Splendor Game Review

I am so pleased to be giving you a review of the board game Splendor. It has to be one of my new favourite board games of all time. Since discovering Splendor, we have been playing it most weekends. It’s such an easy game to grasp, and great fun for those who prefer a more ‘chilled out’ game night.

Splendor- The Greatest Gemstone Merchants Of The Renaissance

As the leader of a merchant guild, you must invest your time to build a commercial empire, collect the most precious gems, impress monarchs and acquire glory and prestige to become the best gemstone merchant of the Renaissance.

In this chip-collecting and card development game, you will carefully chose gemstone tokens to buy development cards (these are also gem cards), which you then use to buy more prestigious development cards. These cards add to your prestige and nobles will visit.

To win the game players must be the first to get to 15 Prestige Points (points from noble’s also count towards your score). In case of a tie, the player who have purchased the least amount of development cards is declared the winner.

Playing The Game

The rulebook is very easy to follow, with clear descriptions of the rules. This makes the game super simple to understand and after just 1 or 2 rounds you will be playing confidently.

Set up of the game is easy too. Simply separate your development cards into their 3 levels and arrange the cards into a grid of 4 cards. According to the amount of players, you lay out the corresponding amount of noble tiles and tokens.

Here is our setup when just 2 of us are playing:

As a development card is purchased (with the collected tokens or the bonus points on each development card) the card then becomes part of your hand. As soon as a card is removed from the grid, it must instantly be replaced from the card deck to the left of the grid.

Development cards can also be reserved by players, using the gold tokens. So plan ahead wisely!

Game play is actually rather quiet. Some board games you find yourselves chatting away between each other, but during a game of Splendor we were all very quiet! We were sat planning ahead, plotting and working out potential future points. We actually really loved this, and found Splendor perfect for a quiet-night-in playing a board game. Pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy the silence of play!

The artwork for Spendor is absolutely stunning. It has to be one of the most beautiful games that we own. Each card, tile and token is adorned with gorgeous artwork by French artist Pascal Quidault.

Who’s Splendor for?

Splendor is suitable for players aged 10+. The game is played between 2-4 players,  but we have played with more people, doubling up as couples, to include more players. We have found that the game works best with 3 players.

Gameplay lasts around 30 minutes, so it is a relatively quick game. We tend to have so much fun playing, that we often play more than 1 game of Splendor during a game session. When it’s just been 2 of us playing we play ‘best out of 3’.

Splendor will be enjoyed by the whole family, with older children. This game has won over 19 awards since 2015. I cannot be clear enough with just how much we adore this game, and has taken pride of place on our huge game shelves as one of the best games that we own. I honestly think that all families should put Splendour on their ‘to-buy’ list.

Where To Buy

You can buy Spelndor from most good specialist board game shops, or online from Amazon.

The game is created by Marc Andre (Barony, Majesty, Sail Away) and produced by Space Cowboys and Days Of Wonder.

*A copy of Splendor was sent to me for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.


Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

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