Recommend
47 
 Thumb up
 Hide
35 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Istanbul» Forums » Reviews

Subject: 6 things to say about the game with a one sentence conclusion rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
ozgur ozubek
Turkey
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I will not go into detailed game description or show you fetish pictures of game pieces but provide you the conclusion part in details.

so let me start. what i saw in this game:

1) path optimization, all it is.
i find the resource management classification too broad to define this game. i rather call this game as a path optimization game. All you do is to distribute your tokens in a path so as to visit back (hence take the action again) to collect them. you should come up with the shortest path which yields the most number of rubies.

2) rich gets richer in this game
action deny is not present in this game. Once your optimized path is up and running, nobody can do much to prevent you, as paying 2 liras per players who are already there is not a significant deterrent. I also read in other reviews where people complain that once they realize a player is for sure to win within 2 rounds, their taste for game is ruined. same happened nearly in all our game sessions. having seen it ways rounds ahead really disturbs all fun factor.

3) game mechanics tend to become dull very quick
second criticism goes to its dry mechanics. boosted with istanbul theme, fancy rubies and many different game pieces, you tend to keep your enthusiasm during the first sessions. you try to do everything but realize in time that your future actions are constrained with your carelessly distributed tokens. the moment you capture the essence of the game (that this is a path optimization without any surprise), like in chess, you start to compute your next 3 actions upfront, if not all actions to the end. at that very point, the game loses all its colors and look like a chess game to you. i confess. i hate chess.

4) the game does not evolve
what makes a forward planning game colorful for me is its evolution and its surprise factor. take caylus for example where you should be planning your next turn actions during the previous turn. Yet it's map progression (with new buildings popping, bailiff going berserk, castle walls are being rushed, new resources and mechanism appearing) and its surprise elements keep the game off the dusty shelves and on the game table for years.

Istanbul's map and its mechanics, however, do not evolve. you do not open a new location, bring in new rules or change anything. there's no surprise element. like a chess board, it is present there from start till the end.

5) it's very simple to teach and play
the game hence its rules are intuitive, simple to teach and play, making it a light weight game to be played with new comers.

6) its istanbul theme is plus
if you (or especially the females at the game table) happen to visit Istanbul and enjoy it, then the theme of game will be enough to convert hearts to join this game.

conclusion: nice to have it for game sessions with light gamers yet this simple game will get old in the shelves if you and your group like brain burners like burgundy, brass, caylus etc.
45 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andi Hub
Germany
Frankfurt
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Just a few comments.

You are correct that the game does not evolve and players do not build any engine (well, you have cart upgrades and mosque bonuses), but the game is rather short with 45-60 minutes. This should be considered, if it is compared to heavier Euros.

Since there is no engine to be built, I would not call it "rich get richer". It is true that in the last three turn you may not be able to prevent someone from winning (as in many limited interaction games). But sometimes the extra 2 Lira this person has to pay you when you block a certain space, really messes up their plan. Even when you realize that you cannot catch them, these last turns do not take longer than 5 minutes. But some games are also decided by tie breaker (money at game's end), so it is not always anticlimactic. But you are right, there is no big extra scoring at the game's end.
25 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Manuel Gracia
United States
Chapel Hill
North Carolina
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Here are some ways I have found to keep a player from getting "rich, get richer":

*Keep note on what resources they are stocking up on.
*If someone is stock piling money, think about what they plan to use it on.
*If someone is stock piling goods, think about what they plan to use it on.
*Try to grab rubies from places you expect the other players to go for (thus increasing the cost for them to purchase rubies).
*Sending another player's Family Member back to the Police Station for 3 lira or 1 bonus card may not always be the best move as it may help the other players ability to reach far tiles.
*The only random elements are dice rolls and bonus cards. The rest is open information. Trying to deduce what players are aiming for is key.

Hmmmm...yeah something like that. I don't find the game all that fun, except against really good players. This way it gets really interesting because you can start planning moves ahead and play mind games or whatever (reminds me of Libertalia).

Thanks for the review!
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Neil Christiansen
United States
Mount Pleasant
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
OOK! OOK! OOK!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I liked the content of your review fine, but was a bit put off by the lack of punctuation, capitalization, and at times attention to grammar.

