Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Arabian Nights, like Arabian Days (Shahrazad)

One more night, one more day to live.  Shahrazad crafts her stories so well, just to keep the king wanting to know more.  The stories live on, and continue to keep her alive.  However, who knows how much the king will like the next story?  Time will tell, and so will Shahrazad.

GAME DESCRIPTION: Shahrazad is a tile game published by Osprey Games for 1-2 players.  The goal is to play matching tiles to score points, either solo or cooperatively.

SET-UP:  Shuffle the tiles and place them face-down.  The player or players are dealt 2 tiles, and 1 is place face-up in the middle.  If playing with 2 Players, keep your hand secret, but you may discuss what is in your hand without revealing it.

TURNS:  A turn consists of drawing 1 tile from the deck, and placing it face-up directly above or below a tile, or in the next row to the left or right touching the tile and offset half-way up or down the tile.  Alternatively, a player may swap a tile from their hand instead of playing a tile, but they must play 2 tiles next turn, and cannot swap that turn.  In a single player game, columns have a max limit of 4, whereas with 2 players the max limit is 3.

SCORING:  Each tile is 1 of 4 colors: red, black, yellow, and blue.  Each tile also has a number in the top corners, and the goal is to play the numbers left to right from lowest to highest.  If there is a tile that has a lower number to its right, flip over the higher number.  Then, follow the tiles from left to right as a path.  Any tile that does not make from the far left tile(s) to the far right tile(s) is flipped, and gaps and flipped over tiles do not count.  If an entire column is flipped, score 0 points for that round.  Finally, count how many tiles of matching colors there are for each color, and score once for each color, and the highest amount of matching tiles of that color.

POINTS:  Once you have scored, remove any face-down tiles for the rest of the game, shuffle and re-deal.  Once you have played and scored 2 rounds, the game is over.  Add up both sets of points to determine your final score.

CONCLUSION:  Shahrazad is a score attack game, where the object is less about winning and more about personal challenge.  This game is going to appeal to a very small demographic, especially since games like Solitaire exist, making it easier to play with a standard deck instead of having to buy a whole new game.  This game is also designed to be played with 1 player more than it is with a friend.  The restriction of 3 tiles per column just adds to the difficulty, even if you now have twice as many tiles as before.  Shahrazad is a niche game, but I can see the appeal, if only for solo players.

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