Ratings: Top 10 Language Independent Games – with The Brothers Murph

Check "Top 10 Language Independent Games" and find the best price on all items from the top among sellers all over in the Netherlands & Belgium!

#10. Quadropolis

Each player builds their own metropolis in Quadropolis (first announced as City Mania), but they're competing with one another for the shops, parks, public services and other structures to be placed in them.

The game lasts four rounds, and in each round players first lay out tiles for the appropriate round at random on a 5x5 grid. Each player has four architects numbered 1-4 and on a turn, a player places an architect next to a row or column in the grid, claims the tile that's as far in as the number of the architect placed (e.g., the fourth tile in for architect #4), places that tile in the appropriately numbered row or column on the player's 4x4 city board, then claims any resources associated with the tile (inhabitants or energy).

When a player takes a tile, a figure is placed in this now-empty space and the next player cannot place an architect in the same row or column where this tile was located. In addition, you can't place one architect on top of another, so each placement cuts off play options for you and everyone else later in the round. After all players have placed all four architects, the round ends, all remaining tiles are removed, and the tiles for the next round laid out.

After four rounds, the game ends. Players can move the inhabitants and energy among their tiles at any point during the game to see how to maximize their score. At game end, they then score for each of the six types of buildings depending on how well they build their city — as long as they have activated the buildings with inhabitants or energy as required:

Residential buildings score depending on their height

Shops score depending on how many customers they have

Public services score depending on the number of districts in your city that have them

Parks score depending on the number of residential buildings next to them

Harbors score based on the longest row or column of activated harbors in the city

Factories score based on the number of adjacent shops and harbors

Some buildings are worth victory points (VPs) on their own, and once players sum these values with what they've scored for each type of building in their city, whoever has the highest score wins.

7.3
2-4 Players
30-60 Min
Age: 8+
Complexity: 2.2
Language: 1.0

Each player builds their own metropolis in Quadropolis (first announced as City Mania), but they're competing with one another for the shops, parks, public services and other structures to be placed in them.

The game lasts four rounds, and in each round players first lay out tiles for the appropriate round at random on a 5x5 grid. Each player has four architects numbered 1-4 and on a turn, a player places an architect next to a row or column in the grid, claims the tile that's as far in as the number of the architect placed (e.g., the fourth tile in for architect #4), places that tile in the appropriately numbered row or column on the player's 4x4 city board, then claims any resources associated with the tile (inhabitants or energy).

When a player takes a tile, a figure is placed in this now-empty space and the next player cannot place an architect in the same row or column where this tile was located. In addition, you can't place one architect on top of another, so each placement cuts off play options for you and everyone else later in the round. After all players have placed all four architects, the round ends, all remaining tiles are removed, and the tiles for the next round laid out.

After four rounds, the game ends. Players can move the inhabitants and energy among their tiles at any point during the game to see how to maximize their score. At game end, they then score for each of the six types of buildings depending on how well they build their city — as long as they have activated the buildings with inhabitants or energy as required:

Residential buildings score depending on their height

Shops score depending on how many customers they have

Public services score depending on the number of districts in your city that have them

Parks score depending on the number of residential buildings next to them

Harbors score based on the longest row or column of activated harbors in the city

Factories score based on the number of adjacent shops and harbors

Some buildings are worth victory points (VPs) on their own, and once players sum these values with what they've scored for each type of building in their city, whoever has the highest score wins.

7.3
2-4 Players
30-60 Min
Age: 8+
Complexity: 2.2
Language: 1.0
Not available
at the moment
#9. Detective Club

Detective Club is a board game for players who enjoy party games, with simple rules that take just a minute to explain. Intrigue, sudden revelations, limitless creativity, and tons of fun await you in this game! Lead the investigation as a detective, or cover your tracks as the infiltrated conspirator. Discuss, accuse, object and try to convince everyone.

In Detective Club, on each round, one of the players secretly teams up with another — the Conspirator — and tries to make them guess a secret word using just two illustrated cards! Other players are detectives, who also know the word, but don't know the identities of each other. Detectives have to find out who the conspirator is, making sure they don't get accused by their fellow players!

7.4
4-8 Players
45 Min
Age: 8+
Complexity: 1.2

Detective Club is a board game for players who enjoy party games, with simple rules that take just a minute to explain. Intrigue, sudden revelations, limitless creativity, and tons of fun await you in this game! Lead the investigation as a detective, or cover your tracks as the infiltrated conspirator. Discuss, accuse, object and try to convince everyone.

