A little while ago after seeing photos of Istanbul the dice game I wasn’t sure about it. Jonathan also had doubts, not sure what sparked those. But we both agreed that we’d wait to see some reviews first before deciding whether to buy it or not.
What I hadn’t remembered at the time was I’d already pre-ordered it! So imagine my surprise when Meeples Corner told me it was ready to be sent.
The game arrived mid week. Which after messaging Jonathan was going to definitely be hitting the table on Friday. The bigger question was would the expansion for Nations the dice game arrive in time?
Come Friday the evening the answer was sadly no. Yodel tracking was not informative as to where it was. It had left the Newton Abbot depot Thursday morning , and hadn’t been tracked since!
Which brings us nicely to last night and the two games Jonathan, Diego, Edmund and myself played.
As you might have guessed from the big clue earlier our first game of the evening was Istanbul the dice game.
History and records will show that I did indeed win this game.
In the past few years there have been dice versions of more substantial, complicated games. Roll for the Galaxy (Race for the Galaxy), Nations the dice game (Nations), Biblios dice (Biblios) etc. And these lighter, streamlined games have not only captured the feel of the bigger brother, but in some cases been preferred. Or that’s how some reviewers have spoken about these games. Although I can’t really speak about this because I don’t have the big brother version of those games, and have not played them. But I do enjoy the dice versions of those bigger games. I think this will be the first time I’ve played both the big brother and the dice version.
This is a nice game. There is an engine building mechanic, buying tiles that give you a boost, such as get 3 coins at the start of your turn, or get a gem that allows you to reroll dice at the start of your turn, or get an extra die to roll each turn. Without getting the tiles you won’t stand a chance of winning.
You have a large luck element to the game with having just the single dice roll each turn (unless you have a gem to spend to allow you to reroll). But despite that you are never stuck for an action to perform on your turn. One of those actions being able to get a gem.
Does it capture the spirit of the original game? I think it does. The collecting rubies, which you get by buying them, or swapping resources for, is there.
It’s a nice, quick, light game. For me not as good as it’s big brother. But that was always going to be a hard act to follow. The price is really good at £23. I think I’d happily play this with none gamers. Something I’d not do with the big brother (especially with all its expansions added in which is my preferred way to play it).
Our second and final game of the evening was London. Which after the dust had settled, money counted, poverty adjusted, saw Diego claim the victory.
It was a great evening gaming with great friends, at a great location.