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Shahrazad: Stories unfurl for 1 or 2 players Game – May 23, 2017
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"I would recommend this one. It’s nice and relaxing . . . the kind of game you’re going to be able to play after work to disengage a little bit." - Zee Garcia, The Dice Tower
"Shahrazad is an interesting challenge as a solitaire game, with enough randomness to stymie a perfect solution yet enough control that skill will win out more often then not. The urge to 'beat your last score' is strong, particularly as getting a perfect store would require an unlikely combination of skill and luck together. It’s even better as a two-player cooperative, requiring the smarts of the solo version plus strong communication skills. 4 out of 5 stars." - William Niebling, ICv2
". . . addictive and a lot of fun." - theMCGuiRE review
"Shahrazad’s redeeming personality consists of this revealing of layers over time. You will grow in skill and new depths of play will emerge. You will hit new high scores and your grasp of strategic concepts will blossom like a spring rose." - Charlie Theel, Geek & Sundry
"I had far more fun playing this than I could have imagined, and this will continue to hit the table for me after this review." - David Wiley, Cardboard Clash
"I really like Shahrazad. It’s simple, easy to understand and quick to play, particularly the solo game. It’s going to be a keeper for us." - Dave Taylor, Go Fatherhood
"Featuring gorgeous artwork by Kotori Neiko, Shahrazad takes some very simple mechanics around tile placement and creates a tricky puzzle where finishing the game isn’t difficult but scoring well is." - Keith Law, Paste Magazine
". . . a nice little solo/two player co-op game that's fun to play with enchanting illustrations." - Robin Brooks, Agents of Sigmar
"I like the fact that you can play solo. So if you have a lonely lunch and it's just you you can pull this out and play." - The Dice Tower's "Board Game Breakfast"
"Highly recommended for abstract game enthusiasts and strategists of all ages." - Timothy Connolly, Multiverse
"If you enjoy solitaire games, you definitely want to get Shahrazad. If you’re looking for a shorter two-player cooperative game, chances are you’ll love having this one in your collection. I’ll also add that you should get this [if] you collect beautiful board games because this one definitely fits in that category, as well." - Ronny Alexander, Co-op Board Games
"Amazing artwork! Looks great. Feels great." - Ding & Dent
"Shahrazad is one of those games that you could comfortably purchase for a seasoned gamer friend, or even an older relative who may not have discovered the glory of modern gaming. In either case, you will have made a wise choice, as I believe that easy-to-learn, quick-playing, and 'thinky' games such as this appeal to a much wider audience as much as they do to me." - Scott Bogen, The Board Game Show
"A nice little solo/two player co-op game that's fun to play with enchanting illustrations. GeekDad approved!" - Robin Brooks, GeekDad
"Shahrazad’s simple rules can be learned in just a few minutes, making it accessible to all but the smallest of children, but the game offers enough strategy to entertain any adult." - Matt Staggs, Unbound Worlds
". . . for younger gamers this is s a great game to get to the table. Definitely get this one out." - Rolling Dice & Taking Names
"This is a perfect date night game or couples game." - Dukes of Dice
"Shahrazad is a beautifully produced puzzle with simple mechanisms, gorgeous art, and an accessible theme. It plays and teaches quickly. Rounds move progressively quicker and don’t tend to stall." - John Pappas, Board in the Library
"It's fun. It's nice and quick and easy. The tiles are really cool to look at. I like the artwork." - Board Gamers Anonymous
". . . addictive and a lot of fun." - theMCGuiRE review
About the Author
Born in 1982, Yuo is a freelance game researcher living in Osaka, Japan. Tired of digitization after 8 years in the IT industry, Yuo is now a full-time board game designer.
Kotori Neiko is a freelance illustrator living in Osaka Japan. She loves wild birds, printings, and board games. In July of 2012 she won the ARCPHILIA Prize at the SAKURA Exhibition 2012.
Top customer reviews
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There are two player co-op rules, but this really feels like it’s primarily a single player puzzle, and that’s how I’ve played. It’s interesting and I had fun with it, but I think I’m done. The (admittedly reasonable) limits on column height makes it feels “solvable” in the sense of having a best strategy/layout to go for that doesn’t change much. The randomness of the two tiles in the player’s hand at any time doesn’t do enough to get by that. The second round where “eliminated” tiles from round 1 aren’t used can actually be more interesting because of having a different number of tiles, but it’s a direct result of playing poorly in round 1.
Overall I did really enjoy this for a little under ten games and do recommend it on a short term basis, but it unfortunately lacks in longevity.
1. Shuffle the Story Tiles.
2. Place one of the tiles face up in the middle.
3. Deal two tiles to each player, which they must keep secret from each other.
4. Place the rest of the tiles face-down in a stack.
Game Play - On your turn, you will either place a new tile or replace an existing tile. Your tiles must always be kept secret from other players, until they are revealed. After they are revealed, you may then discuss on where to best place the tile.
Placing a tile - A tile must touch at least one existing tile. When placing a tile above or below an existing tile, you must remember that a column may only have three tiles in it. When placing a tile to the left or the right of a tile, you must offset the new tile, halfway up or halfway down from the adjacent tile.
Replacing a tile - When you replace a tile, you remove one tile from the area and put it in your hand. You then put the new tile in the exact same location. After drawing a new tile, you will now have three tiles in your hand, so you must place two tiles next turn.
Scoring - Going from left to right, check each column. If any tile is touching a lower-numbered tile to its right, flip the higher-numbered tile over. Now, each face up tile should form a path from the left-most column to the right-most column. Any tiles that don't form a path are also flipped over. Now, find the largest group size for each color (red, blue, yellow, and black) and score one point for each tile in that group. Subtract one point for each face-down tile and one point for each gap. This is your score for Round One.
Round Two - Remove all face-down tiles in the game. Choose one column and keep it in play to form your starting area. Remove the rest of the tiles from the play area, re-shuffle them and play out and score Round Two, the same as Round One. Add your two scores together to get your final score and see how much the Sultan likes your story.
Shahrazad is a fun little tile-laying game set in the universe of 1,001 Arabian Nights...to a degree. You take on the role of Shahrazad in that you are trying to tell a coherent tale, but the actual tiles are not tales from 1,001 Arabian Nights, I believe. Instead, you see Pinocchio, Beauty and the Beast, and Rapunzel, just to name a few, so that seemed a bit off to me. The component quality is high and the artwork is evocative. The game says it plays one to two players, but I would consider it best as a solo game, and then I would consider it more puzzle than game. It is fun trying to beat your previous best scores and see how good of a story you can actually tell.
This game was provided to me for free by Osprey Games in exchange for an honest review.