Century: Spice Road has been one of this year’s biggest hit games. It’s an attractively produced card game which is quick to learn and easy to play. In their turn, players can take any one of four actions:
play a card from their hand, taking the action indicated
take to their hand a card from the market
fulfil one of the point-scoring demand cards
take back into their hand all the cards they’ve played previously.
The simplicity and lightning speed of the game was a huge part of its appeal, tho’ that was boosted too by the high production values: large-format cards, metal coins and attractive bowls for the wooden ‘spice’ cubes.
When Century: Spice Road was launched, we were told that this would be the first of a series of similar games, with subsequent games representing trade in different centuries (hence the ‘Century’ name).
Century: Golem is not intended as part of that series. Instead it is actually a re-theming of Century: Spice Road. It is exactly the same game but with different artwork. With the Golem edition, however, Plan B have further excelled themselves. Where, in the original game, players were collecting and trading cubes representing spices, they are here collecting and trading large brightly coloured crystals. These look and feel spectacular in play, especially when the game is played on the beautiful neoprene mat that has been produced as an optional extra.
If you need thematic explanation, then in this Golem version, the crystals are used to recruit friendly Golem (the point-scoring cards). The point to stress though is that the artwork on all the cards is immediately appealing. The white containers for the crystals don’t individually look as striking as the bowls in the original game but you’ll like the way the cartons dovetail together in the box under a clear plastic lid that stops the crystals sliding about when you pack the game away.
If you already have Century: Spice Road you don’t need Century: Golem because they are really the same game. Once you see the Golem edition, though, you will probably want it anyway.