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Cleopatra and the Society of Architects» Forums » Reviews

Subject: The Most Beautiful Game in the World... rss

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Marcus Lau
Petaling jaya
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Cleopatra and the Society of Architects is the newest kid in the series of overproduced big box games made by Days Of Wonder. From the plastic pillars to the thick cardstock representing Talent Points and Corruption, this game screams over-indulgence.

At the very basic, this is a resource driven card game, where a simple board, couple of tokens and a deck of cards will do just fine. But Days Of Wonder is, by now, famous for turning a simple game with simple mechanics to an extravaganza of gorgeous components. Take Shadows Over Camelot for example. It is basically a poker based game at heart where a simple sheet/board to mark the knights progress, some tokens and a few decks of cards will do. But the end product is a beautiful game with unnecessary components like miniatures, oversized character sheets etc. In my opinion, it is all very unnecessary.

The same goes with Cleopatra and The Society Of Architects. Even the name is a mouthful. But if you like overproduced games with really, really beautiful components that will wow your friends and family, this is the game you are waiting for... But is it necessary to pay such a premium for a simple card based game?

Anyways, some people liken this game to Ticket To Ride as there are some similarities between the two games. But, in my opinion, this game is more like Settlers of Catan.

Both Catan and Cleopatra are resource based game, where you need to trade in certain resources to score points in order to win the game. Plus, both the games have a neat mechanic to stop players from hording the cards - Catan has the robber while Cleopatra has the corruption mechanism. For example, if you have more than 10 cards in your hand at the end of your turn, you can either choose to discard down to 10 cards and gain 1 corruption counter or gain 1 corruption counter for each card in excess of 10. And in Cleopatra, if you have the most corruption at the end of the game, you will automatically lose the game.

And because the game is simple and easy to learn, it makes a very good gateway game. And I would dare say that this game can be used to teach non-gamers the joy of eurogaming instead of Settlers of Catan. For one thing, this game is so much better looking, even though, a tad overproduced, and it is even easier to learn than Catan. Even with new players, this game plays under an hour.

All in all, if you love beautiful games (eg. Shadows Over Camelot, Ticket To Ride, RailRoad Tycoon etc.) with a really good and simple to learn gameplay, then, this game is the one game that you should get.

Components : ++++++ (6 out of 5) - Gorgeous, Beautiful, Magnificient
Gameplay : ++++ (4 out of 5) - Tight, Fantastic
Learning Curve : + (1 out of 5) - Breeze To Learn
Replayability : ++++ (4 out of 5) - Friends begging To Play It Again
Overall : +++++ (5 out of 5) - Get It Or Regret It
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