Monday, April 28, 2014

carcassonne - a game review

It's Carl's fault. I know I've literally been saying that since he was born, but - eh - what the heck. Sometimes it is true. Most times. Well, you know.

One day, Carl and I were browsing through games on the Xbox that Raine got for Christmas. WHAT? Anyway, Carl spotted this game, which he seemed to be familiar with.

We discussed it briefly, and then went on to try some more familiar family type board games on the xbox. We were disappointed in them.

A few days later, some friends were over, and since we all like to play board games, we decided to buy and try this one for the x-box. We had a blast. I think we played it four times that evening. The next evening we were at it again. Even Ron played, and he isn't that fond of board games. (He bought it for his phone). The following weekend, we had a fourth remote, so four people could play at a time. Yeah, I think we liked it.

This is a really good example of a board game that translates well to computer. The scoring is pretty complicated, but so what? The computer takes care of that. There are tiles and meeple and stuff to sort and keep track of. So what? The computer takes care of that. There are no rule disputes, because, yeah, the computer takes care of that, too.  Understanding the game to be able to play takes only a few moments. Understanding successful strategies to play and win? Much more time.

What is even better is that the game for the x-box was only about $10. I think it was a bargain at that, and we have all ready gotten our money's worth out of it.

So, how does it work? Well, each player lays a tile during his or her turn. The tiles can be a combination of city, road, monastary and farm land. Once you lay the tile, you have to decide whether you want to claim any available area represented on that tile. You claim it by setting a little man called a meeple on that area. When you complete something, like a stretch of road, or a city, you get points for it, and you get your meeple back, to claim something else. At the end of the game, you get points for unfinished cities, etc, and for the farmland that supplies (touches) any completed city. It is not quite a cooperative game, but it does have potentially cooperative elements.

If you like building games like Settlers of Catan, you too would probably enjoy Carcassonne!

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