Friday, May 16, 2008



Today's review is on the city-building game CITADELS!

GAME DESIGNERS: BRUNO FAIDUTTI Published in America by Fantasy Flight/Silverline

PLAYERS: 2-7, ages 10+ , and about 20-60 mins of gametime. It has a few small pieces so keep the babies away!!

GAME BASICS: Citadels is a card game, whereby each player takes on a role as one of a series of influential city builders. You can build or use your special ability on your turn, collect your gold and prepare for the next round.

Sounds too simple??? Well there's more!

Each District has a color that will give bonuses to various Characters! The more bonuses you character can garner during the game, the more victory points you'll have at the end! The player with the most victory points wins!

Each player has a number as well. This designates the order each person plays in! One person acts as the King each round and calls out the numbers. The players, who choose their characters in secret, do not reveal themselves until their number is called!

In addition to special abilities of the Characters, and the various colors, some Districts actually have special attributes in and of themselves, they usually cost more, but are always worth it!

GAME DISSECTION: Behind the Citadel walls...

ART: The Art of Citadels reflects heavy fantasy overtones. Its expertly illustrated with a flair for the dramatic and darkness of the middle ages. There's no munchkin city here....THAT being said despite the illustration quality art, its not too busy and does not distract from the game as can be the case in some creations. ( Oddly enough it wasn't the art that suckered me in this time...I just like the name CITADELS )

PRICE: Once again we hit that perfect number...20.00$! Citadels USED to come in a book sized box and had cardboard money and no special piece to designate the KING. NOW, for the SAME yuppie food coupon you can A: Get the game B: WITH cool gold plastic coins C: get the special wooden King piece D: get an expansion included called " The Dark City" and E: Get it in a much smaller box with a nice protective finish to it! Who says stuff devalues over time! This game actually got better!

REPLAY: This is the kind of game that doesn't take all night and can be included with a bunch of other does-not-take-all-night set of games. Fits in a backpack for easy travel. Once, while having over indulged in our regular set of games, we played a whole set of new games and CITADELS was the one we replayed the most that night.

MECHANICS: I've played a lot of card games. I once watched my father try and teach us all how to play Sheepshead and then watched him play four hands simultaneously because we were young and didn't quite get it.... This game is easy. You have two things to do on your turn and each of those only have two choices...your most difficult choice...will be deciding which character to be! With the addition of the new wooden King token...clarity of gameplay has improved as well for those who are easily confused. You know who you are. This game comes with various ways to play for the size of your gaming party as well. A nice feature alot of games don't always consider to make rules for traditionally, thus a whole set of house rules won't need to be created!

FUN: While I don't see the game leading to grand CITADELS tournaments in your house, you should have one or two people who's game night is made when they win and become the King of the Game! ( Maybe even find a nice Burger King Crown for said winner... ) I like this game for its variety of turn order and under-dog friendly mechanics!

WHO ARE YOU? The Gamer Profile:

CASUAL: If you think a good game is UNO or GO FISH and you think this is a card game too so I should like it...... maybe not. The game has some complexities that do not make it a no-brainer. What's that? You've been reading the reviews though, and you're starting to think maybe you'd like to graduate to the next level?? Good choice!! Jump right in!

ACTIVE: If you like fantasy novels, are a middle ages history buff, or just like fairy tales, pick up Citadels, while definitely not the sugary coated world of fairies and Ozzian munchkins...its got a good flavor of the Dark Ages where people still wore cloaks, and carried daggers..and not just to make a fashion statement.

GAMER: With the new included expansion and pieces, this should be a part of your collection. Great for a big group of folks, or a couple good friends. Maybe not everyone showed up for D&D night... citadels should be able to fill the void quite nicely, maybe it will even inspire you to more RPG greatness!

CREATOR: Though its not what hooked the art of this game! Maybe your game is simple, but don't let that stop you from making it BEAUTIFUL As well! CITADELS lists 5 Illustrators and 5 Graphic Designers.... maybe your budget doesn't support that...but now you have a goal! Also, the recent upgrade proves that though you might not be able to produce game EXACTLY the way you like the first run.... a good game brings success and with that can come a new ability to show off your professionalism and business savvy.... and your loyalty to the people that buy the game and afford you your success!

FOR THE LADIES! Read a lot of historical fiction? Are you the OTHER other Boleyn girl? Or maybe the Boudicca of Wabash? Maybe the Disney Villains were always your favorite...Tired of games that are all about war and dice rolling? Give your darker side a bit of free cunning!, Be calculating! Give Citadels a go!

ABOUT ME: I'm a Gamer, Game Designer, and above all, a good guy who loves sharing games with people! if you have any questions, write me at

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