LE PETIT COMMISSAIRE À
Michel Bosquillon, Belgium, 2015
There was a time when you could tell a self-published game at first sight by its amateurish looks or by its unorthodox design decisions (which, incidentally, sometimes are the best decisions). However, it is very difficult to find a game publisher these days, and most cycling games are self-released in one way or another. It is getting harder and harder to decide if a game belongs in the self-published games category, since many recent games are very professionally made and look like commercially released games in every aspect. Furthermore, with online distribution easily available, another line is blurred between commercially-released and self-published games. However, this is not the case with Le Petit Comissaire series of games. There is not a hint of doubt that these games are self-published. Everything in them is amateurish.
These games are designed, made, and sold by a certain Michel Bosquillon from Tournai, Belgium. They do not try to hide their amateurishness in any way, and they are supposed to be released to help fight the Parkinson disease that killed Michel's mother. That is why the games are fairly expensive (40 euros, 15 of which are supposed to be donated to scientific investigation). Since I do not know Mr. Bosquillon, I cannot say if this is true, but I can say that the game has been reissued and now it costs 25 euros, of which 5 are said to be for "a sick friend." Dubious at least...
However, this game shows up every now and then in thrift markets and jumble sales, and that is where my friend Mark found this copy, which he kindly sent to me.
The board measures 55 x 38 cm and folds in four parts to fit in the box, which measures 32 x 20 x 3 cm. As you can see, the board is illustrated with probably unrequested (and unpaid) advertising.
Apart from the board, the game includes 16 plastic riders (in eight colours), a few "CHANCE" "ECHAPEE" cards, some game money, and a rudimentary set of rules. (There were probably a couple of dice too, but they are missing from my copy).
ECHAPEE cards, whichj could have been CANCE cards as well.
As you can easily deduce from the (interchangeable) CHANCE and ECHAPEE cards, the rules of this game are a mix of randomly gathered elements from other games, but at least the author is aware of it and is not adamant about the game rules. You are encouraged to play with your own. The author even makes it clear that he does not try to patent the game, though he asks that you do not copy it or engage in illegal trade. I cannot imagine why you would do so.
Other games in the Le Petit Comissaire series include (at least):
- Le petit commissaire fait le Tour de France!
- Le petit commissaire s'empare du maillot à pois!
- Le petit commissaire fait ses 200 kilomètres
- Le petit commissaire dans les laboures
- Le petit commissaire aux pays des stratégies
- Tours et détours avec mon petit comissaire
That guy is an industry on his own!
I am sorry about his loss, but I do not believe in this kind of iniciative.
Thanks, Marc, for this game!
Description written in December