Monday, October 3

El Corral: The lighter of a new generation • Console and Dashboard

Toad. I am convinced that you were toad. My colleague on the right was a drone and the one on your side was a viper. You have to see how I like to call him to his face without having to hide it! What we were going to, since when are you not a toad?

We have played so many games that this is starting to get messy. More still, I say. All right, little vermin, we continue. The slug is not willing to lose for a small slip. We review The Corral, a colorful card game.


The Corral is a card game for 2 to 10 participants, lasting 20 minutes. Indicated from the age of 8, it bears the signature of Víctor Manuel Álamo Álvarez. He is immersed in a financing search campaign in Verkami.

If you reach your initial goal of 4,500 euros, it will be a reality in March 2022. Its price during the campaign is 16 euros, in a reward that includes the game and shipping costs to the Peninsula and the Canary Islands. Increasing this amount, the expenses to the Balearic Islands, a cloth bag or additional copies are added.

In a union between memory and visual speed, we compete to be the player with the fewest cards at the end of the game. It comes in a small box, with 68 cards inside. Numbers and colors are the main protagonists of the action.


Before we start, we deal out one battle card per player. It is left on its back, in its zone. We take a challenge, which will mark the category to follow during the game. We will place it in the center, visible to all.

It will be time to memorize the figure that the companions have on their battle card, belonging to the challenge in play. For example, if the challenge were ‘animals’, we would have to remember the animals of each battle card. Then we turn them upside down.

We shuffle the number cards and the specials. One of the participants will be in charge of distributing one to each person, face up, and so on, covering the previous ones. Each one can only have one visible.

The game starts with the numbers game. When two players match in number on their cards, they must say the element that the other had on their battle card, following the category marked on the challenge card. The first to announce it (as long as it is correct), he places all his cards on top of the opponent’s.

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Failures are not penalized. After a coincidence battle, the competition continues. Throughout the game, we will find special cards.

The wild cards suppose a change to color. Thus, the battle will take place with a color match. If we already play color, we would change to number with its appearance. If after a change there are three or more of the same cards, only the two players before the joker compete in the battle.

The skull will be used when losing a battle, allowing all the cards to be delivered to the winner. For its part, the eye will serve to see the battle cards of the opponents. Only whoever plays it will be able to consult them. The challenge ends when all the cards have been played. Who has less is checked, claiming victory.


This is proving crazy. I don’t know if it’s more fun from the inside or the outside, but being a spectator must be a real pleasure. While I do the gorilla gesture, another one stretches his mouth. And you should have seen the previous game. The sounds of sheep, pig, duck, and horse filled the room. Or at least an attempt from them.

I know concentration is critical to success, but This bunch of nuts makes it very difficult for me. Crazy situations confuse anyone and that’s how it goes: I have almost all the cards in the deck. Luckily I have a skull, which will allow me to deliver all that pile to my greatest rival from one moment to the next.

End. How do you end? And my skull? This valuable letter, with which to turn the game, has been reduced to ashes. I could have used it before, but I preferred to rush so that the damage was greater. It’s a pity that that damage was taken by me. In case there was any doubt, I have not won. Neither in the previous challenge. Not in the one before. Maybe if we play one more …

The Corral It is one of those board games designed for large groups. It works for 2 and 3 players, but is more enjoyable as the number of participants increases. As with these challenges, there is more fun. In this case, it arrives guarded by the difficulty.

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It is not the same to remember a single element as nine. In a pair game, we will only have to be faster than the opponent in remembering his element. If there are more of us, everything is going to get out of control. It will not be easy to remember the element of all the rivals. We can do it, with a list in mind. Armchair. Desk. TV. Dices. Coffee maker. Clock. Magnifying glass. Ball.

We will never know which player we are going to meet, so that list begins to fall under its own weight. Let’s say we have the theory, but not the practice. Were you the one with the coffee pot? Or were you the one with the magnifying glass? Why have I opened my mouth if the battle was not with me?

The fastest one will win the battle, an idea that translates into an immediate increase in nerves. And you already know what your nerves are capable of …

A game is full of laughter. From paralysis and blockages. Of errors resulting from tension. The path to victory is marked by concentration. Or, that’s the idea, since in reality everything is chaos and madness.

The most observant will have verified how the mechanics of The Corral is not new. Its author, Víctor Manuel Álamo Álvarez, uses a classic among the classics, played by entire generations with a simple deck of cards: The lighter.

game lighter

In the original, when two cards coincide, we must touch the object in the center before the opponent with whom we are fighting. In this case, the speed to reach it is changed by memory, adding an extra difficulty. More need for effort. It is not the only novelty that is added to it.

Special cards are capable of transforming everything. From give a chance “to the one who is losing”, and may even become “the one who is winning.” To apply risk and avoid fatal frustrations.

The star is the wild card, with which you change the game from numbers to colors, and vice versa. The rules are the same, but instead of paying attention to two equal numbers, we will have to look at the colors. Two reds? Or have we returned to the numbers? In short: chaos and more chaos.

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The skull is a very powerful weapon, being able to keep it for as long as we want. With total freedom. By losing a battle, we can deliver our pile to the opponent, as if we had won. Its use is limited to once per game. Of course, if we save it for one of the final moments, it will be the great ally.

We can deliver our huge pile, but what if we don’t get there on time? Risk enters the picture, hence there are those who prefer to redeem their benefit on time. Just in case. All strategies are valid.

The Corral

For its part, the eye will subtract chance. It is used to review the cards of the opponents and remember elements that we would have lost. To add some order to the madness. There is no penalty for saying wrong items, but we will be wasting valuable time.

With all that, The Corral is a very dynamic game, with fast and replayable games. As with The lighter, a classic from which it borrows its mechanics, it will hook young and old alike. If it manages to finance itself, hopefully we will see it in many of the summer plans, outdoors. Its practical size will help.

Its essence, already known, will help to introduce it into groups that are not very playful. Perhaps, it ends up being the “bait” to attract other more complex games. Whatever it is, it fulfills its function of entertaining and amusing large groups.

In the midst of quick thinking and memory, we must stop at its design. The Corral It is not a title with spectacular illustrations, but opts for a functional, home and informal design. Color is part of the gameplay, but it also fills the table with life.

The colors on the backs facilitate a quick preparation for the game, so we do not lose the rhythm between challenge and challenge. It is dependent on the language, with texts in Spanish.


  • 48 Number Cards
  • 10 Battle Cards
  • 6 Challenge Cards
  • 4 Special Cards
  • Instructions (Spanish)

The images used for this review correspond to your prototype, so they do not show a final design.

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