It detracts from the message.
19 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J.M. Diller
United States
North Street
Michigan
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
chris1nd wrote:
I liked the content of your review fine, but was a bit put off by the lack of punctuation, capitalization, and at times attention to grammar.

It detracts from the message.


That stuff usually bothers me too, but is it really necessary to point it out? I've certainly seen much worse!
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
paul Schwartz

Lockport
New York
msg tools
badge
mbmbmbmbmb
chris1nd wrote:
I liked the content of your review fine, but was a bit put off by the lack of punctuation, capitalization, and at times attention to grammar.

It detracts from the message.
Dude go away this is not english class moron
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Clyde W
United States
Washington
Dist of Columbia
flag msg tools
Red Team
badge
#YOLO
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yeah it's French class!!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Marc Gilutin
United States
Alhambra
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hopefully, you're not using the same setup every time.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Interesting read and definitely offers some things to consider, but I have to say this is the first time I've ever heard someone say they hate Chess and love Caylus. To me, Caylus is the closest any Euro comes to Chess.


wintermute wrote:

6) its istanbul theme is plus
if you (or especially the females at the game table) happen to visit Istanbul and enjoy it, then the theme of game will be enough to convert hearts to join this game.


Yeah, yeah. I'm probably being oversensitive, but the bolded text really put me off. It didn't add anything to the review and it seemed sexist.

Other than that, thanks for the review and I'll be curious to see how much of the game feels like a waste to a foregone conclusion.

One question... do you play with the random layout? I would think with random layouts, there'd be a lot of front-loaded analysis (e.g., Kingdom Builder, Dominion, Palaces of Carrara) where you try to figure out the optimal paths. Is that your experience?
32 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andre Bronswijk
Germany
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Butterfly0038 wrote:
One question... do you play with the random layout? I would think with random layouts, there'd be a lot of front-loaded analysis (e.g., Kingdom Builder, Dominion, Palaces of Carrara) where you try to figure out the optimal paths. Is that your experience?

That's correct. With random layout, you have to "read" the board before you start playing.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Weber
United States
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for this excellent review. Contained all the info I was after, and no extra text/pics to skim through! I think I was mostly attracted to the game for the artwork.

I still love Caylus for all of the reason you mention. Hard to find other designs that are on par with that masterpiece.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Renato Tavares
Brazil
Goiânia
Goiás
flag msg tools
Playing 'til death!
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thank you for the review. It's short and very informative. I was planning to buy it, but now It's out of my wishilist. You saved me some money!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Curt Carpenter
United States
Kirkland
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
wintermute wrote:
4) the game does not evolve
what makes a forward planning game colorful for me is its evolution and its surprise factor. take caylus for example where you should be planning your next turn actions during the previous turn. Yet it's map progression (with new buildings popping, bailiff going berserk, castle walls are being rushed, new resources and mechanism appearing) and its surprise elements keep the game off the dusty shelves and on the game table for years.

Istanbul's map and its mechanics, however, do not evolve. you do not open a new location, bring in new rules or change anything. there's no surprise element. like a chess board, it is present there from start till the end.

The only random (i.e. surprise) element in Caylus is the order of the starting tiles. There might be spaces you can't go to on turn one, but that's not really a "surprise" unless you're not looking ahead at all. Istanbul has way more surprises. Setup in Istanbul is not like chess. The rules list variants for tile placements, including completely random. That has a far greater impact on variability than the order of the starting tiles in Caylus.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Crown of Command
Canada
Toronto
flag msg tools
badge
Cult of the Ultra-New
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Just having played 2 games, one with 5 players (shortest path) and one with 4 players (longest path), I can attest that there is little player interactivity and a runaway winner can likely be spotted early. Obviously, having only played twice my opinion can change, so I hope some future expansion or variant and "fix" this problem. Only other negative aspect is that there aren't (really) multiple ways to win the game. Most people will try to get their three rubies from the two mosques and the wainwright, and the last two from the sultan and/or the gem dealer (I think that's what he's called...too lazy to check). It would be great if there's a mechanic for gaining rubies elsewhere. Otherwise, as another member noted, this is only a 45-60 minute game, and as 45-60 minute games go, this is a great one with multiple board layouts, works well with 2 or multiple players up to 5, oozing with theme, and many options available for you. It's also great for the reason that I can stuff the entire contents into my Munchkin Apocalypse box for travel. I doubt there are many (if any) other games out there with this many potential variations in board layouts and pieces and versatility with the number of players and have enough heft in complexity.

