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Camel Up Two Player Review

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All board game reviews and ratings from “A Pair of Meeples” are entirely based on the game at two players. You can learn more about our rating system by clicking below.


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Is there a chance the extremely fun betting game Camel Up works with two players or are the odds against it?

Camel Up Review

4.5 out of 10
Camel Up Two Player Review A Pair of Meeples

Is it Good For Two Players? : Not great

Camel Up definitely works with two players and minor house rules might help, but no matter how good of a two-player variant you could create, it’s a game that is best enjoyed with more players at the table to cheer on the “undercamel” and watch as the chaos unfolds. 

Theme: 7/10
Replayability: 4/10
Components: 6/10
Conflict: 3/10
Fun: 5/10

His Rating
4 out of 10
Her Rating
5 out of 10

Pros

Can still be pretty fun near the end of the race

Quick, simple, and easy to play

Pretty unique race mechanisms

Cons

The early game is rather slow and unexciting

Gameplay Experience:

Camel Up Two Player Review and How To Play

Camel Up is a game that we bring out a lot with family and friends and it’s always a hit at the table.  It’s super easy to teach, quick to play, and actually fun.  We’ve never really thought of playing it with just two players because it’s so good with more.

It seems like many people are curious about this game with just two though so we decided to give it a go.  We set the camels up and got ready for the race.  Initially, it felt very odd making bets and playing at this much lower player count.

It was hard to get into it, and things were moving rather slowly.  It may have just been us comparing it to our games with more players, but it didn’t look promising.  Camel Up plays almost the same with two players as more, but the reduced social interaction and table talk were making things less interesting.

We were also taking so many bet tiles that the game was kind of dragging. Rolling the dice puts you at a disadvantage at this lower player count so we tried to stall a lot and we were just constantly hedging our bets as positions changed.

As we crossed the halfway point though, it was like we had made it to humpday.  The finish line was in sight and things were getting exciting.  It almost felt as fun as playing with more players as we started to trash talk each other and place our final bets.

Stacked Camels in Camel Up

As usual in Camel Up, things went haywire and the most unexpected camel came out on top (literally). We both sat there in awe as all of our overall bets were just entirely wrong, laughing at the utter nonsense that just happened.

Then it was over though, we tallied up the winner and were unsure of how we felt about the game with fewer players.  The end game was promising and pretty fun but overall, we were unsure if the juice was worth the squeeze.

Before playing again we decided to look up if anybody had variants or house rules to make the game work better with two players.  Some recommended removing the lower-valued (2) bet tiles, which we did so in our next game.  This made the game a bit faster and flow better while increasing the competition over this action.

We then tried a few more complex artificial player variants and honestly, we couldn’t even get ourselves to finish an entire game using them.  They just added too much work and upkeep to what is supposed to be an easy to play “party game”.

After experimenting a lot, playing with the standard rules was the best way to enjoy the game,   but removing the lower betting cards improved it slightly.  Was it worth playing though, that’s the real question.

Well, during our research for variants, we also learned that the first edition of Camel Up listed two players on the box, whereas the newer edition does not.  Which tells you a lot about the game and matches our feelings quite well.

Camel Up definitely works with two players and minor house rules might help, but no matter how good of a two-player variant you could create, it’s a game that is best enjoyed with more players at the table to cheer on the “undercamel” and watch as the chaos unfolds.

How to Play Camel Up With Two Players, Rules Summary:

Camel Up isn’t really intended for two players, but the first edition of the game did have this player count listed.  After trying out multiple variants, the best way to play is with the traditional rules and just one minor setup change.

In Camel Up players bet on racing camels that move a little differently than you would think.  Not only do these camels stack on top of each other, but there are also two crazy camels heading the wrong way on the track that can carry them back.  

Camel Up Dice Tower

The camels are moved when players take the roll action, where one of six dice comes out of the cool pyramid dice tower.  The colored camel that matches the dice moves that many spaces, but if they’re are others on top of it, they also move with it.

Players also can interfere by “booing and cheering” causing any camels that land on the space they place this tile to move either forward or backward one space and gain money for it.  If a camel goes backwards though they may end up going under other camels.

Camel Up Booing and Cheering Tiles

All this talk of camels being stacked probably sounds a little odd, but after a round or two it’s really pretty straightforward, but nevertheless chaotic.  Once you understand the game it’s easy to see how unpredictable the outcomes actually are.

This makes deciding your bets all the more difficult. The way betting works is players can take a betting tile matching a camel’s color as their action.  These are limited and the first tile grants players the most money if that camel wins, with each successive one providing a smaller reward.  

You can take as many bets as possible, but incorrect bets will cost you, so it’s important to not just bet on everything.  Players also have the option to bet on the overall winner and loser of the race at any time, but of course, these aren’t determined until the end of the game.

Camel Up Betting Tiles

Players continue taking actions until the end of a leg, which is after 5 dice have been rolled.  At this time players look at their collected bets and add up their winnings or losses.  All players take their “booing and cheering” tokens back, the next player starts the round and you do it all over again.

This continues until a camel or stack of camels crosses the finish line, where players then look at the overall bets and add up all winnings to determine who had the best day at the races.  

Two Player House Rules

As we said the game works perfectly fine as is, but in our opinion for some players, limiting the number of betting tokens available may improve the flow of the game.  So instead of including them all just remove the 2 lower-valued betting tokens.  These are the ones that give you two coins if that camel wins the leg.

This modification makes it less likely for players to take a lot of turns collecting bets, and will instead cause them to roll the die more often and earlier, moving the game along.

So, Is Camel Up Good For 2 Players?

I think it’s pretty safe to say that Camel Up with two players isn’t the best.  It’s not even listed on the second edition of the game anymore, which means that the designers have literally changed their minds on whether you should even play it at this player count.

There’s no denying that you can though, and it does work, but, is it worth it?  In our opinion probably not.  There are so many great two-player board games that you’ll likely never pick this one over any of them, even if you are looking for a betting-style party game. Games like Cubitos, Quacks of Quedlinburg, or Long Shot could scratch a similar itch and accommodate this lower player count a bit better.

We do admit the last leg of the race can still be quite fun at this lower player count, but overall it’s just not enough to justify pulling this one out in these scenarios and is a game that is much better saved for those times when you have more people at the table.

Pros:

  • Can still be pretty fun near the end of the race
  • Quick, simple, and easy to play
  • Pretty unique race mechanisms

Cons:

  • The early game is rather slow and unexciting

Camel Up (Second Edition) | Strategy , Dice Game | Family Board Game for Adults and Kids | Ages 8 and up | 3 to 8 Players | Average Playtime 30-45 Minutes | Made by Eggertspiele
Camel Up (Second Edition) | Strategy , Dice Game | Family Board Game for Adults and Kids | Ages 8 and up | 3 to 8 Players | Average Playtime 30-45 Minutes | Made by Eggertspiele
Camel Up (Second Edition) | Strategy , Dice Game | Family Board Game for Adults and Kids | Ages 8 and up | 3 to 8 Players | Average Playtime 30-45 Minutes | Made by Eggertspiele

We hope this Camel Up two player review has helped you.

Our reviews are not paid reviews, but some games are given to us, we do not let this affect our opinions in any way. This post may contain affiliate links so we might receive compensation if you sign up for or purchase products linked to. As an Amazon Associate, we can earn from qualifying purchases. This helps cover our site's costs and allows us to continue reviewing games.


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