Splendor became a games night favourite for a hot minute a few years ago. The idea is simple – trade for gems and earn at least 15 points to win. Splendor is a game that will either quickly hook you or turn you off from playing forever.
I quite enjoy playing Splendor, and occasionally fire it up on the PC for a solo game. Alpal doesn’t have quite the same impression of the game. So I was surprised when she threw it in as a possible game choice. Rabbit was going to be the decider though, as I wasn’t sure how she would like Splendor.
Here is the thing with Splendor – it’s a great abstract game, but people try and follow the theme. The trading of jewels works as a general idea and gives direction to the wonderful artwork. But for understanding what you are supposed to be doing in the game? No help at all!
I try and explain Splendor in terms of mechanics, and ask players to ignore why they are doing the actions. When this works, people tend to enjoy playing.
But for some people, the theme of the game is required to give direction to their gameplay. These players are the ones I tend to see not enjoying Splendor as much.
Playing Splendor on Board Game Arena with people at the same level as you is a lot of fun. If you are new to playing with experienced players, you will be in for an uphill battle. A game of Splendor can be over in 10 minutes, not giving new players time to explore and experience the game.
If you are curious about playing on your own, the Steam or iOS/Android version is quite a lot of fun. There are not only various levels of AI opponents, but you can pick their playing styles as well. And that’s the base game – there are puzzles and challenges as well for solo play.