In Plan B games’ Century: Golem you are a trader who travels the Golem road to deliver gems to the far reaches of the world. Through management of your hand cards and trading your gems you are able to buy Golem cards that give you victory points at the completion of the game. With the game play of Century: Spice Road and art that is stand out, how does the Golem edition stack up?
Let’s get this out of the way first – Golem looks fantastic. The art on the cards, especially the Golems, is fantastic and has such an innocent feel about it. There is a massive range of Golems on the cards, and it is always a delight to come across one that you haven’t seen before. On top of the art, there are the gems. If you have kids, this will be the game that they want to play, from the colours to the tactile feel of the gems in your hand, to them clinking in their trays, the gems are a real draw of this game. So overall, like I say, this game looks fantastic and from a looks perspective there is really nothing to fault it.
I really enjoy Golem, but I’m not sure whether that is because of the art first and the game play second. In each turn you must make a decision:
- Play a card – these have varied abilities whether it be to upgrade you gems, get a gem, or swap one (or more) for another;
- Rest – pick up the cards that you have played – you can’t reuse a card until you have rested and placed it back in your hand;
- Pick up a card from the centre – these are these ability cards which create your efficiency engine;
- Buy a card – purchase a Golem card (these are where the victory points are)
There are a few other factors, such as bonus coins, but that is all part of the setup – which we won’t go into here. Now, the game looks like it should play quickly but I do believe that it is one of those games that can get people stuck in there analysis paralysis. In trying to work out what is the best move to build their efficiency, I often find that players will get stuck trying to figure out what their next move is. But then there is the opposite problem, like I said, it looks like it should play quickly so other people will just flick cards around willy-nilly and then be massively outscored. So, the point is, that you have to make sure that the players you are playing with match what you want out of this game and that is about the only negative (and maybe more prominent in this game, but a common issue for many games).
I find that the game play is smooth and despite some AP the moves will continue around the table pretty quickly. As mentioned about kids and this game though, due to it being a bit abstract in the engine building area, probably older kids are best suited for this game (12 and up at least). If you love the other Century games, I would say that this is definitely up your alley, but if you own Spice Road it is pretty similar to what is already in that game. Alternatively, if you like games like Jaipur, that are simple to play but have a deeper strategy this is also a game that I think you will get a lot of enjoyment out of.
Most retailers have Century: Golem edition at the moment – you can also pick it up online from Mighty Ape