Starting the week off again with even more board games in my top 100 list. I only got to play one board game this weekend, my #96, Qwirkle. It was fun to play that game again. Definitely has some good things about it still and …
There are some games where the look makes a difference as to how interested you are in the game, and Century: Golem Edition is one of those for me. When I saw Century: Spice Road, I thought it looked like a fairly boring cube pushing game, but when the Golem Edition, the artwork and the games made the game look way more interesting to me. Now, they are the same game from what I know, but I still haven’t played Spice Road because I have Golem Edition and you don’t need both of them.
Century: Golem Edition is an engine building, hand management game where you are trying to convert games into different types to get the right combination to get golems. To do that, you have to collect gems, upgrade gems, and get cards. With the cards, they let you get more gems or upgrade/change the type of gems in different ways than your base cards do. So you are trying to build up a combination that helps you get gems faster, but also gems that are going to allow you to get the golems. Every card you get is added to your hand, and you play down cards and only return them to your hand when you decide that you want to. Eventually you’ll need to, though, because you’ll want to get the cards of the engine back into your hand so that you can get it working again.
Century: Golem Edition is a really slick engine building game. With cute artwork and a cute theme, you expect the game to not offer that much strategy, but there is a good amount of strategy there if you want to find it. The cards, and how valuable the card is to you really determines what you might want to do. The engine building, too, never becomes too much, because while you are building up an engine you are only playing a single card a turn. That means that you are either getting more gems or changing out gems, depending on the card. Then the next turn you play the next step to the engine. If you were playing all the cards at once, turns would last a long time, but instead, the turns fly by because you are only firing off part of your engine each time. That really makes it as an accessible engine building game and a good introductory engine building game. It would be easy for there to be too many things to keep track of otherwise.
The components also really sell this game on the table. The gems are amazing looking and just fun to play around with. And their holding bins work really well and are another nice aesthetic piece, but it’s also highly functional. Then there are metal coins that just add a little bit to the potential scoring of the golems and make getting some of the passed over golems more valuable. There is no reason that the coins need to be metal, you could have just put in a +1 and a +2 cardboard chips, but the metal coins feel amazing and look great. Century: Golem Edition really goes above and beyond the expected quality of a game with nice large cards, a great insert, an the other things that I’ve mentioned above. The game pops on the table and people are drawn to the game to see what is going on.
Finally, Century: Golem Edition is a very good introductory game while still not being a game that more “serious” gamers are going to find boring. The engine building piece is interesting and offers different choices each game, the random golems mean that you have to vary your strategy, so it helps keep the playing field a bit more balanced. Plus, there is the determination of when you bring cards back to your hand, because that is your turn. If you do it at the wrong time, someone might beat you to a golem that you’ve been angling for. This isn’t going to be game that more “serious” gamers are going to always want to play to fill that strategy itch, and the game isn’t one that has a ton of strategy, but they aren’t likely to be bored with it either.
Overall, I enjoy this game a lot. I think that it works well for a mixed crowd of players and I love the speed that game plays at. If you are looking for an engine building game to teach the concept and strategy of engine building, Century: Golem Edition stands out in that field. You can definitely use Century: Spice Road, but if you are playing with very casual gamers, Golem Edition is going to draw them in a whole lot more. I definitely recommend this game to people to help fill out that introductory game collection for when new gamers are around.
Overall Grade: A
Gamer Grade: C
Casual Grade: A+
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