Histrio Tabletop Board Game Written Review

Histrio is a 2-5 player game from designers Buno Cathala, Christian Martinez and artist Jérémie Fleury. In Histrio players recruit and then control an acting troupe trying to put on the best show for the king. The problem is the kings mood can change, one minute he might want a comedy, then his mood might change to a tragedy.

There are eight kingdoms for you to visit in your beautiful caravel (awesome flying ship), recruiting new actors to your troupe and trying to ensure your troupe outscores that of your opponent(s). Players choose locations secretly and then in good simultaneous action selection manner it will be revealed who is going where. Cards in each location will do certain things, perhaps it will change the stage dial closer to comedy or tragedy, perhaps you’ll be paid, perhaps it will cost you, but you’ll get an awesome actor for the coinage. More than one person end up in the same city? You get a special use card, but you also miss out on the card you had your eye on.

Despite there not being a whole lot of strategy in Histrio, there is certainly enough to keep gamers interested and beginner gamers could easily pick it up also. Will you skew your troupe toward being an amazing comedy troupe, or will you try and straddle the fence, a little comedy and a little tragedy, thus ensuring the king will be happy at the end of the season.

Histrio is an absolutely beautiful game, the artwork is stunning, the figures are proper plastic figures, no crappy standees here. The coins too are plastic, not the usual cardboard fare. The city cards are beautiful and the stage the plays take place on is an absolute treat, with a dial that keeps track of the kings mood and a rotating backdrop showing comedy or tragedy. Overall the production quality on Histrio is absolutely top notch.

Despite how adorable Histrio looks, it can actually be quite a cut throat affair (particularly with lower player numbers like the two-player variant), so if you’re looking for a super friendly family game, this probably isn’t it. Having said that, if you love non-cooperative gaming and you’re looking for something gorgeous to play, definitely try and check this one out, perhaps not a straight out purchase, but definitely a try before you buy type of game (unless you’re a sucker for amazing artwork, which will push you into a purchase straight away, because wow).

Want to see more? Here's our Gameapalooza Tabletop Game Unboxing of Histrio:

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You can purchase Histrio from our sponsor The Big Game Theory. Great games at great prices.