2018 seems to continue as a year for gaming love here in our home! As we weren’t able to fly back to Manila for the holidays, my husband and I decided to play hosts for a small gathering of sorts for New Year’s Eve. My cooking that night was unfortunately not my best, but thankfully it didn’t spoil the rest of our evening. We welcomed the new year with our friends over food, drinks and both board games and video games. It’s an awesome way to start the year, in my humble opinion. One of the most loved games at our disposal right now is called Splendor.
Splendor is designed by Marc André and published by Space Cowboys. It’s a 2-4 player resource management game which focuses on collecting the gems you need to acquire development cards, which in turn will earn you prestige points. The first one to reach 15 points wins the game. Pretty easy, right?
A sample of a 4-player game is set up is in the photo above. Each player starts by getting three different colored gems, or two same colored gems, of their choice. The maximum number of gems you can have at any given time is 10. You can use the gems you’ve collected to buy the development cards you want, as long as you can afford them. The cost for each card can be seen on the lower left hand side of each card. Once a player purchases one of the cards, it is replaced by another card from the stack on the left until there are no more cards left. Once you’ve bought a card, it means that you already own one of whatever colored gem is shown on its upper right hand side, making it easier for you to purchase other cards as the game goes on.
If you can’t afford a development card just yet but would really want to buy it on your next turn/s, you can choose to reserve that card. Reserving a card also allows the player to get a gold Joker gem. Once a joker gem is in a player’s possession, s/he can then use that to represent ANY colored gem when they purchase a development card on their next turn. Using the joker gem counts as one turn.
You may have noticed that some of the cards have big white numbers on their upper left hand side. Those are the prestige points. It’s not always easy to buy cards that have prestige points in them, but there is one other way for you to get those much wanted points: the Nobles. The nobles are those little square tiles at the very top. Each noble grants the player 3 prestige points, and you can get multiple noble tiles as long as you fulfill their requirements / costs, shown on the lower left hand of each tile. Oftentimes, it’s the noble tiles that players forget to check, which makes them end up losing the game. There’s sure a bit of luck involved, but some good strategy is still needed to win the game.
Like I mentioned earlier, our friends absolutely love this game and it’s often requested whenever they’re over at our place. Splendor is very easy to learn and set up, which I think makes it very appealing to a lot of people. It normally takes us roughly half an hour to finish one game, and then we end up playing it again 2 to 3 more times afterwards. It’s really not hard to see why Splendor has won so many awards since its release in 2014.
If you’re one of those who can’t be bothered to buy the physical game for whatever reason, you can play the official digital version on your phone, tablet or PC. The last time I checked on the Google Play store, it was priced at $10.99. I personally haven’t tried it yet, but I might one of these days.