Board game: Het geheim van Grimbergen (The secret of Grimbergen)

Because of the Social Distancing I decided to review several board games this period, because playing a game is one of the best ways to spend your time at home! Naturally I have several games about beer and once in a post I’d like to tell more about one of them. This time it’s time for an IP game:

Het geheim van Grimbergen

The secret of Grimbergen is merchandise from the well-known Abbey of Grimbergen. There has been a single print run of the game in two languages, Dutch and French. You will not find it in a normal store, but it seems to be readily available in several thrift stores and on several thrift sites. It might still be for sale at the Abbey itself.

Het geheim van Grimbergen is a game for two to five players, and takes about an hour to play. The game is lightly based on Clue, with some Game of Goose or Monopoly like aspects, although it’s basically a simple roll and move with some special action spaces and a secret objective.

Every player gets a card with a secret objective. The secret objective consists of three different monks. There are 12 monks in the Abbey and they all have a specialty. It’s your objective to collect your three monks in any one room on the premises to win the game. On your turn you roll both dice. You may then use them to move yourself and/or monks. There are several special spaces on the board where something happens when you end on it. When you end on the question mark you must take a chance card and do what it says. It might be a key, which you may keep to open closed doors. When you end on a monk, you may secretly look which monk it is. When you end on a die space, you may roll one die again and move again. You can use the secret tunnels to go from one place on the board to another. You can only go trough closed doors with a key. Monks can always move through closed doors. You can only move a monk from a room when you are in the room yourself.

Ok. Right. So, it’s not a good game. Maybe if you tweak the game in one way or the other to reduce the dependence on the dice rolls, it might become a decent game. Being really clever doesn’t do a lot for you when you keep rolling ones and you aren’t getting anywhere. Although, it could be fun with kids, maybe? I am partial to the secret objective part, it just becomes an unnecessary long game when you roll badly.

The artwork is pretty nice though, especially the board, and the components are sturdy enough. And I really like it that they tried something different for merchandise by producing a board game instead of the next opener, beer mat or beer plate for on your wall. And God knows there are not enough board games with a beer theme. I guess it’s a nice try and I applaud the attempt. It’s also a better alternative to, say, actually playing the Game of Goose.

Would you still play a bad game because of its theme?

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