You and your fellow players have fallen into diamond fever; but be careful! On the way to the seductively shimmering gemstones there are a lot of dangers lurking in front of you and some players turn out to be devious gemstone thieves.
The only question that remains is, are you brave enough for a fast-paced game adventure in the raging waters of the Niagara River? Find out for yourself in our family board game test
Niagara from Zoch.

Addicting family game with a great game board design

The story to the game Niagara, plays on the raging Niagara River, which ends in a thundering waterfall, which has to be avoided by skillful game maneuvers before it pulls the player into the abyss and with it again at the beginning of the game. The moves are carried out in small wooden canoes that have been designed so that you can transport gems on them. Because that's what the fast-paced family game is all about. All the adventurers involved try to get hold of gemstones on the downstream bank, in order to then transport them upstream again to the safe landing stage and thus secure their way to victory. The aim of the game is to be the first to get five different, four of the same color, or seven of any colored gemstones into his possession. But this seems easier than it shows in the course of the game, because Niagara comes up with a few pitfalls. Each player has the choice of playing a paddle card or a cloud card and because this happens to all other players at the beginning of the round, you can hardly plan your move tactically. If you choose a paddle card, the player has the choice of either moving his canoes, loading or unloading a gem - this is only possible at the beginning or end of a turn on the marked diamond islands - or stealing diamonds from his To commit fellow players. However, theft is only possible upstream. If a player chooses the cloud map, he influences the weather and thus the flow speed of the Niagara Rivers, which is simulated by plastic floes. In a rough sea, a player is quickly transported over the waterfall, out of the running game. Because the river speed is determined by adding up the lowest paddle map and the current weather value. If a canoe has crashed, it is considered lost along with its load. But it can be bought back with the help of a diamond, if you don't have another canoe, you get it back free of charge. So there are many dangers lurking for the brave adventurer, such as the weather change, the flow speed of the river, devious players and a raging waterfall. A game of Niagara lasted about 45 minutes for us.

The game board is attractively designed and invites you to have fun with its unusual structure. Because the game board is placed over the upturned game box, so that a real waterfall is created. This is particularly popular with younger players, but also appeals to experienced players. The river bed and the diamond bays are optically separated from the rest of the game board by deeper sections. The canoes and diamonds are colorful and just as appealing to the player. Overall, an effectively designed game board and accessories.

Pictures of Simply Brilliant


Number of players: 3 to 5 players (6 with expansion)
Age: from 8 years
Playing time: 45 to 60 minutes
Difficulty: easy
Long-term motivation: medium

Publisher: Zoch  
Year of publication: 2004 
Authors: Thomas Liesching
Language: German
Cost: 25 Euro


The board game author Thomas Liesching and the publishing house Zoch did a great job with the family board game Niagara! It was not for nothing that the family game, published in 2004, was voted Game of the Year 2005 and won other prestigious game awards. Very young players around the age of eight need the help of an adult during the game, especially if it has not been played often. With this group of players, trains are quickly forgotten, or the flow rate is incorrectly calculated. Still, it's a well-done game for the whole family and clearly one of our favorites that gets played a lot.