Splendor is a tough one to pin down because it is both like many things and very unique. When trying to find the best similar games, we looked at the card drafting and set collection mechanics with simple gameplay options. All against an economic, and to a lesser extent renaissance, backdrop. These are the 5 games like Splendor.
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#05 | Azul
Azul is a Portuguese tile puzzle game so it may seem completely different on the surface. It, however, is not. At the core, you are just fighting all the other players for the right mix of jewels, using what very limited options you have available to you. In Azul you choose from 6 different tiles to decorate your chapel to create the best combinations that are going to score you the most points.
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#04 | Coimbra
Coimbra is a Portuguese city and cultural mecca. As the head of one of the city’s oldest houses, you seek to earn prestige by deepening relationships with nearby monasteries or funding expeditions. The game uses an interesting dice mechanism against a strategy gameboard. This one has a lot more going on than Splendor and will take much longer but it has similarities in the areas you may care about like theme and many roads to victory.
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#03 | Ticket To Ride
Yes, the theme of Splendor is completely different from Ticket to Ride. You are a locomotive tycoon in its glorious heyday trying to build various secrete routes from point A to point B across the USA. The big similarity is that each turn you choose only one option from a handful and it is either building up resources or buying something. Instead of jewels, it is train cards. Incredibly simple but all the paths to victory make it complex.
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#02 | Parfum
Parfum takes the players to the high stakes world of fragrances. Using ingredients like vanilla, lavender, or violets, the players distill precious essences in order to create unique perfumes. Only the player catering to their clientele’s preferences will be able to sell their perfume. Each customer favors a specific fragrance, which must be contained in a flask to induce them to buy it. This is Splendor meets perfumery.
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#01 | Lanterns: The Harvest Festival
In Lanterns: The Harvest Festival, players have a hand of tiles depicting various color arrangements of floating lanterns, as well as an inventory of individual lantern cards of specific colors. When you place a tile, all players receive a lantern card corresponding to the color on the side of the tile facing them. This one has some interesting mechanics but at its heart, it is a very strategic, where are you going to put your resources type of game like Splendor.