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Aladdin’s Dragons - Review
(Originally published on BoardGame-Reviews.com)

Aladdin’s Dragons was published in 2000 and is designed by Richard Breese. The heart of this game is a bluffing and blind bidding mechanism that creates tension for all players!

Aladdin’s Dragons:

* Designed by: Richard Breese
* Published by: Rio Grande Games
* Number of players: 3-5
* Playing time: 90 minutes
* Player ages: 10+

The components for the Rio Grande Games version of Aladdin’s Dragons are of excellent and durable quality.

A Quick Overview

In the game, each player takes the role of a treasure hunter and must search out the Dragon Caves for treasure. After retrieving the treasure, they must then pass through the city on the way to the palace.

At the palace doors, they may need to bypass the guards at the doors and enter the rooms to buy the artifacts.

The winner is the one with the most artifacts at the end of the game.

Game Play

Before the game begins, each player is given eight tokens of a particular color. Each token has a number from 1-9 (the value "3" is not part of the players’ tokens).

Players then place one artifact per palace room. In a 3 player game, 3 palace rooms are used. In a 5 player game, 5 palace rooms are used. Next a random "palace guard" token is drawn and placed face down at the entrance to the palace. There are 10 palace guard tokens with values ranging from 1-10.

Before a round begins, a treasure card is turned up and the appropriate treasure tokens are placed in each of the Dragon caves.

Now the game begins.

During each round, play continues clockwise and players have a chance to place one of their player tokens, face down, at a time in each of the areas of the board.

The winner in any area of the board is the one with the highest sum of player tokens.

The areas of the game are resolved from the bottom of the board (Dragon Caves), then the city (middle of the board) and finally the palace. Players need to acquire treasures to pay for any artifacts they win.

There are five each of six different artifacts for a total of 30 artifacts. In a 5 player game all 30 artifacts are used; in a 3 player game, only 18 are used.

Summary

Aladdin’s Dragons is a well-produced game that can easily be played by children 8-9+ years old. The blind bidding mechanism is something children enjoy because it is like a race and creates tension.

There is a lot of player interaction in the game and it can get repetitive with older players. The best thing to do in this case is to play the "Magic Version" of this game where you are able to invoke the magic powers of your artifacts!

Happy gaming.
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