Splendor, from Marc André and Pascal Quidault

Easy to pick up and learn, tough to win.

I made the mistake of playing it like a deck-building card game, only picking up mines that had victory points on them. These were few and far between, though, so I ended up with a lot fewer gems to use to purchase the more lucrative mines that opened up later on.

Three things I learned about game design:

  • Don’t rely on just color to distinguish sides or types in the game. I’m color blind, and had a hard time telling two of the gems apart, because their colors were so similar.
  • Even a rather simple mechanic — gems buy mines, which give gems to buy more mines — can yield an interesting game, once randomness and competition enter into it.
  • Introducing an unbalancing element can be ok, if it pushes the game towards a conclusion

One thought on “Splendor, from Marc André and Pascal Quidault

  1. Great insight. My copy of Splendor has different icons on it than my friends (earlier edition). It’s still not color blind friendly, but a little better. Still love this game.

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