Friday, June 20, 2008


Hello Dear Reader! Get out your plumb line and level! Today we're taking a look at the classic game CATHEDRAL!

Robert Moore. Published by Brightway Products, Mattel, and Family Games.

PLAYERS: 2, ages 8 and up, playing time 20 minutes, smaller pieces so babies should avoid.

GAME BASICS : The idea... players take turns adding buildings to an enclosed city, trying to fit them snugly around the imposing Cathedral! Place your buildings right, and you can remove your opposing players buildings and garner more room for yourself!

I got this game as a birthday/Christmas present so many years ago now I forget how old I was.
(waves his cane at the readers and rings the bell on his walker) I have the version pictured above. It was plastic and made by the Mattel people. Family games has a nice wooden version out now, and even a ' world ' version which simulates famous world architecture. Its a fairly old game now, first created in the 60's but is still being published which shows the games staying power an appeal.

GAME DISSECTION: There's two seasons in Wisconsin....Winter, and Construction!

ART: Through its various incarnations, from the first to the most recent, the three dimensional look of this game has appealed in one way or another. Be it the highly detailed versions, or the simple blocky style, the art has never taken away from the fun of the game and has always served the game play soundly.

PRICE: 25$ - 35$ depending on the version and location you buy the game. The high quality wooden games look snazzy on the coffee table and give your living room an aire of sophistication that Candyland somehow lacks ( I know...I was just as shocked! ) As I said I got the Mattel plastic version as a gift back at least in the 80's, so if I get a new version...I suspect I'll enjoy plunking down the extra coin for the nice looking wooden versions. I'm a Gamer after all...

REPLAY: I used to play this on my porch with the neighbor kids before they hopped the bus to their swim practice. We'd play 2-3 games every half hour before their practices. Some people might take longer to play but its not likely.

MECHANICS: Its a land gathering, puzzle piece fitting, middle ages, tactile game. Its straightforward and there's no grand surprises.... as they say in the movie " And now we fight each other as God intended, Sportsmanlike...skill against skill alone! "

FUN: Its loads of fun! I still play it now about 20 years after getting my first set! The memories from playing against the neighbor kids still make me smile and its nice to have a game you can just PLAY without having to read a rulebook the size of New Hampshire! Its nice step up from Checkers and looks a lot nicer too!

GAMER PROFILE: Foreman or Day Laborer??

CASUAL: Most anyone should be able to grasp this game within 10 minutes. Its not tediously rule-ridden and frustrating. It will vex them if they consistently cannot beat you, which will only make for better grudge matches!

ACTIVE: Fun for two people waiting on more. keep it in your arsenal of games and teach it to casual gamers as a way to break them into the bigger gaming world!

GAMER: You might not bring this to game night. But you might proudly display it on your coffee table, or play for points and money and prestige with your most competitive friends. Its a classic, and any gamer should have a classic or 9 laying around the house and ready to play!

CREATOR: Here's an example of how games are inspired, the creator of Cathedral, Robert Moore, noticed how the buildings in his New Zealand city fit nice and snug around the Christchurch Cathedral.... and made a game that's lasted for 40 years. Simple can be a powerful ally. Never underestimate its longevity or appeal!

FOR THE LADIES: Its a nice straightforward no luck game that looks nice on the coffee table. Give it 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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