Splendor game review with card set up

Jewel trading with Splendor board game – review

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After being Asmodee board game bloggers for a while, we’re now a bit partial to the more strategic games. We love Carcassonne, and N straight away said the Splendor board game was just like it. Not quite as you’re not building cities and roads. Instead you’re collecting jewels and prestige points.

Splendor game review with card set up

Splendor (I cringe at the spelling) is a game for 2-6 players. Depending on the number of people playing, the set up is slightly different. What we usually find is these type of games have really long instructions. The leaflet for Splendor is only 2 ½ sides to read. This game doesn’t have add ons within the main game pack, so it’s much faster to learn and we were able to set up and play really quickly. Strictly speaking it’s a card game not board game.

Splendor game box and game pieces

How to play Splendor board game

Splendor has jewel tokens in 5 colours (emerald, ruby, onyx, sapphire and diamonds), plus gold tokens which act as jokers and can be used as any other colour. There are discovery cards of different levels which you buy according to the number of combination of jewels you have. These have prestige points which you want to get to win the game (15 points win), and bonuses. The bonuses give you discounts when buying cards.

There are also noble tiles worth extra prestige points. If you collect so the right combination of bonuses, you get visited by a noble person, giving you more points.

splendor game set up

Each go you choose to either pick up jewels, or to reserve or buy a discovery card. Where it gets strategic is working out whether you’re going for bonuses to get discounts, or straight for the prestige points. The bigger points need more jewels than you might have in a game with only 2 or 3 players, so it gets a bit challenging.

picking up tockens in card game Splendor

Playing the game

N liked to just reserve cards instead of buying them, but there is a limit on the number of jewels you can hold at one time so the game does continue to flow. It would definitely get harder with more players, taking the cards you might be aiming for.

It usually takes a while for N to start playing these games strategically, but with Splendor he was in there, trying to think which cards I was aiming for. His game playing has definitely improved over the last year. After one game in the morning, he then asked to play in the afternoon.

With 2 players, the game probably took about 30 minutes. So it’s a great game to quickly get out and play.

purchased Splendor discovery cards

What we thought about the game Splendor

The quality of the playing pieces are really good. The discovery cards are a smooth good quality card, the tiles are a thicker cardboard, and I was pleased to see the jewels are a good heavy plastic rather than just card. You only need a table or the floor to play on so it’s easy to set up anywhere.

The game is straightforward to play and although the game suggests 10 years and up, N had no problem playing at 9 years old. If children are used to playing strategy games, I think 8 year olds could also play.

I can see this game fitting in well with our games playing, and I like that you have to use your brain to think about what you’re going to do next. It’s great for problem solving and decision making, as well as working out payments using jewels and discounts for children.

thinking about his next move playing card game Splendor

You can find the Splendor game on Amazon.

Read my Carcassonne and Overbooked game reviews.

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