If there are any other ones I would love to find out which they are! The only other more complex games that are well reviewed I find I can fit into a travel sized box that can do multi-player are Race for the Galaxy (and San Juan, among other card-based games), Ra, Carcassone Hunters and Gatherers, and my pride and joy Puerto Rico (which I was able to fit into almost the same dimensions as Istanbul by chopping off unnecessary margins on the boards).
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andre Bronswijk
Germany
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
projectmoonlightcafe wrote:
Only other negative aspect is that there aren't (really) multiple ways to win the game. Most people will try to get their three rubies from the two mosques and the wainwright, and the last two from the sultan and/or the gem dealer (I think that's what he's called...too lazy to check).

I disagree. You can win the game without any mosque tile. You can win the game without any visit at the wainwright.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Crown of Command
Canada
Toronto
flag msg tools
badge
Cult of the Ultra-New
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thygra wrote:
projectmoonlightcafe wrote:
Only other negative aspect is that there aren't (really) multiple ways to win the game. Most people will try to get their three rubies from the two mosques and the wainwright, and the last two from the sultan and/or the gem dealer (I think that's what he's called...too lazy to check).

I disagree. You can win the game without any mosque tile. You can win the game without any visit at the wainwright.


You are right, but that's why I said "most". It is much easier to spend 4 resources (at each mosque) to get 2 rubies than spend 12+ lira or multiple resources just to get one. Maybe I haven't played it enough yet but both times with multiple players those 3 places are usually always approached first.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
projectmoonlightcafe wrote:
Thygra wrote:
projectmoonlightcafe wrote:
Only other negative aspect is that there aren't (really) multiple ways to win the game. Most people will try to get their three rubies from the two mosques and the wainwright, and the last two from the sultan and/or the gem dealer (I think that's what he's called...too lazy to check).

I disagree. You can win the game without any mosque tile. You can win the game without any visit at the wainwright.


You are right, but that's why I said "most". It is much easier to spend 4 resources (at each mosque) to get 2 rubies than spend 12+ lira or multiple resources just to get one. Maybe I haven't played it enough yet but both times with multiple players those 3 places are usually always approached first.


Yes and No. It's likely someone will try to go to the mosques, but depending on the number of players, there can be competition for the tiles. That means getting mosque tiles means going to the Wainwright. Depending on the board layout that may or may not be the most efficient way to get rubies. Early trips to the gem dealer can get rubies cheap and quick. I've had less luck with the Sultan's Palace as you almost have to go to the Wainwright to get enough rubies that way, but if no one else is going there, you can win without the Wainwright and (depending on the board layout) in the fewest number of turns. All this means is that the game is both versatile and sensitive to the board layout (I only play random boards now unless I'm teaching).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andi Hub
Germany
Frankfurt
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I do not think that in any of my games the winner had bonus points from both mosques and the wainwright. I believe that upgrading the wainwright takes much too long. You can do equally well both with or without mosque bonuses (and rubies). There are certainly several paths to victory, which also very much depend on the layout and number of players.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
M Van Der Werf
Netherlands
Leiden
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
For a simple game I think it's fun enough to stay a little fresh.

Point 1 is slightly true but besides the 2 lira there are more ways to influence. Getting your family member back, the post office, the governer/smuggler and the increased costs/difficulty for getting things (mosque/palace/gem trader) all increase the interactivity.
I think it's more a game where you have an overall plan consisting of wainwright and/or mosque tiles and finish with palace/gem trader where the order of each is very dependant on what anyone does.
Point 2 is not true at all I think as there is no snowball economics at place here, it's just a race where you get ahead a bit or behind. Only the wainwright (and to a lesser extent mosque) are sacrifing early moves for more efficiency later.

