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Splendor» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Splendor the Splendid rss

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Ike Evans
United States
Shakopee
Minnesota
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Splendor was a game that I never planned to own. It is a simple game that I figured out just after a minute of watching a game in action, but none of it looked like something I'd be interested in. After several months, a friend of mine walks in, plops it down and insists I play with him. So I gave it a whirl. I was surprised.

Within a couple of months, I found my way walking out of my local gaming store with Splendor in hand. I took it home and finally convinced my family to sit down with me and try it out. What were the results?

Artwork/Aesthetics:

Artistically, the game is pretty good. Sometimes game developers employ a series of different artists that lends itself to a certain inconsistency in how all of it turns out. (I'm looking at you, Dominion!) Andre and crew did not make that mistake. Given how light the game is, the artwork of the game doesn't really make or break the game either way.

Components:

I suspect that the game developers may very well have been tempted to make all of the components out of cardboard. Alas, they did not! The tokens of the game are big, beautiful and have a quality feel to them that is very much appreciated. Besides that, the cards are the type that are made of thread, which I also really like.

If the game loses a half a star, it is only because there's just not a whole lot there, but this is an extremely minor complaint.

Ruleset:

This game is one where almost any child aged 7+ can pick up this game. The rulebook is succinct, and therefore easy to read.

Gameplay/Fun Factor (most important):

As I mentioned, this game is light and easy to pick up, but the strategy is intense. I won the very first game I played by simply buying the cheapest cards I could, and then steadily building my engine to where I picked up a noble and some victory points from more expensive cards. I thought I could apply the same idea to later games, I have lost every game since. My 9 year old son walloped my whole family twice by simply going after the more expensive cards right off the bat. My wife and I have both learned from this and adjusted our strategy accordingly, though it was still very tough. As I dig deeper, I'm finding that there is a lot of depth to this game, which is freakin' awesome.

Theme (second most important):

The artwork is good, and the components are nice, but let's get real: the theme is... there is no friggin' theme.

Verdict:

Splendor has, as a board game, done something I haven't seen in more than a decade: it entertained my wife. It entertained her sufficiently well that the very next day she ACTUALLY CAME TO ME AND REQUESTED TO PLAY AGAIN UNSOLICITED. (Seriously, I was stunned.) Normally I would give Splendor 7 or 7.5 stars, but if my wife says she likes it, it automatically gets another star right off the bat.

In short, Splendor is splendid.
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Evan
United States
Longwood
Florida
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Great review. This is one of my favorites. In my top 10 for sure. Interesting that you say a seven-year old can play it. My son turns seven in December and not only plays the game with me, he plays it well. He hasn't beaten me (yet), but I don't have to coach him either.

You subtly critique the components, but I love that there isn't a ton here. One Crown Royal bag and a couple of rubber bands and I can take this on vacation easily. I wish more games were this portable.

Yes, it's light. But it's not simple, and it hits the table often.
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El Dorito
United States
Dallas
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Excellent review.

My wife has the same reaction. This and Grand Austria Hotel are the games she's requesting to play nowadays
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Ike Evans
United States
Shakopee
Minnesota
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slylysylar wrote:
This and Grand Austria Hotel are the games she's requesting to play nowadays :D


I've never heard of Grand Austria Hotel. If your lady likes it, I'm totally going to check it out.
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Mike De Groote
Belgium
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I'm using it to teach my son (7 years) to do math without him knowing it :)
and like yours he beat me a few times by buying the more expensive ones first

he is now learning that the nobels are important to get . (Read don't let daddy get all 3 of them :) )

and he keeps coming back asking to play it0
Another plus this isn't a game played in 10 min its more 30 min so he needs to stay focused all the time and he succeeds at it. we are glad this game is able to teach our son patience math and don't give up

so its a golden game here . trying to find another game like it that would help him
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Jay Kenigsberg

Dix Hills
New York
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Great review. My son and I play this often. What's interesting is now that he's away at college, we still play online. It's a game that allows you to strategize (at various levels) and simultaneously have fun. Each game presents a unique challenge: play for a noble, a noble plus point card combo, ignore the noble and move up the grid, when to reserve, and when to reserve defensively. The decisions made will be influenced by your opponent's choices; this is not a simple race type game. And, you can still have great banter with your opponents without missing a beat. Our other favorites are Race for the Galaxy (truly a race game) and Puerto Rico. Those are classics. Splendor, IMHO, is in the classics discussion with these two giants. Perhaps the lack of theme is the only thing holding it back, but with the great art and components, the theme or lack of it doesn't bother me. This is just a fun game I love to play and I never get objections when I bring it to the table.
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