From the box: “As a wealthy Renaissance merchant, acquire mines and transportation, hire artisans and woo the nobility. Create the most fantastic jewelry to become the best-known merchant of them all! Acquire precious stones to trade them for development cards. Use development cards to acquire more gem stones. Use your gems and gold to create the most fantastic jewelry, and appeal to the nobles to gain the prestige you need to win.”

Dan says: “Splendor is a fun engine-building game that has elements that would please gamers at all levels.  The rules are fairly simple, which makes this a great “gateway” game for folks who don’t play a lot of board games.  The luck to strategy ratio keeps it fresh and engaging for new and veteran gamers alike.  Adding to the strategy are moves that allow you to sabotage an opponent’s plans, but card and gem limits keep it from devolving into a full “take that” type of game.  While the game is not exactly enhanced by the theme, the cards are clearly marked and easy to read, and the “gem” chips are solid and durable.  This is a game that can be enjoyed by all ages (game says 10+ but it’s simple enough that a precocious 7-8 year old could pick it up) and all gaming experience levels.”

Loy says: “Splendor is an interesting engine-building game. The idea is to be the first to earn points by collecting gem cards and having nobles visit. The result is that this is a thinking man’s game.  A wrong move early on could potentially kill your game; or your opponent could box themselves in a corner. The rules are not as complex as chess, and the game uses a modular board to make every experience a different one, so this looks like a family favorite in the making.”

Splendor at Amazon.


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