Alhambra

Personal Ranking (2015): #22

Time to play (in my experience): 45-60 minutes

Age Level: I think kids as young as 7 or 8 could play this game.

Difficulty Level: 2 (5-10 minutes to teach, less than an 90 minutes to play)

Type of Game: Tile placement. This means pretty much what it says, you place tiles (or pieces) trying to place them in the most optimal way to score you the most points. In this case, each player is building his/her own alhambra.

Game setting: Medieval Spain.

Brief overview of how to play: On your turn you either take an available money card (which is in one of four different currencies) or you purchase a building tile (which is one of six different types of buildings) from a vendor that accepts a particular type of currency. When you purchase a tile, you place it in your own personal alhambra. There are three different scoring rounds where you score points based on how you’ve built your alhambra.

How do you win?: Score the most points over three scoring rounds.

How many players does it play?: 2-6.

Ideal number?: Well, with 3 or 4 you can play a bit more strategically, however, it also plays 5 or 6 pretty well.

Why do I love/recommend this game?

1) Easy to teach/easy to play: There aren’t a whole lot of choices for things to do on your turn. Take money, buy a building, or thirdly (and rarely) reorganize your alhambra.

                                     

The 4 different types of currencies, and 4 of the different buildings at the different "vendors."

2) It’s fun to build your own personal alhambra: I like games where I can see something that I have built at the end of the game. I like looking down at my alhambra at the end and saying, “I made this!”

3) Clever scoring system: It has a similar scoring system to “Airlines: Europe,” where you score three times during the game, comparing your buildings with the other players.

4) Plays 5 or 6 pretty well: It’s hard to find games that play 6 players well and quickly. If I have a larger group that wants a simpler game, this is one of the best for me to pull out.

Is there anything offensive in the game? Anything at all? None that I can see.

Final Word: This is a great, simple tile placement game with which I have had great success with a variety of groups. It is possibly a half step more complex than Carcassonne, and I, personally like it slightly better.

 

Amazon.com price at the time of this writing: $30.24

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