Splendor is one of our favourite short games to date, and it is just so deceptively easy to learn but hard to master. You and 2 to 3 other friends (or not friends) will be merchants staring at a board of available developments to make, but first you need gems!
So then the player (you) will plan out which cards to get, and after you have picked up just the right amount of gems to purchase on your next turn (remember: one action per turn and getting-gems and buying-gems are two separate actions) AH BOLLOCKS! Billy just took that card. No big roadblock, just focus on the next-best alternative when DAMNIT! You're missing one opal. So now, you will not only focus on your own plan, but you need to anticipate and predict the actions of your human opponents, suddenly bringing this game to life.
Board Geeks strongly recommends Splendor for its simple gameplay: picking up things which make you pick up other things which overall makes picking things up later, easier. Hearing your friend *groan* when you just reserved a card they've been eyeing for the last 2 orbits, deciding on whether to buy or be greedy and do something else, watching your engine come to life... that's something else. And on top of that, the components feel well-crafted. The game features lovely artwork on the cards with gems beautifully set into weighted chips, which we have found so distracting to play with.
We love the game, we played it just last weekend! (As of time of writing) And we think you should get a copy too. Once you have played it or, you already owned the game and you were just reading this review for the sake of it, we recommend you trying out our advanced variant of the game, found below:
Board Geeks' Splendor Advanced Win Condition Variant:
We feel that this extra win condition (along with the usual 15 prestige point win condition) brings so much OOMPH to the gameplay. Simply, the first person who has developed all 5 different gem-production cards with a point value.
And that's it, the game's pretty much over. You've done it, once you have collected all the infinity st- GEMS, you get to perform a special action. On your next turn, you simply *snap* your fingers, and remove the number of starting players divided by 2, rounded up, from the game.
So if it's 2 players, you remove your opponent, you've won.
3 players, you've won.
4 players, well that leaves Captain Marv- you've won.
You've won the game, you win.
Your friends have all left you... but you are the winner of the game... and the universe.