Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Splendor: A Pretty, Great Game, Inside and Out



If the picture on the box of Splendor doesn't lure you in and make you want to play it, then maybe the thought of using precious gems to buy things will. After all, it's not every day you get to hand over a stack of rubies, sapphires and diamonds to purchase an emerald mine.    

Okay, so the gems in splendor aren't real, but the tokens used as gems are some of the heftiest game pieces I've played with. That's the kind of quality you get in this box. It's not just a pretty cover. 

But is the game fun? That's the important question. 

The short answer is yes, but not in a slap-your-thighs, laugh-out-loud kind of way. If you're looking for a highly interactive, get-to-know-each-other game, this isn't it. This is a thinking, plan ahead, groan-when-your-neighbor-takes-the-thing-you've-been-saving-for kind of game. And to us, that's great fun.  

It's also easy to learn. On your turn you pick up gems and use them to buy development cards. The cards provide you with more gems and, some of them, with prestige points. The more cards you buy, the more you can buy. And hopefully, you'll receive a visit from a noble before the end, which will add even more prestige to your total.    

Pretty simple. And fast, too. 30 minutes, the box claims, and I believe it. If you're not playing with indecisive people, that is, which we usually are. But all indecisive people agreed that Splendor lives up to its cover. In this case, you can judge a game by the box. It's pretty splendid. 

# Players . . . 1-4
Game time . . . . . . . . 30 minutes
Set up . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 minutes
Luck . . . . . . .  .  8 . . . Strategy
*Interplay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Visual Appeal . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Component Quality . .. . . . . 9
*Replayability . . . . . . . . . . . 9

*See "How we Rate" for a definition.


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