Tuesday, May 5, 2015


I'm not always the biggest fan of competitive German board games... but I really, really like Splendor from Marc Andre (maybe because it's French?). You can see a picture of it here, in all it's... well, you know. It is a very simple game, centering on what I call the "Katamari" mechanic. That is, you start by collecting small things, which you use to collect medium things, which you use to collect big things and win the game. It has a simple "gemstone" theme, and no tortured story. Simply put, you get chips each turn (of your own choosing) which you use to buy cards, which are worth points, and some of which boost your buying power. That's it, really. The genius of the game is in the chip choosing mechanic. It is a multiple currency game (wait, what? Does this violate my patent? Good thing it's not a virtual world...), and each turn, you can either choose three different chips, two of the same chips, or one special wildcard chip. Or, you can forgo chip choosing, and buy a card on your turn. Anyway, it's a very simple game that takes a little thinking, but not too much. I like that you can play by gut, and there isn't too much backstabbing. Also, wow, the chips are nice to look at and pleasing to hold. They are weirdly heavy. Anyway, it's a wonderful game all around, and feels like it was specially designed for me.

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