Treasure Hunt: Splendor

Mannheim. “In Splendor, players take on the role of wealthy Renaissance merchants. They use their wealth to purchase mines and transportation, and hire craftsmen to turn rough diamonds into precious jewelry.”
Ah. Besides writing this review and after various Splendor games, I also read the plot of the game. Nice but uninspiring. It’s also abstract and out of historical context that is worth playing as well as visually and haptically successful.

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The playability:

The game is also suitable for casual players: the rules are explained on pages 1.5 Din A-4; and you are good to go. According to the rules of the game with the youngest by taking three different gem tokens from the open face up tokens.

Although they are not as valuable as the gemstones they are meant to represent (emerald, sapphire, ruby, diamond and onyx), they feel very precious – like heavy roulette or poker chips – and flatter the hand.

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© Space Cowboys

I can have a maximum of ten chips in front of me. So at the latest, I should take the second possible action instead: buy a development board with the chips. The cards are arranged in the middle in a three by four grid and, in addition to direct victory points, provide additional virtual gems which are also placed in front of you. With these and other real chips, I can then buy even higher value cards with more victory points. Tokens are returned to the screen, cards are permanent gems. So you gradually get more and more gems and you can even buy a card “for free”. In the end, it should be enough to take one of the four noble cards which are also exposed = In the game text: Visit a noble and thus gain reputation.

Goal and Victory:

Whoever reaches 15 (prestige) points first – via cards and via nobles – wins. The current turn is played until the end. This means that each player gets the same number of turns.

The facts about Splendor

Players: 2 – 4

a length of time:30 minutes

age: From 10 years old

Year of publication: 2014

Admittedly: Splendor plays a bit of solitaire and apart from the click of the chips (and everyone does it because it’s so nice to touch) it’s pretty quiet – maybe one of the reasons it got voted 2014 game of the year against Camel Up pulled the straw shorts. But the actions are very fast and there is hardly any downtime. So it’s my turn again and again, and in the meantime I have to keep an eye on the actions and therefore the plans of others.
Because it should be noted that someone else collects the red tokens/cards in order to buy the development card for seven rubies (red) with the four victory points in front of me. And I should warn that someone – or change my tactic/color(s).

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The luck factor comes into play when a purchased dev card is replaced with a new one, it’s my turn, I can use it, I can afford it – the next player after me too, but I’ll start.

To cushion this, there are gold tokens in addition to the five gem tokens (the name Splend’or must come from somewhere). I can take them if I can’t or don’t want to take gems (inappropriate display, empty or exceeding the (hand) limit of ten). And in particular, I can then reserve any card that is exposed – in the scenario above, I can take the competition’s seven-rupee card and buy it later, i.e. the dispose. The gold chip is used as a gemstone chip joker for this purchase or other purchases.

Ideal for four endgames – but there are several possibilities:

The described applies to four players. The rules of the game list adaptations for two and three wealthy Renaissance merchants. We also successfully completed it with five players, although the chips are running out a bit.

A game usually lasts about thirty minutes. So there is still time for one more.

An expansion (requires the base game) is available with ‘The Cities of Splendor’.

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