In Detective Club, on each round, one of the players secretly teams up with another — the Conspirator — and tries to make them guess a secret word using just two illustrated cards! Other players are detectives, who also know the word, but don't know the identities of each other. Detectives have to find out who the conspirator is, making sure they don't get accused by their fellow players!

7.4
4-8 Players
45 Min
Age: 8+
Complexity: 1.2
Not available
at the moment
#8. Bärenpark

Up to two thousand pounds in weight and over ten feet tall, the bear is considered the biggest and heaviest terrestrial carnivore in the world. Of course, there is not just "one bear;" on the contrary, there are plenty of subspecies that differ from each other in various aspects. For instance, only the Kodiak bear (ursus arctos middendorffi) weighs about 2,000 lbs. The polar bear (ursus maritimus) weighs "only" 1,100 lbs., but gets much bigger than the Kodiak bear, being as much as 11 ft. tall!

Bärenpark takes you into the world of bears, challenging you to build your own bear park. Would you like another polar bear enclosure or rather a koala* house? The park visitors are sure to get hungry on their tour through the park, so build them places to eat! Whatever your choices are, make sure you get the next building permit and use your land wisely! (* No, koalas aren't bears but they're so cute, we couldn't leave them out of this game!)

In more detail, each player in Bärenpark builds their own bear park, attempting to make it as beautiful as they can, while also using every square meter possible. The park is created by combining polyomino tiles onto a grid, with players scoring for animal houses, outdoor areas, completed construction, and more. The sooner you build it, the better! Cover icons to get new tiles and park sections. The game ends as soon as one player has finished expanding their park, then players tally their points to see who has won.

—description from the publisher

7.4
2-4 Players
30-45 Min
Age: 8+
Complexity: 1.6

Up to two thousand pounds in weight and over ten feet tall, the bear is considered the biggest and heaviest terrestrial carnivore in the world. Of course, there is not just "one bear;" on the contrary, there are plenty of subspecies that differ from each other in various aspects. For instance, only the Kodiak bear (ursus arctos middendorffi) weighs about 2,000 lbs. The polar bear (ursus maritimus) weighs "only" 1,100 lbs., but gets much bigger than the Kodiak bear, being as much as 11 ft. tall!

Bärenpark takes you into the world of bears, challenging you to build your own bear park. Would you like another polar bear enclosure or rather a koala* house? The park visitors are sure to get hungry on their tour through the park, so build them places to eat! Whatever your choices are, make sure you get the next building permit and use your land wisely! (* No, koalas aren't bears but they're so cute, we couldn't leave them out of this game!)

In more detail, each player in Bärenpark builds their own bear park, attempting to make it as beautiful as they can, while also using every square meter possible. The park is created by combining polyomino tiles onto a grid, with players scoring for animal houses, outdoor areas, completed construction, and more. The sooner you build it, the better! Cover icons to get new tiles and park sections. The game ends as soon as one player has finished expanding their park, then players tally their points to see who has won.

—description from the publisher

7.4
2-4 Players
30-45 Min
Age: 8+
Complexity: 1.6
Not available
at the moment
#7. Photosynthesis

The sun shines brightly on the canopy of the forest, and the trees use this wonderful energy to grow and develop their beautiful foliage. Sow your crops wisely and the shadows of your growing trees could slow your opponents down, but don't forget that the sun revolves around the forest. Welcome to the world of Photosynthesis, the green strategy board game!

7.1
2-4 Players
30-60 Min
Age: 10+
Complexity: 2.3

The sun shines brightly on the canopy of the forest, and the trees use this wonderful energy to grow and develop their beautiful foliage. Sow your crops wisely and the shadows of your growing trees could slow your opponents down, but don't forget that the sun revolves around the forest. Welcome to the world of Photosynthesis, the green strategy board game!

7.1
2-4 Players
30-60 Min
Age: 10+
Complexity: 2.3
Not available
at the moment
#6. Merv: The Heart of the Silk Road

Merv: The Heart of the Silk Road is a tense economic game charting the rise and fall of the greatest city in the world.

