Splendor: The Ultimate Gate-Way Board Game

Do you want to introduce more board games into your family time? No, I don’t mean Monopoly, Candyland or Scrabble. I mean a fun game that all ages can enjoy and won’t consume your whole evening (unless you want it to)? Splendor is a fast paced, easy to pick up board game that doesn’t break the bank.

When I first encountered Splendor it was my grandpa that owned a copy! My grandparents are not typically “board-game-people”. We pulled it out and played a quick round with two young adults, one tween, and one grandparent. It only took a minute to set-up and a minute more to explain the rules. In 20 short minutes the game was over and everyone had fun!

How it Plays

The concept is simple: collect gem tokens to buy gem cards. The cards have a point value as well as an assigned gem color. Each gem card you buy can then be used in place of a gem token. The more cards you have, the more cards you can then buy! The first player with 15 points signals the last round. At the end of the last round, the player with the most points wins!

I found many interesting, yet simple features of this game that make it enjoyable. The game plays three tiers of cards laid out in a grid which represents the board. There are 6 types of gem tokens: Diamonds, Sapphires, Rubies, Emeralds, Garnets, and Gold. The gold tokens act like a wild card and are only received by reserving a card. I found this especially useful for winning! There are also Aristocrats for high point values, which you receive automatically as soon as you qualify for them.

The game is simple and easy to explain. The rounds are short, so no one is waiting too long for their turn, and there are multiple strategies that can be employed to win the game. For example, when I play, I always aim for an aristocrat and so far I have never lost! If you want to play with young children, the bright colors and tangible tokens are great for helping them keep track of what they have and what they need. If you decide to play a round or two with your die-hard board game buddies, the tactical opportunities can create a riveting experience with triumph and revenge.

Why it’s worth the buy!

If Splendor becomes a family favorite in your home, as it has in mine, that might open the door to other unique board game experiences. When introducing more complex games to your family, you can refer to Splendor for any similarities or as a measure of difficulty.

Splendor is truly a game for all ages and experience levels, so, whether you are introducing your kiddos to board games or opening your parents or grandparents eyes, Splendor is the perfect “gate-way” game.

1 reply
  1. Julie
    Julie says:

    Great write up! Very informative game review. I think I might buy this for my family for this year’s traditional Christmas Eve family game gift. 🙂

    Reply

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