‘Splendor’ game review
By Ed Appleby, Illustrator
There are lots of games that have stood the test of time. Then there are new, award-winning games that can find their way into that elite circle.
Splendor is a chip collection and card management game for two to four players designed by Marc André and published by Space Cowboys in 2014. In the game, you play a Renaissance-era gem merchant, building your business and supply lines in order to gain prestige. The first player to reach 15 prestige points wins.
During the game, players collect gem chips in order to buy cards, which give access to permanent gems or prestige points. During your turn, you can choose to collect gems, buy cards, or reserve cards to be bought later.
Gameplay is fast and there is a lot of pressure to make decisions quickly. I found that a lot of the time it was hard to keep track of how many points each person had gathered. That distraction aside, the game played wonderfully.
Much like Carcassonne, Splendor’s simple rules allow a lot of room for strategy, including several different ways to gather resources and points without complex rules to bog players down. Most players can write off their first game as a learning experience, but should be able to give a decent challenge once they are better acquainted with the rules.
A fast, fun game with a whole lot of strategy, this one makes for a great space filler or palate cleanser for larger game groups. The simple rules of Splendor also make it appropriate for family gaming with children.
I would recommend that you give Splendor a try, and then see how well it fits in your own private collection.