This week we are looking at Zestrea, a marriage negotiation board game, which is currently live on Kickstarter. Why Zestrea for the Kickstarter of the week? More below, but I love that this game is made by an independent team from Romania who seem to have had a great deal of fun in creating and sharing this game, and isn’t that what this hobby is all about?
From the Kickstarter:
Experience ridiculous Romanian traditions, arrange weddings & survive Hard Times in a beautiful, witty game
Valiant Game Studio were kind enough to send me an advance prototype copy of Zestrea to check out and I have to say that it looks fantastic. The game also looks great with beautiful illustrations by Maria Surducan and is reminiscent of games like Azul, with it’s multi coloured tiles.
Now I have to admit that I have yet to play it yet, however, that is only because I have had a lack of people to play with recently.
Having read the rules, Zestrea plays best with 3-6 players and has a high level of negotiation and social interaction involved in the game, which is what I am most looking forward to. The game revolves around the idea that you are a Boyar (noble) aiming to be the richest in the land by having the most land and Zestre (currency) by the end of the game. To do this you will go through production and feeding phases but you will also go through a Negotiation phase, which is where the fun really lies.
So you want a new wife for a strapping young lad in your village? Then you are going to have to negotiate with other players to get the attention of the young woman and to determine who pays the cost (in Zestre) for the wedding. If you convince someone you then roll a die and on a 1 or 2 the marriage is a success (there are Fate cards which can also change the probability of a wedding occurring). If successful, you get a new couple to feed and hold land (meaning points) and the Boyar of the woman’s village gets a Fate card to play at a later time. From what I have seen and heard so far, the negotiation aspect of the game is the strongest part and encourages a high level of social interaction and engagement to make sure that you get your weddings across the line.
The game ends after all the turns are completed (by turning Hard Times) cards and then totals are tallied, land, currency and most marriages being the scoring tracks.
We will get a full review up in time, however Zestrea is currently 100% funded on Kickstarter with a few weeks still left to run on the campaign, so I highly recommend to get over there and check it out!