The Glorious South

Updated: Nov 20, 2019

This Taiwanese game, from publishers GeGe, is something of a curiosity. At its heart is a large cloth reproduction of a 1930's painting, 'Festival on South Street' by Kuo Hsueh-Hu. The painting depicts DaDaoCheng, the bustling business centre of Taipei. It is a picture that is apparently very well known in Taiwan, though few in the West will be familiar with it or the artist that painted it.

In addition to the cloth map, the game comes with a quantity of circular cards. Each of these has an illustration on one side that corresponds to a small area of the painting. The details on the card are enlarged in relation to the portion of the painting that they match. On their other sides, the cards have information putting them into sets.

The game is divided into two parts. Each player (or team of players) takes five cards and tries to spot where they match the painting. Given the level of detail in the painting and the fact that each card represents only a tiny detail, this makes this an essentially 'Where's Wally?' style puzzler. Once a team has correctly paced out all five of their cards, the other team's unplaced cards are discarded and all the cards on the painting are flipped to reveal their text side. Teams then take turns to choose a card with the aim of completing sets and exchanging them for gold ingots.

The 'Where's Wally?' part of the game can be fun, especially as the rules expect it to be played as a race. It is surprisingly challenging and will particularly appeal to children and to adults who enjoy jigsaw puzzles. The set collection and scoring half of the game seems less enthralling. Oddly, the only reward given to the team that gets all its cards out first is that they get first choice in the set collection phase. That does seem to diminish the importance of that first phase. It might have been better, perhaps, if the team who was first to lay out its cards won the unplayed cards of the other team.

As it stands, this is a game where the components are more striking than the game play but many folk will find this attractive for its novelty value.


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