Splendor board game – Game Review

A quick bit of background about the board game “Splendor”. Designed by Marc André and first published 2014 by Space Cowboy, “Splendor” casts players as merchants of the Renaissance buying gem mines, transportation, and shops. The game was nominated for the Spiel des Jahres 2014 game of the year, so you already know this is going to work out fairly good as reviews go.

The gems of SplendorThe gleam, the shine, the facet .. splendor!

Setup & Gameplay
As you know if you’re a regular here, we don’t go into a big spiel about every rule (that’s what the rulebook is for). Same goes for setup, we keep these things simple, and let you know if it’s a nightmare, or easy. Setup of “Splendor” is fairly simple, you place an allotted number of cards in rows on the table, certain number of gem tokens and noble tiles as dictated by the rules, dependent on the number of players. Easy peasy.

Gameplay is simple, but you can get fairly strategic. Essentially players can do various actions each turn, these include the following choices: Take 2 gems of the same color (as long as there are at least 4 in the stack of that color). Take 3 gems of different colors (one of each). Reserve one of the development cards face up on the table or in the draw piles (when you do this you also take 1 gold token – these can be used in lieu of any other gem color). Final option is the big one, you can use your tokens (or cards) to purchase one of the tabled development cards or one of the cards you previously reserved.

Splendor Tabletop game reviewSplendor setup and sometimes a Gameapalooza team members dog wants in!

As we said, gameplay is simple. The overall aim of the game is to grow your developments so that you eventually make 15 points and win the game. Points are accrued by purchasing development cards with point values on them or having the nobles visit (which occurs automatically when certain criteria are set).

Veteran gamers will enjoy “Splendor”, though its longevity may be in question for veterans looking for long game sessions and true story / gameplay depth. As a gateway game however, “Splendor” is a fantastic title and it deserves a space on your shelf.

Splendor tabletop game noblesA noble, get them to wear your jewels and you’re made. Some things never change.

Game Build Quality
Really nice build, the box itself is sturdy and man, it needs to be because the gem chips are weighty! Gems are stickered plastic chips, about the size of good quality poker chips, really nice, stackable and though real gems might have looked nicer, the chips work better in reality. Cards too are of a nice slick quality and the noble tiles are thick and meaty. Box insert is pretty big (the box could have been half the size it is), but it works and it’s all so neat! Overall, a really sweet build.

Overall
“Splendor” is a great game, though fairly light on depth. If you’re looking for a well made / fun / fairly quick tabletop game, you’ve found it. Simple to teach and play, Splendor is a great game and best of all, you can play it with just two players, a great couples game.

2-4 Players
Ages: 10+
Setup Time: minimal

[author] [authorimage timthumb=’off’]/content/images/2016/02/gameapalooza-micro-review-icon-sm.gif[/authorimage] [authorinfo]Micro Review – Splendor is a beautiful game that’s easy for anyone to play, but still has plenty to master. The component quality is grand and the drafting works a treat. Do yourself a favor, add Splendor to your collection. [/authorinfo] [/author]