Self Appointed Senator of Good Ideas
Architekton is a 2 player game where a town in Ancient Greece is created by working together or outwitting your opponent causing him to lose points.
Each player selects white or red houses. Tiles are separated into building and landscape tiles. Four of each type make up the reserve, the rest become the draw pile for each type. Three of each type are placed face up to become the stock. To begin the game, each player receives one point chip, then two landscape tiles from the appropriate draw pile are chosen to become the starting position.
Landscape Tiles- Show 4 types of scenery including water, earth, forest and meadows.
Building Tiles- Contain a building as well as different types of scenery.
The first player begins by selecting two tiles from the stock. Tiles must be laid at right angles to create a checker board type pattern with the two tile types alternating. The tiles must have one side joining a previously laid tile of the same scenery type. If the player places a building tile, they must place a house of their color onto it.
After the players tiles are placed, the stock is replenished with either building or landscape tiles depending on what the other player had chosen. There are always 3 landscape and 3 building tiles to choose from in the stock.
Players continue to alternate turns until a landscape tiles touch all 4 sides of the building tile. If all 4 sides match the landscape, the player whose house is on the building tile receives one point chip. For every side of the building tile that does not match the landscape tile, the player loses a point chip. The owner of the building tile may remove his house to reduce the number of point chips lost by one.
The game continues until player cannot return the required amount of point chips if required, or the reserve pile of tiles is needed to replenish the stock.
The players then score the game. Points chips are added to the players highest number of diagonally connected houses. The player with the highest score wins.
I own a few Queen games and the components are durable and require little or no construction after purchase. Architekton is no different. The tiles and point chips are thick and sturdy. The house markers are wooden. The box is small and nicely detailed with artwork depicting Ancient Greece.
The instructions are short (2 small pages) and very simple. Expect to be playing this shortly after opening the box.
Setup is quick especially if you store the game with the tile types separated. The tiles become the game board so there is no board to setup and arrange.
The game is listed for 30 to 45 minutes for duration. The game can last 20 to 30 minutes if both players are playing carefully and 2 or 3 rounds are played. One short game may last 15 to 25 minutes.
The recommended age is 8 and up. The concept is easy, the strategy may change every game. I don't think it would be unreasonable to teach this game to an 8 year old. You will even have fun letting them win. Then the day will come, just like Checkers when the kid really wins despite the fact you started to try and win.
I rate Architekton as an 8 out of 10. This is a great little filler game that can be quick but still requires thinking and strategy. I love how a player can be commanding the game and within a few well placed tiles by the opponent, the game has swung and you are struggling to regain control or even just stay in it.
I also enjoy small games that are easily taken camping or to wherever and have very few pieces to misplace and require virtually nothing to play on or setup. This game is worth the small price and will likely continue to be played. This one won't make the trades list.
Thanks for reading the review and enjoy the game!!!