Monday, 12 September 2016

Splendor from Space Cowboys and Asmodee Games


Splendor is a game of chip-collecting and card development. Players are merchants of the Renaissance trying to buy gem mines, means of transportation, shops—all in order to acquire the most prestige points. If you're wealthy enough, you might even receive a visit from a noble at some point, which of course will further increase your prestige.

Its also a worthy winner of the Golden Geek award 2014.  Space cowboys and Asmodee have also worked together on the excellent Hit Z Road so i am confident this will be a nicely presented well playing game.


It gives you a quick rundown on the back, ages 10 and up, which i think is about right, there is no text to read on the cards, just planning and colour matching, but the age comes into it with the tactics involved.  2-4 players, and 30 minutes play time.  With people who know what they are doing and dont spend too long thinking what they will purchase you can race through this quicker than that.


Lets pop it open, take a look, and tell you how its played..........




When you pop the lid off you can see the box design is great, its nice solid plastic, and has pre built slots in so when its unpacked it can be kept ready for play with card dividers meaning your set up time is minimal.
The Gem tokens are excellent and i believe a mix of metal and plastic as they have a real heft to them and make a very satisfying noise when you are doing your best Gem Baron throw down on the table, lovely components....  The Cards for the nobles, are nice and solid and thick, and are dealt randomly at the start of the game to try and get some variety and extra points if you can match all their requirements.
The Rules sheet is fold open double sided, lovely colourful and with all the examples you need you will be up and playing in no time at all.
You get a clear Breakdown of what you can do in your turn so its easy to follow.

On your turn, you may (1) collect chips (gems), or (2) buy and build a card, or (3) reserve one card. If you collect chips, you take either three different kinds of chips or two chips of the same kind. If you buy a card, you pay its price in chips and add it to your playing area. To reserve a card—in order to make sure you get it, or to stop your opponents getting it. You place it in front of you face down for later, this costs you a round, but you also get gold in the form of a joker chip, which you can use as any gem.

All of the cards you buy increase your wealth as they give you a permanent gem bonus for later buys; some of the cards also give you prestige points. In order to win the game, you must reach 15 prestige points before your opponents do.  Its a simple concept, its really to teach and can be played in minutes by new players.
Set up is simple, as the different "level" decks are colour coded and have dots on the back and can then be easily stored together in the slots in the box so its easy to take out and put away.



The art on the cards is stunning, with a classical style and you can sometimes not notice if you concentrating on the gem symbols, but stop and enjoy the cards, they are stunning, each representing a trade caravan, route or marketplace.  Each Card clearly has the cost on its left hand side, in the top right is the permanent resource the card will grant you when purchased, and in the left is the prestige points the card is worth.  I
Here you can see im about to buy a ruby card, so i pay in my two sapphire and one emerald token and get the card, then i have a permanent ruby so i dont need the tokens to use it, and it doesn't go back to the pool when i buy things using it, then you continue building up your engine this way so in the end you will need less and less tokens.

Its a great game with stunning looking components, simple to play and teach rules with plenty of depth, plays fast, sets up and takes down fast, and cna appeal to all, it should be on the shelf of all you gamers out there to bust out and enjoy, maybe rope some friends in with it for more complex games.

With an RRP of £24.99 its an excellent game for gamers, non gamers, friends and family, plus it plays really well at lunch time in work! find your Local Game Store and grab a true "Gem" of a game... ahhh see what i did there!

If you enjoyed this, you can also pick up the Excellent Digital Version so you can keep playing on your travels.