We played Splendor at Compulsory Merriment this week. It’s a chill game where everybody takes turns gathering gem tokens. Then you spend the tokens on cards that offer permanent gems and, sometimes, points. Once you gather enough gems, you also attract a Noble card for even more points.

Mandi won, of course, because that’s the rule. She told Chris he could have won. Chris explained that he thought one Noble was particularly cute so he wanted to collect him first. Mandi argued that Chris could have won if he payed attention. I had a shamefully low number of points so I didn’t feel qualified to weigh in. I played it like a magpie–just collecting every sparkly gem I could find. Turns out, the correct strategy is to start buying point cards as quickly as you can.

We all liked Splendor, all arguments aside–not to mention the soul-crushing despair of losing. Badly. Splendor is very easy to learn and quick to set up. The components are high quality. It’s a good game for beginners with enough strategy to satisfy the competitive.

30 minutes playtime, 2-4 players, Ages 10+