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In Néfertiti you return to the Egypt of 1300 for Christ. You are a noble of the court of Pharao Akhenaten. Soon there is a grand festival to celibrate the wedding anniversary of the pharao and its wife Néfertiti. This will be celebrated in 3 days. But a man would not be a man if he didn’t almost forget this. Het wants to give his wife a lot of fine and unique presents. And so he sends some of his noble men to the different markets in Egypt to peck then the most splendid presents.
The gameboard isn’t very big and shows 8 markets in four cities, above each market there is a place to put the present cards. The board shows a plan of Egypt with in the center the Nile that flows to the Mediterranean sea. The board is equipped with a number known Egyptian monuments.
The markets have been established in Louqsor, Akhet - Aton, Gizeh and Abou - Simbel.
In each of these cities there is a card which is laid on 1 of both markets in the city so that there always but 1 market by city open. There is also a card which is laid on the board on of the closed markets. Because of this there is always1 city that has no open markets. On all these cards you also see the monuments.
There are 46 present card with 8 types off presents on them. The presents are all from the Egyptian time. It is nice that one of the groups of presents you can give is a game of Senet. On the presentcard you can read how much of each sort is available in the game and how many points it will get according to the number of players that have this present in their possession.
There are also 13 character cards. These characters have several functions such as writers, clerks, priest, robber, trade man,… all these functions have their own possibility during the game of getting a advantage on your opposing players. You can engage a character using royal tokens you can get during the game. Each player also receives a bit of starting money (deben), 4 servants in his color and a point marker. There are also to very small but cute dices and a marker to see who closes a market.
All the material has been formed firmly and nicely. The graphics help you to get into the spirit of ancien egypt.
During the game there are always 3 of the 8 markets open on wich you can trade. On these markets a player must put down one of his servants each turn. A market contains a place reserved for the presents and bidding field. It’s bidding field contains serveral numbers. A player must decide how much money he wishes to spend on the moment the market is closed.
A market can be closed in two ways:
- Each market has a requirement with which it is closed. For example: when there are servants from at least 3 players in it, when the totally number of bids is over 17, or when the correct numbers are trown with some dices.
- A market can also be closed when a player has no more servants to put on the board. When this happens the players indicates a market where he has a servant and this market is closed at the spot.
When a market is closed you have to look who made the higgest bid. This player must buy the first present (or several presents). He buys this present(s) for the sum of his bid. He can buy the top gift (with an additional royal seal) or two of the lower level. If the player can’t pay, he doens’t receive a gift and has to put away one of the presents he got earlier in the game. The player recovers his servant(s). Then the other players that are on the market have 2 choices: or the buy 1 item at their bid or they can take the half of the money that is available on the market. This makes it possible to buy an object at a low price. But if you have serveral servants on one market lets you to take some money with the first servant and buy something with the second one.
Afther the market is closed, another markets opens. When this one closes again the first market is reopened and stocked. This goes on until the pharoa card appears in the draw deck of presents.
At the end of the game the objects you have bought will be valuted by the Pharao himself. According to the number of players that obtained a certain gift they will receive more of less points.
With the royal seals you can engage one of the characters during you’re turn. These characters can give you certain advantages. For example Writers let you score points during the game and give you a couple of bonus points. With the thief you can steel an item from a closed market and put it in you’re collection. Or with a merchant you can obtain a monopoly. But there are more possibilities.
Because everyone plays with all there materials open it is easy to keep a good track of what other players have. With this you can keep an eye on what there possibilities are. This can give you a clue to what the other players are planning and so you can block them if you time the right moment.
It is also important to get a monopoly. The more you have from one sort and the lesser players have this type of present it uniqnes get’s you more points.
Another big part of the game is timing and hoping that the other players don’t see everything. You must pick the good moments to do an action. If you forget the next time you’re possibilities may be completely different. Try to get on a market with as less players as possible. That makes that the others can’t buy stuff at a low price or run away with half of you’re money you’re just paid.
With I find brilliantly are the different manners the markets get closed. Each one is different. It is important that you keep an eye on this and close the market at a moment that it is good for you.
I only played one game so far. But on a certain moment I was active on 2 markets. In the first I had the highest bid but I did not have the cash to pay for it. For that I needed to get funds from the second market. It was very important that the second market was closed down first. Since each player could look at my stuff they would have been able to see this, but I was in luck and they closed the second market first so I could buy the present later. This is a good example of one of the opportunities that don’t come back. If the occassion rises, go for it.
And then there are the character cards, these can get you a good advantage in the game. But since we only played the game once we did not yet mastered the different character cards. The next game I will take a good long look at these cards!
The game is made by: Guillaume Montiage, Jacques Bariot and Thomas Cauet. Matagot is the editor and Booster Box ensures the Dutch distritbution.
A game keeps 3 up to 4 player for a 45 minutes busy. It is a strategic game that doesn’t last that long. It is ideal for players who like a strategic game but don’t want to look at the same board for the whole night.
Good review. I bought a copy last week, but haven't played it yet. The rules seem pretty easy.