Game Review: Carcassonne
Reviewed by Laura Davis
Age: 8 years and up
Time to play: 40 minutes
Price: $19.50 - $25.00
Available from: Gateplay.com, Amazon.com, AreYouGame.com, Target.com
Published by: Rio Grande Games
Score the highest number of points by carefully placing your landscape tiles and followers. (Followers are the people-shaped game pieces.)
All players draw and add tiles to construct the settlement of Carcassonne, a medieval French city.
Shuffle all landscape tiles and divide into several face-down stacks. Draw one landscape tile from a stack, and place it so that matching land attributes always connect. Each tile will have some combination of the four attributes: Road, Farm, City, and Cloister.
After placing the drawn tile, decide whether to put one of your colored followers onto one of the land attributes of the tile just played. Placement of the follower determines what function they serve: On a farm, it is a farmer; In a city, it is a knight; On a road, it is a thief; and in a cloister, your follower is a monk.
For each completed city, road, and cloister, your follower earns you immediate points. A follower from a completed area then rejoins your stock for further play. Farmers, though, are scored at the end of the game, earning points for each completed city that they supply.
Carcassonne is one of the staple games of our household. It is extremely popular both with longtime gamers and new players. The unpredictable placement of the 72 land tiles insure that each game is unique, so the gameplay stays fresh. Deciding where to place your tiles in order to maximize your points and simultaneously block your opponents is very challenging.
There are several expansion sets available, to increase the fun and challenge of Carcassonne. So, if you really like it, there’s always more!
The process for scoring the farms can get a bit heated, once you begin to play with the River Extension (12 additional tiles, included with the base game.) Decide together at the start of the game whether farms will stretch around the spring where the river begins, and the lake, where it ends, if no other connecting tiles make it obvious to do so.
On the Davis Scale
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Laura Davis is a writer based in the Fort Worth, TX area.