve Avery shows up with this game at Mercer? Anyone want to place bets?

pbwedz said...

Points to pbwedz...yeah, if my parents brought me a donkey shit game like this to play, I probably would have called DFACS myself.

HA! Do you have kids? I'm guessing not. All kids (esp. boys) go through the 'potty humor' phase.

My oldest son (almost 6) plays M44 (he is bugging me to get the Eastern Front), TtR and Emerald. Just in case you were worried about my parenting skill. :)

Ken Bradford said...

Umm... is this site about Euros or Ameritrash? If I wanted to read about Euros I'd go to some other site.



On another Euro site, you'd read a review of this Euro stating thusly:



"This game is the epitome of elegance and a wonderful blend of modern design sensibilities with a whimsical, childlike wonder.

At the Gathering of Friends, we could barely stifle our giggles as we moved our pieces to and fro, collecting our charming little "Feces Pieces" as Alan Moon hilariously dubbed them.


Then, some ruffians nearby were shouting cheers of victory as one of them had committed some random act of violence in one of their bile-inducing adolescent plastic fests...how they got in to the GoF we'll never know, but Alan had a few of his hired muscle forcibly remove them at once.


As for the game...a very silly 8.0 out of 10.0. I cannot wait to bring this to our next gameday."

pbwedz said...

This game is the epitome of elegance and a wonderful blend of modern design sensibilities with a whimsical, childlike wonder.

He He. Missed that one.

Michael Barnes said...

All kids (esp. boys) go through the 'potty humor' phase.

Except me. I was born without a sense of humour. And I haven't gone to the bathroom since 1983 so I don't know what all the fuss over poo is about anyway.

So how long until Steve Avery shows up with this game at Mercer? Anyone want to place bets?

Let's see...it's thursday, around 11am...he's got about 6 hours to get to Boulder Games down in Lizella, GA and back before we meet. I bet he's already left.

Michael Barnes said...

Oh...and if Rio Grande decides to bring this one over, how much ya wanna bet they'll call it DUMPIN' DONKEYS?

pbwedz said...

And I haven't gone to the bathroom since 1983 so I don't know what all the fuss over poo is about anyway.

No wonder you make that face. :) Let it out man!!!

Oh...and if Rio Grande decides to bring this one over, how much ya wanna bet they'll call it DUMPIN' DONKEYS?

He He. I could actually see that.

Shellhead said...

What about box fart? Or is this donkey shit game just kept in a brown bag?

thdizzy said...

Donkey poo makes me giggle.

sigh said...

First the tuck box picture, now this. Following the Ameritrash threads is getting more dangerous all the time, it seems.

Anonymous said...

haha nice read guys!

Ken, that's perfect..

hughthehand said...

OMG! Weeks...are you fucking kidding me? Barnes, I hope you are paying attention to BGG.

William Boykin said...

Hey Mike,et al.

1) Love the post. Funny, articulate, very cool.

2) Weeks is acting like a git. Rather than taking on Mike here at Fortress:AT, he's gone back to BGG in order to slam you. Which, I think, is pretty low class. By taking this article out of context, he's trying to win points with the anti-Barnes groupies out on BGG. Fine, ok, if he wants to do that, be a little weeny. Just thought the rest of you ought to know.

William

Michael Barnes said...

There are no allies in comedy, friends...just punchlines.

William Boykin said...

Tell that Bill Hicks about Dennis Leary.........*sigh*

William

Midian2000 said...

Oh...please...stop. This post and its comments have me blasting Coke and popcorn (my afternoon work snack) out my nose at about 400 psi, I'm laughing so hard. This HAS got to be an early April Fools joke. *wipes his face*

Friendless said...

On another Euro site, you'd read a review of this Euro stating thusly:

Oh, I get it. You AT guys really ARE all about negativity... you don't much want to write about how great AT games are, you just want to bag Euros. That's a pretty fucking dull topic for a blog, guys.

Mr Skeletor said...

Oh, I get it. You AT guys really ARE all about negativity... you don't much want to write about how great AT games are, you just want to bag Euros.

Yep, pretty much.
It's just like Bush bashing only fun.

boner teasdale said...

This game is shitty ass shitting ass shit.

Ken Bradford said...

No, Friendless. That was meant to be good-natured ribbing.

I'm pretty sure there hasn't been an ounce of negativity in any of my blog posts yet. I was just havin' some fun with the guy bashing us for playing "adolescent games".

Anonymous said...

Um potty humor is well accepted as the king of all humor. Lord knows MB craps on enough games....

ubarose said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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