In Merv, players are vying to amass power and wealth in the prosperous heart of the Silk Road. Through careful court intrigue, timely donations to the grand mosque, and favorable trade deals, players attempt to redirect as much of that prosperity as possible into their own pockets.

Meanwhile, beyond the city walls Mongol hordes approach. If you help construct the city walls, you give up on precious opportunities to build up your own stature, but leave it unprotected and you will burn with the city. Every decision is weighty and the consequences of each misstep are dire. Will you rise to prominence or fade into oblivion?

—description from the publisher

7.7
1-4 Players
90 Min
Age: 14+
Complexity: 3.4

Merv: The Heart of the Silk Road is a tense economic game charting the rise and fall of the greatest city in the world.

In Merv, players are vying to amass power and wealth in the prosperous heart of the Silk Road. Through careful court intrigue, timely donations to the grand mosque, and favorable trade deals, players attempt to redirect as much of that prosperity as possible into their own pockets.

Meanwhile, beyond the city walls Mongol hordes approach. If you help construct the city walls, you give up on precious opportunities to build up your own stature, but leave it unprotected and you will burn with the city. Every decision is weighty and the consequences of each misstep are dire. Will you rise to prominence or fade into oblivion?

—description from the publisher

7.7
1-4 Players
90 Min
Age: 14+
Complexity: 3.4
Not available
at the moment
#5. Dungeon Petz

Become the leader of an imp family that has just started a new business – breeding and selling petz. Sound simple and safe? Well, we forgot to mention that those petz are for Dungeon Lords. This means magical, playful, sometimes angry monsters that constantly desire attention and at the very moment you want them to demonstrate their qualities to buyers they are sick or they poop. Sometimes you are even glad that you got rid of them – but the profit is unbelievable.

Dungeon Petz is a standalone game set in the Dungeon Lords universe. The game consists of several rounds in which players use unusual worker placement mechanisms (players simultaneously prepare different sized groups of imps in order to play sooner than others) to prepare themselves for the uneasy task of raising creature cubs and pleasing their different needs (represented by cards) in order to sell them as grown and scary creatures to Dungeon Lords. In the meantime, they also attend various contests in which they show off their pets, scoring additional points.

7.5
2-4 Players
90 Min
Age: 13+
Complexity: 3.6
Language: 1.0

Become the leader of an imp family that has just started a new business – breeding and selling petz. Sound simple and safe? Well, we forgot to mention that those petz are for Dungeon Lords. This means magical, playful, sometimes angry monsters that constantly desire attention and at the very moment you want them to demonstrate their qualities to buyers they are sick or they poop. Sometimes you are even glad that you got rid of them – but the profit is unbelievable.

Dungeon Petz is a standalone game set in the Dungeon Lords universe. The game consists of several rounds in which players use unusual worker placement mechanisms (players simultaneously prepare different sized groups of imps in order to play sooner than others) to prepare themselves for the uneasy task of raising creature cubs and pleasing their different needs (represented by cards) in order to sell them as grown and scary creatures to Dungeon Lords. In the meantime, they also attend various contests in which they show off their pets, scoring additional points.

7.5
2-4 Players
90 Min
Age: 13+
Complexity: 3.6
Language: 1.0
Not available
at the moment
#4. Azul

Introduced by the Moors, azulejos (originally white and blue ceramic tiles) were fully embraced by the Portuguese when their king Manuel I, on a visit to the Alhambra palace in Southern Spain, was mesmerized by the stunning beauty of the Moorish decorative tiles. The king, awestruck by the interior beauty of the Alhambra, immediately ordered that his own palace in Portugal be decorated with similar wall tiles. As a tile-laying artist, you have been challenged to embellish the walls of the Royal Palace of Evora.

In the game Azul, players take turns drafting colored tiles from suppliers to their player board. Later in the round, players score points based on how they've placed their tiles to decorate the palace. Extra points are scored for specific patterns and completing sets; wasted supplies harm the player's score. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.

7.8
2-4 Players
30-45 Min
Age: 8+
Complexity: 1.8
Language: 1.0

Introduced by the Moors, azulejos (originally white and blue ceramic tiles) were fully embraced by the Portuguese when their king Manuel I, on a visit to the Alhambra palace in Southern Spain, was mesmerized by the stunning beauty of the Moorish decorative tiles. The king, awestruck by the interior beauty of the Alhambra, immediately ordered that his own palace in Portugal be decorated with similar wall tiles. As a tile-laying artist, you have been challenged to embellish the walls of the Royal Palace of Evora.

