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Subject: Tutankhamen - A Mini Review rss

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All of my reviews aim to offer a brief overview that allows people to get a good feel for what the game may offer them. I feel that other reviews can be sought if detailed game mechanics is what you are after.

Tutankhamen is a fun light game that can be played quickly and plays as well with 2 to 6 players. The game consists of a pyramid with a slot, much like a money box. This is placed on the table and 70 keyhole shaped tiles are then shuffled and randomly placed face-up from the base of the pyramid. Due to their shape they will form a winding path which is surprisingly pleasant to look at.

Each of the tiles features a different symbol of a particular colour. The symbols are all Egyptian in nature such as mummified cats, Pharaohs etc and add to the light theme of the game. Once the board is built the players place their marker at the end of the path (opposite end to the pyramid) and take a number of coins based on the number of players.

The game play is then quite simple. On a player’s turn they can move their marker to any tile in the path, however they can never travel backwards. They can then take the tile that they place their piece on. Most of the tiles are part of a set (of matching tiles) and the game has a total of 15 sets. Some sets only include 1 tile, whilst others have 2, 4, 6 or 8 tiles.

When a player takes the last tile in a set the player with the majority of the set can deposit a number of coins into the pyramid. The number they can drop into the pyramid is the number of tiles in the set and this number is printed on each tile in a set. The player with the 2nd highest number of tiles in the set can drop half this number of coins into the pyramid.

There are several other tiles that do not have sets. The Pharaoh tiles act as wilds and they can be added to any set to help get the majority or 2nd place. The ‘Bag of Gold’ tile allows a player to steal a tile from another player but they can drop a coin in the pyramid as compensation.

Once a player reaches the pyramid they must what for the other players as they keep moving. However this person can still score points as the other players take the last tiles in a set and the set is scored.

The game is won when any one player drops their last coin into the pyramid. In the rare event that this does not occur, the player with the fewest coins is the winner.

The Final Word

Tutankhamen is a classic example of an Out of the Box game. It is simple to learn and the aim is straight forward, but the strategy is certainly evident. Players will tend to make small steps at first to avoid passing too many tiles by, but at various points the players will be compelled to make a slightly longer move to capture a valuable tile before an opponent grabs it

The ability to create the board each time is a major plus as it prevents the game from getting stale. This is certainly a game that young children can take part in and enjoy and many teachers will find it appealing for their classes due to the decision making involved. More serious gamers should also give Tutankhamen a try as it is a good ‘filler’ game between heavier titles and it serves well as a ‘gateway’ game to introduce new people to the world of strategy gaming.
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