Of course it is fairly shallow but for it's length I think it's fine and the variable board keeps it a little fresh though I do think after a while the game will become simple to the point that you look at the board in the beginning and then devise a plan (yes/no wainwright, and which mosque to go for). It's possible that depending on players some strats almost get fixed, for example with 4-5 players I wouldn't be suprised if the strat to go for is just wainwright and 1 mosque as you kind of need the wainwright to get a mosque gem with so many players. Not going for wainwrights or mosque at all seems a bit hard. If you can get 1 mosque without any wainwright upgrade at all that seems amazing but unlikely in 4 or 5p (but doable and superstrong in 3p).

A little expansion could do wonders for the longlivity of the game, given it's success I can imagine there will come one. A couple extra mosque tiles are a no brainer (move 1 extra for 1$? move a cube at the post office? no costs for going to occupied spot? one time gain 1 card?)
Also a couple new tiles for the board seem easy to think of where you either make the game 4x5 in size or make a selection of 16 out of all with a couple that must be present.

Only thing I dislike is that it's a bit fiddly for it's length. Given the use of individual storage boards I would have liked the game to use that more effectively. Not using the gems but just tracking them on your board and on the palace/gem trader seems much quicker in play and setup. Heck even money could have been done on the board if you use that for resources, now it's slightly too long of a setup for what it is I think. (i'm not one to play with perfect storage boxes etc. to save time on this)

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Luke Phillips
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I totally disagree with #2 "Rich get richer"

The mechanisms of the game do not work like that at all!

In my experience when some one wins, most of the other players are only a turn or 2 behind.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason BG
msg tools
lukerazor wrote:

In my experience when some one wins, most of the other players are only a turn or 2 behind.


Unless I misunderstand what you meant by turns - do you mean most players other than the winner would need only one or two more actions to complete the game? - I wouldn't say it's as close as one or 2 turns behind the winner.

But I think it's definitely true that most players would need only a round or two (usually 3-5 actions) to complete the game after the winner. In that sense, the game is quite close.

The pace is also consistent throughout the game but due to this, players can usually see who would win two rounds before the end, and usually it's really difficult to overtake the leading player at this point.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Luke Phillips
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
JasonLawBG wrote:
Unless I misunderstand what you meant by turns - do you mean most players other than the winner would need only one or two more actions to complete the game?


This is the sense I meant

JasonLawBG wrote:

But I think it's definitely true that most players would need only a round or two (usually 3-5 actions)


Doesn't each player get 1 action per round?

JasonLawBG wrote:

The pace is also consistent throughout the game but due to this, players can usually see who would win two rounds before the end, and usually it's really difficult to overtake the leading player at this point.


I 100% agree, but that's no flaw, is it?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason BG
msg tools
I am actually a bit confused about what constitutes a turn or round in this specific game. My understanding is that each round consist of 4 turns or actions since there are 4 assistants in a player's stack.

In my experience, unless there's only 2 players, most of the other players would usually need between 3-5 such actions to complete the game after the winner, close but not as close as next turn. This is a minor difference of opinion or experience though.

Overall I agree with your post. I don't see the last point I made about the game to be a flaw. In fact, I quite enjoy the game both for its breadth of action choices and its puzzly nature. I particularly liked the sowing mechanism. Still, the runaway leader issue is there to a certain extent.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason BG
msg tools
I don't mind these sort of runaway leader so much cuz games are usually really close and most times the leading player just played a better game not simply due to luck. However I can see how it would lead to an anticlimax for many people.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joel L
United States
Durham
North Carolina
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
A round consists of one turn (i.e. one action) per player, in clockwise order, beginning with the start player. The end-game is triggered when someone has collected 5 rubies.

Rules wrote:
The first player to collect 5 Rubies (in a 2-player game: 6 Rubies) triggers the end of the game. When this
happens, complete the current round. Then each player may use his leftover Bonus cards that provide goods or
money. This may matter for the tie-breaker.


In other words, each player only gets at most one more action.

e.g., in a four-player game

(a) if player A (the start player) triggers the end-game by reaching five rubies, then each other player gets one more action
(b) if player B triggers the end-game, then players C and D get one more action
(c) if player D triggers the end-game, then no players get another action - the game immediately ends
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.