16 December 2015
A real gem of a set collecting game
Space Cowboys | Card game | £24.99 | 2-4 players | 30 minutes | www.spacecowboys.fr
Tabletop gaming does take you into some weird roles and Splendor is no different, placing you in the shoes of a Renaissance gem dealer… well, at least life is never dull. Each player is try to acquire 15 victory points by swapping their gems for development cards or buttering up some nobles with those precious goods.
On your turn you have a few options: take three differently coloured gems from the bank, take two gems of the same colour from the bank, reserve a development card by turning it upside down or purchase a development card that’s in play or a card you’ve previously reserved. Buying the development cards costs a certain amount of gems, e.g. two black and two red tokens. Once you’ve bought the card, a new one is then put into play, this does add a little random element to play and keeps things fresh. Plus, particularly when you’re playing with four players, the fact that everyone is potentially trying to grab the same cards adds to the tension because although you can buy a card an even better one might be dealt out for the next player.
As you purchase more cards, it’ll give you gem bonuses that then allows you to gain access to higher value cards that, you guessed it, give you even more gems. Eventually your sparkly wares will attract some wealthy nobles who are looking for particular types of gem, e.g. two red, three green and five black. Bag those nobles and you’ll score some victory points and be on your way to that sweet success.
In some ways the gem dealing storyline is a little thin but it does provide an excuse for some beautifully illustrated cards showing snowy expeditions or sailing ships cruising to find more rare goods. Ultimately though, this is a quick but enjoyable game that’s a ‘gem’ for gamers of all experience levels.
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