In the game Azul, players take turns drafting colored tiles from suppliers to their player board. Later in the round, players score points based on how they've placed their tiles to decorate the palace. Extra points are scored for specific patterns and completing sets; wasted supplies harm the player's score. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.

7.8
2-4 Players
30-45 Min
Age: 8+
Complexity: 1.8
Language: 1.0
Not available
at the moment
#3. Rococo

Welcome to the Rococo era during the reign of Louis XV when it’s safe to say that holding lavish balls is quite trendy. Important personalities wrap up in noble coats and dresses, anxious to outshine one another. As the biggest event is coming up in just a few weeks, everyone is turning to you with their requests: an elegant coat here, a stunning dress there, or a donation to fund the fireworks at the event. Soon you realize that it’s not just about your dressmaking business anymore — it’s about managing the most prestigious ball of the era…and now it’s time to ro(c)k!

Rokoko is a Eurostyle board game with an interesting take on deck-building. Each turn you play one of your employee cards and let that employee perform a task: hire a new employee, buy resources, manufacture a coat or dress, or invest in the ball’s decorations. But not every employee is up to every task, so you must choose and lead your employees wisely — especially since each employee grants a unique bonus and some of these bonuses generate prestige points.

After seven rounds, the game ends with the big ball and a final scoring. Then you gain prestige points for certain employee bonuses and for coats and dresses that you rent out to guests at the ball as well as for decorations that you funded. The player who collected the most prestige points wins.

7.6
2-5 Players
60-120 Min
Age: 12+
Complexity: 3.1
Language: 1.0

Welcome to the Rococo era during the reign of Louis XV when it’s safe to say that holding lavish balls is quite trendy. Important personalities wrap up in noble coats and dresses, anxious to outshine one another. As the biggest event is coming up in just a few weeks, everyone is turning to you with their requests: an elegant coat here, a stunning dress there, or a donation to fund the fireworks at the event. Soon you realize that it’s not just about your dressmaking business anymore — it’s about managing the most prestigious ball of the era…and now it’s time to ro(c)k!

Rokoko is a Eurostyle board game with an interesting take on deck-building. Each turn you play one of your employee cards and let that employee perform a task: hire a new employee, buy resources, manufacture a coat or dress, or invest in the ball’s decorations. But not every employee is up to every task, so you must choose and lead your employees wisely — especially since each employee grants a unique bonus and some of these bonuses generate prestige points.

After seven rounds, the game ends with the big ball and a final scoring. Then you gain prestige points for certain employee bonuses and for coats and dresses that you rent out to guests at the ball as well as for decorations that you funded. The player who collected the most prestige points wins.

7.6
2-5 Players
60-120 Min
Age: 12+
Complexity: 3.1
Language: 1.0
Not available
at the moment
#2. Paladins of the West Kingdom

Paladins of the West Kingdom is set at a turbulent time of West Francia's story, circa 900 AD. Despite recent efforts to develop the city, outlying townships are still under threat from outsiders. Saracens scout the borders, while Vikings plunder wealth and livestock. Even the Byzantines from the east have shown their darker side. As noble men and women, players must gather workers from the city to defend against enemies, build fortifications and spread faith throughout the land. Fortunately you are not alone. In his great wisdom, the King has sent his finest knights to help aid in our efforts. So ready the horses and sharpen the swords. The Paladins are approaching.

The aim of Paladins of the West Kingdom is to be the player with the most victory points (VP) at game's end. Points are gained by building outposts and fortifications, commissioning monks and confronting outsiders. Each round, players will enlist the help of a specific Paladin and gather workers to carry out tasks. As the game progresses, players will slowly increase their faith, strength and influence. Not only will these affect their final score, but they will also determine the significance of their actions. The game is concluded at the end of the seventh round.

—description from the publisher

8.0
1-4 Players
90-120 Min
Age: 12+
Complexity: 3.7

Paladins of the West Kingdom is set at a turbulent time of West Francia's story, circa 900 AD. Despite recent efforts to develop the city, outlying townships are still under threat from outsiders. Saracens scout the borders, while Vikings plunder wealth and livestock. Even the Byzantines from the east have shown their darker side. As noble men and women, players must gather workers from the city to defend against enemies, build fortifications and spread faith throughout the land. Fortunately you are not alone. In his great wisdom, the King has sent his finest knights to help aid in our efforts. So ready the horses and sharpen the swords. The Paladins are approaching.

