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Ken Follett's trilogy of best-selling historical novels have each spawned a board game version. The best known is Pillars of the Earth (Kosmos) - the game of the first book in the series, designed by Michael Rieneck and Stefan Stadler. The same designers came up with the game for World Without End, the second book in the series. By the time, Ken Follett's third book A Column of Fire was published, Kosmos' involvement was so well established that Michael Rieneck's game of the book appeared ahead of the book! That's not been the case with the game of Ken Follett's prequel The Evening and The Morning (in effect, the fourth title in the 'trilogy') - this game has taken a couple of years to make it to retail, at least in its English version.

Unlike Michael Rieneck's trilogy games, Kingsbridge: The Game isn't so much a game of the book. Instead, Wolfgang Kramer has put together a card game that's essentially a multi-player variant of Patience played with cards numbered 1-13, each citing as flavour text an occurrence from Ken Follett's The Evening and The Morning.

The game is simple enough. The 1-5 players divvy up as equally as possible the 104-card deck comprising eight sets of cards 1-13. They draw a hand of six cards from their individual decks. Six starter cards are placed out at random. On your turn you play cards from your hand that are one higher than those on display. As in conventional Patience, you can move one pile to join another, freeing up a slot to which you can play any card. The game is won by the first player to get through their individual deck.

To boost the link with The Evening and The Morning, the game also comes with 10 cards representing characters from the novel. These too are divvied up between the players and each gives access to a once-per-turn special ability. They add variety to the game but in our Board's Eye View plays the consensus view was that they made the game too easy. You can treat the character cards tho' as entirely optional.

If you're a fan of the book, the Kingsbridge game may be a disappointment: the tie-in with the novel feels pasted on rather than integral to the design. However, if you enjoy Patience and are keen to try a multiplayer version of what is usually a solitaire game, then Kingsbridge could be just what you are looking for.

#Kingsbridge #cardgame #Patience #solo #solitaire #TheEveningandTheMorning #PillarsoftheEarth #multiplayerpatience #KenFollett

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