Carcassonne: The Official Board Game - The Review
So for those gamers out there, not familiar with this board game; It was released back in 2015 and featured tiles you would place on the board and would usually consist of spending 60 minutes playing. These tiles would consist of roads, fields, city pieces, Monastery, towns etc. The object of the game was to build the longest roads, biggest cities, you catch where I'm going with this. You take it in turns to go and by placing tiles it is possible to block your opponents. This is a game of strategy and cunning moves to steal the win. Also, you have a certain amount of tokens to use and can only be placed once per turn. Once roads and cities are complete, they earn you points and tokens back to reuse. Just be careful because your opponent can block you and then those tokens are lost for bonus points, which help you get that early lead.
So I dived straight into the deep end with my first game not having a clue what I was doing, I began by following the tutorial and learning the ropes which seem quite simple, but also very constricted to having to place where you are told rather than as a guideline. Meaning it felt more like a walkthrough tutorial of learning, rather than letting me read and do the moves as required; as usually, later tutorials give you the freedom to put what you learnt in practice to finish the game.
On the whole though, it is a great little game offering unique experiences and a nice chilled strategy inducing game. It gets you thinking to win and offers a real curveball with medium and hard AI being really hard to beat. I’ve yet to win a game other than the tutorial and have tried so hard. The games can go much quicker in the game and takes a lot of the manual labor out of the game. It currently features Solo play against AI or online play against others. The tiles are given in a random order each time and you have to choose the best way to make the most points from each go. Meeples need to be placed strategically so your opponent doesn’t block you from completing roads cities etc and scoring crucial big points.
There isn’t much else to explain about this game, but it truly offers that perfect downtime that other games don’t offer. I’m not much of a strategy gamer but the test is unwinding and relaxing compared to an action shooter, this can be a great game to play after a hards day at work alone and give you hours of fun. If you get bored of playing against the AI, you can go online and experience other gamers. The game is played no different, but you are timed, having a maximum of 30 minutes to finish the game.
Overall the graphics are unique in they offer a painted medieval vibe about it and is really realistic in it offering the best visual experience I have encountered with offering the right art from the gameplay offered. The gameplay is quick concise and is not too slow, which can cause boredom pretty quickly with long turns. However it features no kind of campaign, which could be both educational and mind-bending; while offering pre-made boards that require working out the best moves and since it features real places on the board games, it could offer some campaign missions in regards to some histories in the world like the wars and other historical moments back in the day.
I decided to award the score I did, due to it offering a great escape from everyday lives while not breaking the budget. The graphics and gameplay are both on par for what is offered. However the campaign side and few modes offered lets the game down and feels like there could be more to offer. I would recommend a buy especially for fans of the series of board games wanting to game with their friends, when they can’t be in the same room.
Overall Score: 6.5/10
Developer: Asmodee Digital, Frima Studio
Publisher: Asmodee Digital
Release Date: 29th November 2017
Price: £6.99 - Digital
File Size: 2GB
Available on Steam.
Steam copy provided for review purposes.
Reviewed by Sam Haydon