Gameday First Play – Century: Spice Road

Posted on by Jesta

“I wanted to see how flavours, spices, and grains travelled back and forth along the Silk Road and were interpreted by a multitude of cultures’ palates.”

~ Hanya Yanagihara

In Century: Spice Road, players are caravan leaders who travel the famed silk road to deliver spices to the far reaches of the continent for fame and glory.

In this game, players are going to build a small engine made of cards that gather and upgrade cubes which can be traded in for point cards. That’s it basically…

Everyone starts with 2 cards, one that adds 2 Yellow cubes to their supply and the other that upgrades 2 cubes. By upgrade, I mean change colour from Yellow to Red, Red to Green or Green to Brown. Brown is best.

On your turn you can do one of 4 things, the first is to play a card and get its effect.

These are 4 cards I played, they stay in front of you.

The second action is to gain a new card from those available. You can take the one on the end for free, but if you want one from further down the line you need to place a cube on each card you skip.

The 3rd action is to trade in cubes from your supply for a point card.

Two of the point scoring cards give you bonus point coins if you take them.

The final action you can take is to rest and pick up all the cards you’ve played back into your hand.

When someone has scored 5 cards everyone takes equal turns and the game ends, most points wins.

Positives

A nice and simple game.

The art is pretty nice with clear iconography.

Getting cards that work well together is satisfying.

Negatives

You’re gaining cubes, changing their colour and trading them in… That’s it.

If the tarot-sized cards were regular size, the box could be smaller

Metal coins seem like a complete waste of time when the other components are plain cubes.

You don’t have chips to fiddle with like in Splendor.

The theme is boring, they could have picked anything and once upon a time a more interesting “Crystal Golem” version was planned. I probably would have bought that day one but this dull ‘Spice’ theme put me off.

Summary

I’ll probably be made to play this several times in the coming months, but I’ll never suggest it. I’m still bitter I didn’t get my Crystal Golem Edition.

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