Splendor Board Game
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- Ages 10 and up
- Number of Players: 2 to 4
- Game Time: 30 minutes
- Challenging economic theme
- Beautiful art
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
From the manufacturer
Aspire to Wealth as a Renaissance Jeweler!
The European Renaissance opened up more ways of becoming rich than the continent had ever known before. Global trade routes became a reality. Nobles, once content with large castles and fur robes, now sought dark sapphires and glittering diamonds.
Experience the riches of this era in Splendor, a fast, elegant, and intuitive game for two to four players. You begin by collecting raw gems - then you will need the means to transport them, artisans to shape them, and finally a storefront where you can sell your polished jewels.
- Plays in 30+ minutes
- For 2-4 players
- Ages 10 and up
Priceless Gems, Exotic Places, and Noble Patrons
Splendor’s elegantly simple gameplay is supported by plentiful historic detail and beautiful components.
Build a Business from the Ground Up
You begin the game by collecting gem tokens. If you manage to produce just the right jewels, a noble patron, perhaps even King Henry VIII or Queen Isabella of Spain, will take you under their wing.
Easy-to-Learn and Strategically Rich
With simple rules and streamlined set collection mechanics, Splendor is an excellent game for younger or less experienced gamers.
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.
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|Are Batteries Required||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Item Dimensions||2.36 x 8.46 x 10.82 in||8.6 x 12 x 1.7 in||11.75 x 11.75 x 3 in||6.3 x 2.8 x 9 in||3 x 11.25 x 11.25 in||7.5 x 2.62 x 10.75 in|
|Item Weight||—||2.3 lbs||2.8 lbs||1.25 lbs||2 lbs||1.54 lbs|
Top Customer Reviews
The Game Overview: 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.
While that description from the manufacturer is all true, it makes the game sound much more complicated than it is. This thing has a two page rulebook, folks...and it plays in about 30 minutes! Basically it's a card drafting game where you trade chips for cards. The cards then allow you to acquire higher value cards and gain victory points. Acquire enough of the right cards and you get a visit from a Patron, earning you even more victory points. First person to 15 points, wins.
Game Play: Game play in Splendor is incredibly smooth. The mechanics are very simple, but there's no shortage of strategy here. You need to keep an eye on all three rows of cards and the Patron tiles to formulate a path to victory and that can be tricky as cards are constantly being bought and refreshed...and as the number of players goes up, so does the amount of attention you have to pay to everyone else's strategy. Having said that, this game never bogs down. Even my wife, who is famous for her Analysis Paralysis during strategy games, was able to keep her turns moving quickly. We also have found this game to be well balanced. We have usually ended our 2P games within 1 - 3 victory points of each other...something we really appreciate in games that we play.
The Art, the Components, and The Box: As I said before, the art is beautiful. While I wouldn't say I am immersed in theme during this game, I never tire of looking at all the beautiful paintings on the cards. The components are also top notch. The chips included are poker-style chips with an extremely satisfying "heft" to them. The cards and tiles are well made and seem durable. The box, while it is a little bigger than it needs to be, is really well done. The components fit tightly and do not move during transit. I always appreciate this in a game as there is little that is more annoying than arriving at game night, opening the box, and finding your components strewn all over the inside, then spending ten minutes sorting them all out. Might as well carry the game in a plastic bag if that's going to happen all the time. Thankfully, Splendor does not suffer from this. Everything stays where it should and set-up couldn't be faster.
Summary: I'm thinking this one is going to stay in our collection for a long time, and perhaps permanently. Replay value is off the charts and, as a 2P game, it's one of the most enjoyable that we own. If you're looking for a game that your wife/girlfriend will enjoy playing but still packs a punch, I'd recommend Splendor without reservation. Great game, great art, great rules, and great box. Kudos to the designer and manufacturer. You hit this one out of the park.
As for game play, the game supports 2-4 players, however, I think it works best for 3 or 4 players. This game is mostly about building up resources so that you can obtain more points, but as the game progresses there is more room for how your choices will impact the other players. It can become quite mentally intensive when you need to plan several moves in advance and anticipate what other players will do, but overall does not require too much thought or energy to go through a few rounds of the game. I would say it is a more laid back board game compared to some faster paced games out there, but it is definitely one of my favorite games to play with any group of friends!
This is the only trouble with this often tense game. You can see what people are planning, you are hatching plans of your own, but don't think much at all about the theme of the game.
You start by picking up three different colored substantive poker chips- with pictured of various colored jewels. or you can take two of the same color, if there's enough remaining after you take them. Then you use these to pay the price for a card. A card may cost two blues and a red and a green or four whites. I mean they may cost rubies, diamonds, emeralds, etc. Each card you buy has a picture of a stone in the top right corner that acts like a poker chip of that color to be used in conjunction with the chips in the future. Except that cards don't get returned to the supply. Some cards also have point values associated with them. There are three tiers of cards. Good, better and best ones. The best always have points. Better often do, but have less. The good ones seldom have a single point. Whoever makes 15 or more points first triggers the game end. Anyone needing last ups gets their... last ups and the final score is tallied.
There are certain nobles laid out that look for certain card combinations. The first to have three blues, three whites, and three reds cards gets to claim the noble. So you are racing for those too. One can win by ignoring the nobles and holding out for point scoring cards, so there is a little bit in the way of multiple paths to victory.
One other thing you can do on your turn is take a wild stone and pull one of the cards from the supply that only you can buy later in the game. This is usually used to stick it to another player. Taking what they had finally saved up for. However, it could be used to get the last red that you need but can't have since all the red poker chips are in the hands of other players.
The trouble with sticking it to someone is that it takes your turn to do it. While one guy did that to me to help his fiancee win the game, it was very tender, yes, but his game suffered for it. I may have done some heavy trash talking and deserved to be ganged up on, but I digress. And yes, I realize relationships are important, and we even buy crazy expensive jewels to show just how important they are to us...
Which brings us back to Splendor. The first tier of cards features in repetitive, but beautiful, artwork for where the raw stone featured in the top right is originally harvested from. The second tier of cards shows the people who prepare the stones. The third tier is where they might be brought to market.
But cards from every tier act the same, as far as game play is concerned. Maybe the game could be re-themed as an automobile making game and the high tiered cards would require specific components made from lower tiers... All that to say the theme feels weak to me.
It does feel balanced at the very beginning. Whoever goes first gets the first shot at buying the cheap cards, but after two rounds, everyone is into the groove and facing the same challenges of having the cards they want purchased by everyone else.
You've got to wait your turn, and people can pause to reflect on what they should do because someone just took the card they want.
Not much required by this game. The resources to buy with and to be bought are fairly limited, so more tension is at the beginning. The stakes get higher as the game progresses
I love how easy it is to teach others. I bought if after being blocked from winning, and others have bought it after I taught it to them. There's lots to love, just not the theme. My four year old loves to play this game with her older siblings. It's a winner.