When it comes to gaming in a public venue, nothing beats a board game cafe.
Board Game Geek’s 2014 game of the year makes its way to iOS courtesy of Days of Wonder. Splendor is a chip and card collecting game where players will build their gem merchant empires by buying mines, means of transportation and shops. Despite some of its thematic flaws, I really like the physical version of this game. Does it translate well to iOS?
One of my favourite board games of 2014 is out today on iOS! Splendor is a game where gem merchants are working towards building their empire. The theme is actually inconsequential to the whole thing, as it’s really about using gems to buy gem cards, and then a combination of gem and gem cards to get victory points. Yes, that sounds dull, but the mechanics are so tight and engaging that it’s easy to fall in love with and one that can stay on regular rotation for a long time. Expect a review from me on this soon!
Buy Splendor Now From Amazon.com
On Monday, July 13th, Steff and I will be participating in our first board game tournament! We will be joining 28 others in a battle for Splendor supremacy. It’s a game that I think works great in a tournament environment, as it’s mechanics lend themselves well for strategic and tactical thinking. There’s also prizes for everyone involved to trick out your home copy of the game.
Win or lose, I think it’ll be a great time for all. At the very least, I’m guaranteed to get some sort of prize just for participating, and I get to play a game I really like with others. If you’re interested in participating, check out the event page on Facebook.
One of the key selling points about board games is that they are a great catalyst for face-to-face social interaction. Besides just having something to do while hanging out, these games can steer the conversation in directions that it normally wouldn’t go if you were just talking on the couch watching television. Some of my favourite games that spark a unique social interaction include Lords of Vegas, Cash ‘N Guns, and Space Cadets. Other games, while great to play, don’t necessarily add to that social dynamic. Certain games actually take that away in a weird way. Case in point, Splendor and The Resistance.
Ticket to Ride was my introduction to the genre of German-style board games, which you may also know as designer board games or Eurogames. There are a number of factors that differentiate Eurogames from traditional western games like Monopoly or Risk, such as the general lack of player elimination and an emphasis on strategy over luck. In particular, the thing that differentiates Eurogames to me is the concept of resource management. For instance, in Ticket to Ride, you’re tasked with managing your tickets, route cards and the unclaimed routes on the board in a way that gets you the most points. Some of my favourite games of this style besides the aforementioned include Power Grid, Last Will and Tokaido.
In general, I’ve grown pretty fond of this style of game. I like the fact that these games generally keep everyone involved throughout and how interesting it can be to manage your resources within the confines of each game’s economic system. When those economic systems are paired up with a great theme that makes sense with the actions you’re performing, the results can be spectacular. On the other hand, when the theme isn’t there and the core mechanics aren’t enjoyable enough on their own, these games devolve into the chore of managing spreadsheets.
Splendor and Pandemic: The Cure are both awesome games that came out in 2014. The former is an awesome game mechanically with an odd theme bolted onto it, while the other is a great re-imagining of a modern classic. Should you choose to play either, I’m fairly certain that you’ll have a blast. Check these games out in more detail, as well as many other great board games, on the Awesome List of Board Games You Should Play!
Splendor is a game in which 2-4 players are Renaissance-era merchants. You’re all vying to be the most prestigious merchant, which you’ll attempt to achieve by buying gem mines, shops and other things that merchants buy in order to be the best at what they do. If this sounds like a super lame game based on its premise alone, I don’t blame you. However, by dismissing it at face value, you’d be missing out on a really cool strategy game.