The aim of Paladins of the West Kingdom is to be the player with the most victory points (VP) at game's end. Points are gained by building outposts and fortifications, commissioning monks and confronting outsiders. Each round, players will enlist the help of a specific Paladin and gather workers to carry out tasks. As the game progresses, players will slowly increase their faith, strength and influence. Not only will these affect their final score, but they will also determine the significance of their actions. The game is concluded at the end of the seventh round.

—description from the publisher

8.0
1-4 Players
90-120 Min
Age: 12+
Complexity: 3.7
Not available
at the moment
#1. Carcassonne

Carcassonne is a tile-placement game in which the players draw and place a tile with a piece of southern French landscape on it. The tile might feature a city, a road, a cloister, grassland or some combination thereof, and it must be placed adjacent to tiles that have already been played, in such a way that cities are connected to cities, roads to roads, etcetera. Having placed a tile, the player can then decide to place one of their meeples on one of the areas on it: on the city as a knight, on the road as a robber, on a cloister as a monk, or on the grass as a farmer. When that area is complete, that meeple scores points for its owner.

During a game of Carcassonne, players are faced with decisions like: "Is it really worth putting my last meeple there?" or "Should I use this tile to expand my city, or should I place it near my opponent instead, giving him a hard time to complete their project and score points?" Since players place only one tile and have the option to place one meeple on it, turns proceed quickly even if it is a game full of options and possibilities.

First game in the Carcassonne series.

7.4
2-5 Players
30-45 Min
Age: 7+
Complexity: 1.9
Language: 1.0

Carcassonne is a tile-placement game in which the players draw and place a tile with a piece of southern French landscape on it. The tile might feature a city, a road, a cloister, grassland or some combination thereof, and it must be placed adjacent to tiles that have already been played, in such a way that cities are connected to cities, roads to roads, etcetera. Having placed a tile, the player can then decide to place one of their meeples on one of the areas on it: on the city as a knight, on the road as a robber, on a cloister as a monk, or on the grass as a farmer. When that area is complete, that meeple scores points for its owner.

During a game of Carcassonne, players are faced with decisions like: "Is it really worth putting my last meeple there?" or "Should I use this tile to expand my city, or should I place it near my opponent instead, giving him a hard time to complete their project and score points?" Since players place only one tile and have the option to place one meeple on it, turns proceed quickly even if it is a game full of options and possibilities.

First game in the Carcassonne series.

7.4
2-5 Players
30-45 Min
Age: 7+
Complexity: 1.9
Language: 1.0
Not available
at the moment

Ratings: Top 10 Language Independent Games – with The Brothers Murph

Check "Top 10 Language Independent Games" and find the best price on all items from the top among sellers all over in the Netherlands & Belgium!

#10. Quadropolis

Each player builds their own metropolis in Quadropolis (first announced as City Mania), but they're competing with one another for the shops, parks, public services and other structures to be placed in them.

The game lasts four rounds, and in each round players first lay out tiles for the appropriate round at random on a 5x5 grid. Each player has four architects numbered 1-4 and on a turn, a player places an architect next to a row or column in the grid, claims the tile that's as far in as the number of the architect placed (e.g., the fourth tile in for architect #4), places that tile in the appropriately numbered row or column on the player's 4x4 city board, then claims any resources associated with the tile (inhabitants or energy).

When a player takes a tile, a figure is placed in this now-empty space and the next player cannot place an architect in the same row or column where this tile was located. In addition, you can't place one architect on top of another, so each placement cuts off play options for you and everyone else later in the round. After all players have placed all four architects, the round ends, all remaining tiles are removed, and the tiles for the next round laid out.

After four rounds, the game ends. Players can move the inhabitants and energy among their tiles at any point during the game to see how to maximize their score. At game end, they then score for each of the six types of buildings depending on how well they build their city — as long as they have activated the buildings with inhabitants or energy as required:

Residential buildings score depending on their height

Shops score depending on how many customers they have

Public services score depending on the number of districts in your city that have them

Parks score depending on the number of residential buildings next to them

Harbors score based on the longest row or column of activated harbors in the city

Factories score based on the number of adjacent shops and harbors

Some buildings are worth victory points (VPs) on their own, and once players sum these values with what they've scored for each type of building in their city, whoever has the highest score wins.

