Splendor is a merchant based game where a player will collect gems in order to build their empire. Splendor was created by Marc Andre and is published by Space Cowboys.
The theme is renaissance based due to the use of gems and nobles. The progression and artwork of the card system is also notable as the lower tier cards are mostly resources where one could find gems like in mines or ruins. The artwork for the middle tier cards are mostly depicted as the transportation of the collect gems, an example is the artwork of camels crossing the desert or large ships. The artwork for the higher tier cards are shops and buildings where the resourced gems can be sold. Finally the artwork of the “noble” cards are depicted as those who would buy these gems. It is an excellent theme which shows progression. As discussed with peers there could several different themes to use for the game, an example was car brands with the artwork of the lower, middle, higher and “noble” tiers being car parts, manufacturers, finished car product and people who purchase the car. The game also features poker chips which represent 5 different coloured gems and a gold token.
The game begins as players take turns collecting gems. A player can select up to 3 gems or only 2 of the same gem per turn. The player can exchange these gems for cards. Each card requires a different amount and combination of gems in order to exchange for it. The card also has one type of gem on it which the player keeps indefinitely and can also use to obtain other cards. Each card is worth a certain amount of points ranging from 0 to 5. Noble cards can also be collected which are also worth points. A player requires a different amount and combination of card types in order to obtain a noble. Collecting a token is an alternative to collecting gems. With a token a player can reserve a card to buy on another turn. The winner is the first player to earn 15 points.
Splendor was fun to play, it was very easy to learn and the games only went for around 20 minutes. The best part about the game was collecting the chips and playing with them in your hand whilst depriving everybody else of the chips.