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from 4 customer reviews
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Discover the treasures of Tutankhamen. Alabaster lamps, golden daggers and splendid masks lie waiting for you. But beware -- other players may snatch the most valuable treasures from right before your eyes. Riches and fame await the archeologists who chooses the best path.
Wow, what a great game. Definitely not quick and light fare, especially if you take your gameplaying seriously. With two players it is a brain-wrecking game of strategy. Very, very simple to play, but you are constantly watching the path of treasures and what your opponent has accumulated so far that it may take some time for a player to make his/her move (set a time limit). Absolutely no luck here, it's you and your brain, good luck!
I play most of my games with my family and they usually have a limit to the amount of time they will sit and listen to game rules. This hamstrings me in many ways, because I am forced to stick to games that are generally pretty simple. Therefore, I have a great affinity for Out of the Box (OOTB) games, as they usually have a very small amount of rules but are still entertaining and strategic despite their simplicity. Tutankhamen is my newest OOTB game and it still fits in the category of easy to learn, but it's got some flaws I didn't expect from OOTB.
I should clarify that most of my reviews are influenced SLIGHTLY by my wife, Rikki's opinion of the game (something I will mention briefly in all future reviews), and she did not like Tutankhamen at all.
Plus sides to the game:
Down sides to the game:
My overall feeling of Tutankhamen is good. I like the way the game is played, and I like the strategy. I was a little disappointed with some of the components, but I am willing to overlook that. 3 stars.
I stumbled across some folks playing Tutankhamen (Out of the Box Games, 2004 -- Reiner Knizia) at Origins and was immediately interested in the winding board that the players were using. The game looked unlike any other OOTB game I had played, and it was a bit difficult to understand what was going on merely by glancing at the game, so I stayed and watched the entire game. Then I stayed and played another game. Then, after getting my own copy, I played it several times with other folks. I wasn't a huge fan of the game, but something kept me playing it, over and over again.
Tutankhamen follows the traditional OOTB formula by being extremely simple, although the strategies are a bit more elusive than their typical game. It's a fun game that can easily be taught to anyone, and games are short yet satisfying. Scoring can be a bit fiddly (especially if players forget to score -- a common occurrence in our games); but if people watch carefully, Tutankhamen is very enjoyable. It scaled well between two and six players, although I believe that I like it more with fewer players (it's not a bad two player game!).
A hollow, plastic pyramid with a slit in it (reminding me of a piggy bank) is placed on one side of the table. A pile of keyhole-shaped tiles (seventy of them) are shuffled and placed face up, making a winding trail leading outwards from the base of the pyramid. A triangular tile (King Tut) is placed on the pyramid, and each player takes a pawn of their color, placing it at the end of the trail furthest from the pyramid. Each player receives a pile of coins (14 - 32, depending on the number of players); one player is chosen to go first; and the game is ready to begin.
On a player's turn, they must move their pawn forward on the track of tiles. A player can move their pawn as far as they wish but can never move backwards. The player takes the tile that their pawn lands on and places it face up in front of them with the turn passing to the next player. If the player is the farthest player back on the track, and they have moved past any tiles, those tiles are removed from the game.
There are fifteen "sets" of tiles -- some of them only have one tile in their set, others having two, four, six, or eight. Each set is distinguished by a different picture and color, and the tiles have a number in the corner, noting how many tiles there are of that set. Whenever the last tile of a set is removed -- whether by a player taking it, or it being removed from the game -- that set of tiles is immediately scored. The player who has the most tiles from that set scores points equal to the number of tiles in the set. They indicate this scoring by dropping coins into the pyramid. The player who has the second highest number scores half of the points on the tile. Ties for first place give players half the points each; ties for second place score nothing. All tiles in the scored set are then discarded.
Some special tiles are included with the game. "Bag of Gold" tiles allow a player to "buy" a tile from another player. They may steal a tile of their choice from another player, but the player stolen from may place a coin in the pyramid as consolation. "Pharoah" tiles (including the King Tut tile, which is given to the first player to reach the pyramid, act as wild tiles. When sets are scored, the player may add these tiles to their tiles from any particular set to help them gain a majority.
When a player reaches the end of the track, they no longer move on their turn but can still score points when sets are completed. The first player to deposit all of their coins into the pyramid is the winner! Also (I've never seen this), if all players complete the track, then the player with the fewest coins is the winner!
Some comments on the game...
If you're looking for a light game that can be easily taught and scales from two to six (with an emphasis on two or three), then Tutankhamen is a good choice. The cool pyramid and simplicity of play allow the game to be used to draw new players into board gaming. In fact, that's what I found Tutankhamen is best used for. With a group of serious gamers, I could play Tut but would often pass in favor of games with a little more "meat". But when grabbing new people to play games, I can't think of many games that are as easy and simple to play, while offering strategy and fun in one small box.
"Real men play board games."