Our youngest daughter affectionately calls Au Backe the "Zicke Zacke card game", and so it is. Featuring the same great artwork as that classic (now known as Chicken Cha Cha Cha), Au Backe is a simple yet engaging memory card game.
Each player has a hand of cards that they are trying to exhaust by matching a common set of central cards; the first player to get rid of all their cards wins.
Au Backe presents a nice step up for little hands, in that there is a hint of card management involved: each player chooses which card/picture they are going to attempt to find, and places it down for all to see before turning over a central card.
The twist comes through the presence of two cards featuring chicken droppings, as well as two featuring shovels. If a player turns over some chicken droppings, he or she must immediately turn over a shovel to "cover the mess." If the player finds a shovel, they return the card they were searching for (chosen from their hand) and their turn is over. If the player turns over another animal card, they're "in the mess." They must draw two cards from the player or players of their choice and place those cards in their own hand. They also take back the animal card they had put forth, and their turn is over. Finally, if the player turns over a second "mess" card when searching for a shovel, they have to draw four cards from another player or players.
Here's the real kicker: in all three cases, regardless of the outcome of searching for the shovel, the player who uncovered the droppings may shuffle around any of the central cards they turned over prior to uncovering the mess. This "messes" with many brains (especially the older ones).
Don't be fooled, this really is just a $10.00 card game. However, the combination of delightful packaging and artwork, plus the variety introduced with the "hand management", the chicken droppings, and the shuffling, make this a clear family favorite. If you're looking for something new in the memory game department (and don't mind losing to those with younger, more flexible brains), we highly recommend Au Backe.
Language Note: This is a multiple language edition game.