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January Game of the Month – Splendor

The Game of the Month series highlights one of the many games in our libraries at Ravenwood Castle and The Malted Meeple. We will briefly describe the game, how to play it, and why we like it. This week’s blog post is written by Ravenwood Castle’s Assistant Innkeeper, Dina Musaelyan.

Game: Splendor

Publisher: Space Cowboys

In January’s Game of the Month players are budding Renaissance gem merchants, competing against each other to secure mines, workers and markets. The merchant who accumulates the most wealth and prestige emerges as the victor.

The game setup begins with three rows of development cards which represent: mining locations that help you build infrastructure, workers that make up your gem empire, and markets where you sell your finished wares. There are also a variety of gem tokens representing rubies, emeralds, onyxes, sapphires and diamonds, and a row of cards designating potential noble patrons.

On their turn, a player chooses one of four actions. They may obtain 3 gem tokens of different colors, 2 gem tokens of the same color, reserve a development card by taking it into their hand, or purchase a development card using their accumulated gems. Each of the development cards conveys a particular bonus on the player, making it easier to acquire future development cards. Even better, when a player collects the appropriate set of bonuses they receive a visit from a noble patron, which is a great source of prestige!

Splendor is a beautifully crafted game, with great artwork and well-made components. The box is also designed well to make the game easy to put away and store – a nice touch that too many games don’t take into consideration.

Splendor can be enjoyed by up to four players, but works very well as a two player game. It is easily accessible and can be played in about a half an hour, which keeps players coming back for more. Most players find that one game of Splendor simply isn’t enough, and it often sees two or three plays each time it hits the table.

The next time you visit Ravenwood Castle or The Malted Meeple take your place as a Renaissance merchant, and perhaps you’ll enjoy the Splendor of a successful mercantile empire!