09 November 2018
It’s Knizia. It’s set in ancient Egypt. It’s a card-based reinvention of an auction game originally released 15 years ago. You’d be forgiven for thinking this all sounds a bit familiar. It’s Knizia, doing what he does best – or, at least, what he does quite often.
Amun-Re: TCG takes place over three kingdoms, or ‘turns’ as gamers call them. In each you bid to acquire three provinces using your gold supply, then make offerings to the gods from your remaining gold which determines the level of the Nile, which in turn fixes the revenue from the fields and caravans in your provinces. You can spend that gold on building pyramids, or hoard it to use the next turn. Victory points come from having pyramids in every province, having loads of fields and being pharaoh at the end of the turn.
This is Knizia, so as you’d expect the mechanics and systems are clever and well integrated, everything makes sense, every decision is an interesting one, and it’s beautifully balanced. The box is small and tidy, with cards and tokens, and some restrained wooden markers, which use the upturned box as a revenue tracker. It’s all nicely themed.
At the same time there’s a sense of having been here before, even if you’ve never played the original Amun-Re or, for that matter, the classic Ra. If you’re new to Knizia’s style of design then this is a perfectly fine introduction; if you enjoy his other games then you’ll enjoy this but it won’t engross you. It’s a lesser work. That doesn’t mean it’s in any way bad, just that this is old ground being retrodden. Amun-Re: TCG’s strongest recommendation is also its weakness: it’s Knizia.
Designer: Reiner Knizia
Artist: Gaël Lannurien, Igor Polouchine
Time: 45 minutes
This review originally appeared in the September 2018 issue of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here – or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.
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