Splendor – A Review
This week is the last week of the Pround Games Christmas giveaways, and we’ve saved the best for last. Pround Games is giving away Splendor, the beautifully designed tabletop game from Marc Andre. This one is really a gem! (No pun intended)
Get it? It’s funny….because Splendor?…..gems?……no?…….maybe you’ll get the joke if I explain how Splendor is played.
Splendor is a set collection game whose theme focuses around Renaissance gem merchants. Each turn, players take one of three actions – draw any two gems of the same type, draw any three gems of different types, collecting a card by turning in the set of gems required, or reserving a card. Only one card may be reserved at any one time, and only 10 gems may be held in a player’s hand. Reserving a card allows players to prevent other players from winning it, and gives the player a single “wild” gem. Some cards are worth prestige points, and earning certain sets of cards can win players additional prestige points from visiting noblemen and noblewomen. A player wins by reaching 15 prestige points before any other player.
The strategy in this game involves “down range” planning and adapting to an ever-changing play field. Compared to other resource consumption mechanics, Splendor’s can be especially frustrating. When purchasing a road or settlement in Catan, another player’s actions may eliminate options for placing the element, but rarely do your resources become effectively worthless. This happens almost every time we play Splendor. One of the players will collect a card from the playing field that another player had been strategically aiming for, resulting in frustrated re-assessment of the cards in play and possibly strategic compromising.
We love the artwork for Splendor. The artwork is best described as majestic, and the gems are represented with clay “poker chip”-style tokens. The tokens really make the game feel incredible. It’s very easy to get completely immersed in this theme, imagining a Renaissance market with gems being traded amongst traders from all over. Also, one of our designers does a chip shuffle, and that’s pretty awesome to watch too!
Those of us at Pround Games love Splendor. When we started attending game night in Oklahoma City, this was one of the first games we were introduced to, so it holds a special place in our hearts. We’re really sad that we have to give this copy away, but we really hope that the winner of this week’s Christmas giveaway loves Splendor as much as we do!