The Voyages of Marco Polo is a dice placement game set around the journey of the aforementioned minty treat. The board is split into map and action sections with players placing their dice to perform actions, like gaining resources and moving. It’s a game that will no doubt bamboozle you during your first play as you try to work on how on earth to do everything you want to do. Then as you play more you will gradually click with the game systems, how best to use your player power and make the most of bonus actions.
The Voyages of Marco Polo is fun from the get-go; however, it becomes increasingly satisfying the more you play. At the start of the game you will choose two journey cards. You are looking to set up trading posts in these cities to complete the cards and score endgame points. Most of the time you’ll want to choose journeys that are compatible or at least near each other, but because of a clever map system this is not always possible. Thankfully, every city on the map offers some sort of bonus, from income to extra action spots, so you’ll be doing a lot of travelling anyway. Should you reach the far edge of the map there are big point rewards too.
The difficulty is that most paths you will travel have large costs on top of the cost of the move action itself. For example, moving six spaces will cost you a six dice, a whopping 18 coins and the costs of all the paths you want to use! Luckily there are contracts to help you earn some extra actions and moves! The game holds together fantastically well and while not one to start the hobby with, it is an excellent example of some of the best board games can offer.
Player Count: 2-4
Time: 40-100 Minutes