7.3
2-4 Players
30-60 Min
Age: 8+
Complexity: 2.2
Language: 1.0
#9. Detective Club

Detective Club is a board game for players who enjoy party games, with simple rules that take just a minute to explain. Intrigue, sudden revelations, limitless creativity, and tons of fun await you in this game! Lead the investigation as a detective, or cover your tracks as the infiltrated conspirator. Discuss, accuse, object and try to convince everyone.

In Detective Club, on each round, one of the players secretly teams up with another — the Conspirator — and tries to make them guess a secret word using just two illustrated cards! Other players are detectives, who also know the word, but don't know the identities of each other. Detectives have to find out who the conspirator is, making sure they don't get accused by their fellow players!

7.4
4-8 Players
45 Min
Age: 8+
Complexity: 1.2
#8. Bärenpark

Up to two thousand pounds in weight and over ten feet tall, the bear is considered the biggest and heaviest terrestrial carnivore in the world. Of course, there is not just "one bear;" on the contrary, there are plenty of subspecies that differ from each other in various aspects. For instance, only the Kodiak bear (ursus arctos middendorffi) weighs about 2,000 lbs. The polar bear (ursus maritimus) weighs "only" 1,100 lbs., but gets much bigger than the Kodiak bear, being as much as 11 ft. tall!

Bärenpark takes you into the world of bears, challenging you to build your own bear park. Would you like another polar bear enclosure or rather a koala* house? The park visitors are sure to get hungry on their tour through the park, so build them places to eat! Whatever your choices are, make sure you get the next building permit and use your land wisely! (* No, koalas aren't bears but they're so cute, we couldn't leave them out of this game!)

In more detail, each player in Bärenpark builds their own bear park, attempting to make it as beautiful as they can, while also using every square meter possible. The park is created by combining polyomino tiles onto a grid, with players scoring for animal houses, outdoor areas, completed construction, and more. The sooner you build it, the better! Cover icons to get new tiles and park sections. The game ends as soon as one player has finished expanding their park, then players tally their points to see who has won.

—description from the publisher

7.4
2-4 Players
30-45 Min
Age: 8+
Complexity: 1.6
#7. Photosynthesis

The sun shines brightly on the canopy of the forest, and the trees use this wonderful energy to grow and develop their beautiful foliage. Sow your crops wisely and the shadows of your growing trees could slow your opponents down, but don't forget that the sun revolves around the forest. Welcome to the world of Photosynthesis, the green strategy board game!

7.1
2-4 Players
30-60 Min
Age: 10+
Complexity: 2.3
#6. Merv: The Heart of the Silk Road

Merv: The Heart of the Silk Road is a tense economic game charting the rise and fall of the greatest city in the world.

In Merv, players are vying to amass power and wealth in the prosperous heart of the Silk Road. Through careful court intrigue, timely donations to the grand mosque, and favorable trade deals, players attempt to redirect as much of that prosperity as possible into their own pockets.

Meanwhile, beyond the city walls Mongol hordes approach. If you help construct the city walls, you give up on precious opportunities to build up your own stature, but leave it unprotected and you will burn with the city. Every decision is weighty and the consequences of each misstep are dire. Will you rise to prominence or fade into oblivion?

—description from the publisher

7.7
1-4 Players
90 Min
Age: 14+
Complexity: 3.4
#5. Dungeon Petz

Become the leader of an imp family that has just started a new business – breeding and selling petz. Sound simple and safe? Well, we forgot to mention that those petz are for Dungeon Lords. This means magical, playful, sometimes angry monsters that constantly desire attention and at the very moment you want them to demonstrate their qualities to buyers they are sick or they poop. Sometimes you are even glad that you got rid of them – but the profit is unbelievable.

Dungeon Petz is a standalone game set in the Dungeon Lords universe. The game consists of several rounds in which players use unusual worker placement mechanisms (players simultaneously prepare different sized groups of imps in order to play sooner than others) to prepare themselves for the uneasy task of raising creature cubs and pleasing their different needs (represented by cards) in order to sell them as grown and scary creatures to Dungeon Lords. In the meantime, they also attend various contests in which they show off their pets, scoring additional points.

