I mentioned in our post about why we play board games that I avoid games with morally questionable themes. I almost didn’t buy Splendor because the box cover looked like it had a wizard or sorcerer on it, but it is actually just a man looking at a large gem.
Despite what the cover looks like, the game has nothing questionable in it. It is simply a card game about collecting gems.
The goal of the game is to collect 15 prestige points. This is accomplished by using your gems to purchase cards.
The gems are represented in 2 ways in this game. One way is with chips that have gems on them which act like regular currency.
Secondly, the cards that you purchase also have gems. The gems on the cards that you already purchased give you a discount on future purchases. The gems on the cards work like the resources in 7 Wonders.
Splendor is simple to learn, but has a nice amount of strategy in it (a normal turn consists of drawing 2 chips of the same color, drawing 3 chips of different colors, or purchasing a card). There are always 12 cards available for purchase, but they are dealt out randomly, so it keeps the game interesting.
You get points from the cards, but you can also get points from nobles if you purchase certain combinations of gem cards. So you can focus on cards, or nobles, or a little of both.
- The kids do a lot of simple math during the game. Gideon, my 5 year old, was playing on my team the other day (it is not really a team game). He added up our score and said, “We have 12 points. That means we need 3 more.”
- It is long enough to be interesting, but short enough that you don’t get too frustrated if you aren’t playing well.
- The quality of the pieces is very high.
- It is 2-4 players, so our whole family can’t play at the same time.
I highly recommend Splendor. It is very easy to learn, fun to play, and can be a learning experience for your kids.