This week’s Monday Night Gaming: Splendor Review
Publisher: Space Cowboys
# of Players: 2-4
Best with: 3
Playing Time: 30-40 minutes
# of Expansions: 0
We needed a quick game to fill a gap of gaming time, and Mox Boarding House recommended Splendor.
General Mechanics: Like many card drafting/resource managing games, Splendor is all about gathering the gems needed to purchase resource cards and entice nobles to visit your market. Players are merchants trying to purchase gem mines and shops. The cards, which serve as resources, come in three tiers.
- The first tier, being the easiest to purchase, gives players gems per turn, but rarely gives any prestige points
- The middle tier is more expensive to buy and often gives 1-2 prestige points per card
- The top tier is the most expensive and often gives 3+ prestige points.
Players begin the round with completing one of five actions:
- Purchase a card using a mix of coins and gems acquired through already purchased cards
- Take 3 coins of differing colors
- Take 2 coins of the same color (only if there are four or more coins available of that color)
- Reserve a card from those available & take a joker coin, which can be used to represent any color. Players take reserve cards into their hands until they “purchase” them
- Take a card at random from one of the stacks into the player’s hand & take a joker coin.
Bought cards get added to the player’s playing area for the entire game and give that player gems each turn. The only other way to obtain “gems” is by taking coins, which also represent gems. Cards can also give a player prestige points.
If you purchase enough cards to have a certain number of gems, you will receive a visit from a noble, which further increases your prestige. (Honestly, that’s how you win the fastest.)
How to Win/Lose: The first player to reach 15 prestige points before their opponents wins the game.
What I Liked: While it took me a bit to catch the ever-changing strategies, this was a fun and quick game. Also, the gem tokens are very heavy and not likely to break easily.
What I Didn’t Like: Nothing really–it was fun.
Overall Rating/Impression: This game is a lot like chess in that their are beginning, middle, and end game strategies, which differ quite a bit. Simplistic game, but definitely challenging in the strategy department. 8/10