Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Shahrazad (Osprey Games)

In 1,001 Arabian Nights, Shahryar (the king) was married to a woman he loved. He found out that she cheated on him and had her killed. Because of her unfaithfulness, he vowed to never experience this again and marry (and kill) a new woman every day. After doing this for 1,000 nights he was introduced to Shahrazad. Each night, she would tell him a story, but not finish the story, so that he would keep her alive another night to finish the story and start another one. This went on for 1,001 nights until she was out of stories and he had fallen in love with her. Osprey Games visits this theme in the game ShahrazadShahrazad is a game for 1-2 players, ages 8+. It takes about 10 minutes to play and retails for $20.

Setup
1. Shuffle the Story Tiles.
2. Place one of the tiles face up in the middle.
3. Deal two tiles to each player, which they must keep secret from each other.
4. Place the rest of the tiles face-down in a stack.
Game Play - On your turn, you will either place a new tile or replace an existing tile. Your tiles must always be kept secret from other players, until they are revealed. After they are revealed, you may then discuss on where to best place the tile.

Placing a tile - A tile must touch at least one existing tile. When placing a tile above or below an existing tile, you must remember that a column may only have three tiles in it. When placing a tile to the left or the right of a tile, you must offset the new tile, halfway up or halfway down from the adjacent tile.

Replacing a tile - When you replace a tile, you remove one tile from the area and put it in your hand. You then put the new tile in the exact same location. After drawing a new tile, you will now have three tiles in your hand, so you must place two tiles next turn.

Scoring - Going from left to right, check each column. If any tile is touching a lower-numbered tile to its right, flip the higher-numbered tile over. Now, each face up tile should form a path from the left-most column to the right-most column. Any tiles that don't form a path are also flipped over. Now, find the largest group size for each color (red, blue, yellow, and black) and score one point for each tile in that group. Subtract one point for each face-down tile and one point for each gap. This is your score for Round One.

Round Two - Remove all face-down tiles in the game. Choose one column and keep it in play to form your starting area. Remove the rest of the tiles from the play area, re-shuffle them and play out and score Round Two, the same as Round One. Add your two scores together to get your final score and see how much the Sultan likes your story.
Review
Shahrazad is a fun little tile-laying game set in the universe of 1,001 Arabian Nights...to a degree. You take on the role of Shahrazad in that you are trying to tell a coherent tale, but the actual tiles are not tales from 1,001 Arabian Nights, I believe. Instead, you see Pinocchio, Beauty and the Beast, and Rapunzel, just to name a few, so that seemed a bit off to me. The component quality is high and the artwork is evocative. The game says it plays one to two players, but I would consider it best as a solo game, and then I would consider it more puzzle than game. It is fun trying to beat your previous best scores and see how good of a story you can actually tell.

This game was provided to me for free by Osprey Games in exchange for an honest review.