The Re-Review: Istanbul and Constantinople

Istanbul

Istanbul

  • 2 plays with 2 players
  • Played before

This was a game that my wife asked me to buy and taught me to play. That’s reason enough in my book to keep it and play it from time to time, but I do enjoy the choices I have in Istanbul: the path to take, the actions to use, how to reclaim your assistants and what to do with your wisecracking family member who always seems to end up at the police station for one reason or another.

We played twice and both plays took about 20-30 minutes a piece—pretty snappy. The first game was a little lopsided as I attempted to remember how to play the game well. The second game was much more what I remember: close games where the decisions feel like they matter. In both games though, I can look back and recognize a few errors, namely going for the wrong goods at the start.

I’m looking forward to trying out the expansion at some point, but for now the base game is pretty good.

Tentatively recommended.

Through the Ages

Through the Ages

  • 2 plays with 2 players
  • Played before

Funny enough, these two plays were with the same player, but one was an in-person game that we played in the middle of another ongoing online game. That’s not what we intended, but playing in-person really helped explain the game to my opponent.

I’m not sure what there is to say any more about this game. It’s excellent, one of the very best games I’ve ever played. Clearly, it’s not for everyone, but for those who want something rich, with lots of meaningful decisions, and an incredible feeling of progression, you really owe it to yourself to try this.

Highly recommended. One of the best games.

Kemet

Kemet

  • 1 play with 3 players
  • Played before

Wow, it had been so long since I had last played Kemet, more than a year and after playing it, I’m not sure I can let that happen again. Kemet is a very aggressive game that encourages getting in each other’s faces while building out your abilities. Want to play a highly defensive game? Go for it, that’s an option. Want to be incredibly aggressive? Another excellent choice. In this particular game, I loved the tension created when I started to do well and earned the ire of my opponents. Self-balancing games tend to do pretty well for me, as long as my opponents are into it, and this is no different. It certainly helps that you call attention to yourself as you earn points.

Highly recommended. I want to play more of this.