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The Game of Shakespeare» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Shakespeare would be pretty happy... rss

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Clifton Holland
United States
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Avalon Hill released this game 42 years ago. I have yet to play a game based on Shakespeare that has been any better. Being required (I did choose to be required) to read many of Shakespeare's plays and watch far too many adaptations during college did increase my expectation that I would just destroy this game.

I didn't.

I forgot how much of Shakespeare's writing are his poems. In any case, this game has three levels of difficulty and a solitaire game. As has been said many times before by most of my usual gaming group (Bario Devo Gaming Group) the rules are more a guideline than a set of rules. Using them is great, making your own (prior to the start of the game) is also great. The basic game is fun for anyone. Knowledge of Shakespeare is not required. However the Tournament game is quite difficult for anyone who isn't a Shakespeare scholar. That is, unless you play the game about a hundred times, then you might just be good.

The board is quite like the old Parcheesi game and play is pretty simple. Do pay attention to being moved all around, forward, backwards depending on what type of square you are on when you get the random cards. Winning at the upper levels does take the knowledge of the plays but also will require what any 'beer and pretzels' game requires...luck. As it should be!

Twenty years ago, I mocked this game. I was only interested in the most overly difficult to play Avalon Hill war games. Now, I think this might just be the second best game Avalon Hill ever released. Just behind History of the World.

While I can say I never sold a copy of Shakespeare in the three years I sold games for a living in a store, I can say I wish I had. A really great game for anyone and they are available at reasonable prices online everywhere. Get a copy, the Bard will thank you. Or at least, I will praise you for your good choice.
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