7.5
2-4 Players
90 Min
Age: 13+
Complexity: 3.6
Language: 1.0
#4. Azul

Introduced by the Moors, azulejos (originally white and blue ceramic tiles) were fully embraced by the Portuguese when their king Manuel I, on a visit to the Alhambra palace in Southern Spain, was mesmerized by the stunning beauty of the Moorish decorative tiles. The king, awestruck by the interior beauty of the Alhambra, immediately ordered that his own palace in Portugal be decorated with similar wall tiles. As a tile-laying artist, you have been challenged to embellish the walls of the Royal Palace of Evora.

In the game Azul, players take turns drafting colored tiles from suppliers to their player board. Later in the round, players score points based on how they've placed their tiles to decorate the palace. Extra points are scored for specific patterns and completing sets; wasted supplies harm the player's score. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.

7.8
2-4 Players
30-45 Min
Age: 8+
Complexity: 1.8
Language: 1.0
#3. Rococo

Welcome to the Rococo era during the reign of Louis XV when it’s safe to say that holding lavish balls is quite trendy. Important personalities wrap up in noble coats and dresses, anxious to outshine one another. As the biggest event is coming up in just a few weeks, everyone is turning to you with their requests: an elegant coat here, a stunning dress there, or a donation to fund the fireworks at the event. Soon you realize that it’s not just about your dressmaking business anymore — it’s about managing the most prestigious ball of the era…and now it’s time to ro(c)k!

Rokoko is a Eurostyle board game with an interesting take on deck-building. Each turn you play one of your employee cards and let that employee perform a task: hire a new employee, buy resources, manufacture a coat or dress, or invest in the ball’s decorations. But not every employee is up to every task, so you must choose and lead your employees wisely — especially since each employee grants a unique bonus and some of these bonuses generate prestige points.

After seven rounds, the game ends with the big ball and a final scoring. Then you gain prestige points for certain employee bonuses and for coats and dresses that you rent out to guests at the ball as well as for decorations that you funded. The player who collected the most prestige points wins.

7.6
2-5 Players
60-120 Min
Age: 12+
Complexity: 3.1
Language: 1.0
#2. Paladins of the West Kingdom

Paladins of the West Kingdom is set at a turbulent time of West Francia's story, circa 900 AD. Despite recent efforts to develop the city, outlying townships are still under threat from outsiders. Saracens scout the borders, while Vikings plunder wealth and livestock. Even the Byzantines from the east have shown their darker side. As noble men and women, players must gather workers from the city to defend against enemies, build fortifications and spread faith throughout the land. Fortunately you are not alone. In his great wisdom, the King has sent his finest knights to help aid in our efforts. So ready the horses and sharpen the swords. The Paladins are approaching.

The aim of Paladins of the West Kingdom is to be the player with the most victory points (VP) at game's end. Points are gained by building outposts and fortifications, commissioning monks and confronting outsiders. Each round, players will enlist the help of a specific Paladin and gather workers to carry out tasks. As the game progresses, players will slowly increase their faith, strength and influence. Not only will these affect their final score, but they will also determine the significance of their actions. The game is concluded at the end of the seventh round.

—description from the publisher

8.0
1-4 Players
90-120 Min
Age: 12+
Complexity: 3.7
#1. Carcassonne

Carcassonne is a tile-placement game in which the players draw and place a tile with a piece of southern French landscape on it. The tile might feature a city, a road, a cloister, grassland or some combination thereof, and it must be placed adjacent to tiles that have already been played, in such a way that cities are connected to cities, roads to roads, etcetera. Having placed a tile, the player can then decide to place one of their meeples on one of the areas on it: on the city as a knight, on the road as a robber, on a cloister as a monk, or on the grass as a farmer. When that area is complete, that meeple scores points for its owner.

During a game of Carcassonne, players are faced with decisions like: "Is it really worth putting my last meeple there?" or "Should I use this tile to expand my city, or should I place it near my opponent instead, giving him a hard time to complete their project and score points?" Since players place only one tile and have the option to place one meeple on it, turns proceed quickly even if it is a game full of options and possibilities.

First game in the Carcassonne series.

7.4
2-5 Players
30-45 Min
Age: 7+
Complexity: 1.9
Language: 1.0