Carcassonne – Game Review

Why are we reviewing “Carcassonne” when it’s been available since the year 2000? Well, it’s a classic and a game someone might want an Australian review of, it also helps us build up our review inventory, good for us and good for you. So let’s look at “Carcassonne” by Z-Man Games.

Firstly that name, “Carcassonne”, it comes from a southern French city of the same name, Google it, it’s beautiful, cool walled city and beautiful countryside. That real world place is essentially nothing more than inspiration here with city features like roads, monastery’s and rolling green scenery playing an integral role in the game.

“Carcassonne” is a tile-placement game that sees players take on the role of landscape growers, place a tile, grow your map, place land owners, rinse and repeat. Let’s look at the setup.

Setup & Gameplay
Game setup and gameplay for “Carcassonne” is simple. Place the start tile on the playing surface (its back is darker than the others), shuffle all remaining tiles and place them face down in stacks around the table (for easy player access). Place the scoreboard down and place one player meeple for each player on the board at zero, giving the matching color meeples to the correct players. Return unused meeples to the box and if playing for the first time, the Abbot meeples also go back in the box (being Aussies we suggest ALWAYS leave ‘Abbott’ out of politics, he just ruins the game for everyone).

We won’t go into every rule, you know we hate that here at Gameapalooza, what’s important is the gameplay, is it fun, yes, is it easy, sure, is it deep, can be. You basically start placing tiles and growing the map, drawing a new tile each turn. Some tiles have special rules attached, like the Monastery needs to be surrounded by tiles to get full scoring for that tile. Roads must join up and you can only place a meeple on a tile you’ve just laid.

Place your tiles to add your meeples and score various points. It’s simplistic at its core, but it is not without some clever and quite strategic game mechanics.

Carcassonne box contents gameapalooza australian tabletop board game reviews and newsHere’s what you’re getting into with Carcassonne.

As worker placement style games go, “Carcassonne” is definitely at the light end of the spectrum, certainly with this single non expanded version of the game. The really cool thing about “Carcassonne” is there are a load of expansions you can get, thus making the game all that more full of depth for players. Bored of the standalone game, buy an expansion to open things up a little, change the theme or just refresh things.

Game Build Quality
The build quality on “Carcassonne” is great. We’ve reviewed the Z-Man published 2.0 blue edition (with the mini expansions The River & The Abbot) and everything about it is well made, from the box, to the board, right down to the wooden meeples. Certainly a well made entry level game.

Gameapalooza House Rules
None, it works well just the way it is.

Overall
Overall “Carcassone” may be considered an ‘older’ game these days, but it is a veritable classic. Should you have it in your collection? Of course, will you pull it out every games day, no probably not. The gameplay experience is fun, lightweight tile and worker placement. As mentioned there are a ton of expansions available, meaning you’ll be playing this one for years to come. It may be fairly basic, but it’s a must have game and a great game for gamers new to the board gaming hobby.

2-5 Players
Ages: 7+
Setup Time: Less than 5 minutes
Play Time: 35 minutes

[author] [authorimage timthumb=’off’]/content/images/2016/02/gameapalooza-micro-review-icon-sm.gif[/authorimage] [authorinfo]Micro Review – A tile and worker placement game that’s fantastic for both new gamers and veterans alike. Sure it’s a little light on the depth, but there is some nice strategy to be had. If you’re a board gamer, it would be a travesty not to have a copy of “Carcassonne” in your collection, it’s a rare classic.
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info] [/author]

Gameapalooza Sponsor Gameology for Aussie gamers at Gameology.com.au

You can purchase “Carcassonne” from our sponsor, Aussie game store Gameology.

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Disclosure: Gameology furnished us with a copy of the game for review. This does not affect the review in any way, other than we were able to bring it to our readers. We thank them for their support.