Splendor is a card-based resource management road to victory points strategy game. You are gem merchants of the Renaissance buying items like transportation, shops and mines to create the best operation. Splendor is one of those strategy staples like Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride or Carcassonne. One thing this has going for it is that games are shorter at about 20 minutes instead of the typical 45-ish for games like this. This is the Splendor review.
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Fun (7 out of 10)
It has been said many times on this site, but simple to learn impossible master games with countless roads to victory equal fun. This is that. The mechanic seems familiar yet deep and unique. The shorter playtime in something like this is a huge plus.
Replayability (6 out of 10)
The gems are always the same, but the mix of them in cards available to purchases changes every time. You basically have three levels of cards that get more expensive. As much as you need to pivot depending on what is coming out, at the end of the day there are only a few strategies so the games are not entirely different every time.
Player Interaction (6 out of 10)
You are pretty much playing your own game, but the decisions you make affect everyone is a subtle long term way. While there are no FU moves like in some other games, you work within a mix of five different gems and if you fight over certain colors with others, you are going to be disadvantaged. There are also different points getting strategies that affect things. It is enough where different player personalities matter.
Quality (6 out of 10)
Looking at pictures and videos, you would never expect the gem chips to be as nice as they are. They are like Vegas poker chips, with the same feel and satisfying clack sound. A simple yet robust game likes this requires a militaristic level of balance required and this has it. The base game has also been set up to utilize the key Cities of Splendor expansion that has come out since.
Art & Style (8 out of 10)
The game is strong all around, but this category really shines. Each card is a different item to buy with beautiful gems all with interesting art just as beautiful. It is in a unique and high-end style with the renaissance backdrop that is very unique and strong.
An absolute strategy classic for a reason, this is a great one to add to the collection and a big recommend. It is also nice to see a theme you do not see too often. We hope this Splendor review has been helpful.