Friday, May 17, 2013

Who needs a couch when you can play Citadels instead?

The Review Crew's Take on

# Players . . . 2-7 (8 with the expansion cards) 
Game time . . . . . . . . 20-60 minutes
Set up . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 minute
Luck . . . . . . . 5 .  . . . Strategy
*Interplay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Visual Appeal . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Component Quality . .. . . . . 7
*Replayability . . . . . . . . . . . 7

*See "How we Rate" for a definition.

If you'd like to better know your family and friends, sit down with them to a game of Citadels. It's almost Freudian in its ability to reveal the inner workings of someone's brain. You'd never guess it, though, from just reading about the game. You have to play it.
The object of Citadels is similar to many other euro-style games in that you're building things. The twist is that everyone chooses a character card before each round begins. The cards are kept face down and turn order is determined by character, not where players are sitting. The Assassin, for example, always goes first. As the round begins, whoever chose that card reveals that he or she is the Assassin and announces which character he will kill.
Here's where it gets Freudian. After playing a few times, we noticed that certain people were drawn to certain roles. Mark, our Spy, almost always chooses the Assassin. He claims it's because he doesn't want to get killed himself, but the rest of us have our doubts about his motives. The first time we played he loudly announced, "I'm going to kill Jeff." This was before he understood  that the Assassin kills the character, not the person. It seems he has some deep-seated issues with his older brother.
On the other hand, I (Alison, so-called Miss Congeniality), like to be King. I say it's because I like to keep the game moving (along with the other special abilities of the card), but the rest might just call me bossy.
I could go on, but I'll spare you the psychoanalysis of the review crew. Let's just say that besides being a fun game, Citadels can be pretty telling. The only beef we have with it is the length of time it can take for people to choose their character card. But that, too, can be telling. We now know the indecisive ones of our bunch.


  1. So what does that say about me if I always try to select a character that I think won't be killed or robbed each round?