We here at Zatu Games oppose the very idea of the balance fallacy to its rational core, because life is balance, man. To exercise that opposition, we asked gamers on the internet what they think of Splendor, the 2014 release from Space Cowboys.
For the sake of emotional binary, we’ve split them into the good and the bad. Here’s what people think:
‘I really like it. I think it makes a great gateway game.’
‘You’ll find it’s generally pretty well regarded and has broad appeal. I picked it up over the summer and it’s been a big hit, mainly because the rules are so, so simple and the game plays quickly.
My wife and I will often play best of 3, and when her friend comes over it’s usually first pick as well. I’m the only ‘gamer’ of the three of us and I usually lose; there’s quite a lot of room for strategy, but you can also play by doing whatever pops into your head and rack up plenty of points.’
‘It’s a very quick little game that has some interesting decisions in it.’
‘One of my favorite games! The art is beautiful – the tokens feel great, the box is too big!
But really the game is quite fun. The engine building mechanism really works your brain. You start putting pieces together to make it faster and faster. Everyone is starting at the same pint and before you know it everyone is pulling ahead, then one falls back, then you get get the lead, all through quick moves.
This game can have major action paralysis though. It’s amazing to think “Do I do this for me or do I do this to stop my opponent”. It’s a simple, beautiful game.’
‘Dreadfully dull. The decisions aren’t interesting because, mechanically, they’re all the same.’
‘It wasn’t enjoyable for me. The decisions, the few that were there, weren’t interesting. Played once and couldn’t understand what people were raving about frankly.
It’s, at best, OK. I would never choose to play this over almost any other game though.’
GreatWhiteToyShark (again) says:
‘I’d say the only real weaknesses are 1) not much direct player interaction and 2) a theme that, while beautiful, doesn’t really add anything to the experience.
Interested in Splendor?
So, Splendor. There you have it: generally pretty well regarded, dreadfully dull, quick, little, overly boxed, and beautiful. Everything you could possibly want in a game.