Miriam Webster defines “Splendor” as “magnificence, grandeur, beauty, elegance.”
Or maybe I’ll just quote “Italian John” – a great old guy who used to work in the local pool room where I might have spent a little too much time growing up: “Super-Bella-Gorgeous!!”
The very highest of compliments one could get. Like a Major Fun Award.
I play lots of games with lots of different players. And I have yet to hear anybody say they didn’t like Splendor. Period. It’s very easy to learn and has a short enough playing time (30 minutes-ish) that there’s a great chance you’ll be playing back to back games.
The game is very easy to learn but offers enough strategy to keep everyone involved.
Splendor, is what we – folks who love games that make you think – call an “Engine Builder.”
You start with nothing. Do things to make your nothing become something. Improve that something into a nicer, more efficient something and, hopefully, into a winning something.
Ain’t that something?
“The play’s the thing” – Shakespeare was a gamer!
When it’s your turn you either:
1. Take Chips: Blue, Red. Black, White, or Green
2. Buy a card from the board using said chips as currency
3. Speculate on a card from the board and take one Gold (wild) chip.
The cards are set out in three rows, each with its own supply deck. The first row is the easiest to get, etc. The cost for buying a card is always some combination of chips, for example, one particular low level green card costs 1 each of white, blue, red, and black.
But look how beautiful this game is!
So pleasing are the chips…..I frequently end up shuffling mine while we play.
“But how do I win?”
Some of the cards that are mostly in the second and third rows have a big number in the upper left of the card. Those are Victory Points – what you’re playing for. There are also a number of Nobleman tiles (3 points each), which a player can claim if they qualify at the end of their turn. The game goes on until, in a 4 player game, for instance, one player declares that they’ve accumulated 15 points. This means the current round is the last. Most points wins.
Splendor is published in France by Space Cowboys (their site is simply Splendorful) and is available in the US from Asmodee. It is designed by Marc André, with art by Pascal Quidalt. It can be played by 2-4 players, 1o-years-old and up.
Repeat after me: “Splendor is Super-Bella Gorgeous”, which translates to Major Fun!