Ponte del Diavolo
English language edition
List Price: $24.95
Your Price: $19.95
(Worth 1,995 Funagain Points!)
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With Ponte del Diavolo, Martin Ebel honors Alex Randolph's most famous game, Twixt, by bringing new elements to this excellent game. In this game, the players build stone bridges over the many canals of Venice. Players score for each successful bridging and for each connected island. Alternative move options and modified target conditions give Ponte del Diavolo its own character, which serves only to remind us more of Twixt.
I'll admit right from the start, that I'm a lover of Abstract Strategy Games. Keep in mind though, that I usually pass on many of the games that come along under the Abstract Category. Why? Because many of them add on rules or exceptions to rules, in an attempt to make their game more abstract and complicated than they really are.
I've always believed that Abstract Strategy Games should be simple, with few rules and a clear goal. With that said, Ponte Del Diavolo passes with flying colors.
To create as many islands with titles as you can and to connect them with bridges. The player that does that the best wins.
The tiles and bridges are all made out of wood.
The light tile player starts out by placing 2 tiles on any two squares of the 10x10 board. The dark tile player can then decide to either play the light tiles for the rest of the game or to continue playing the dark tiles by then placing 2 of them on any empty squares on the board.
On a turn, instead of placing 2 tiles, you can choose to build a bridge between two of your own colored tiles. Bridges can be placed if one of 3 ways.
Each title represents a land mass, with 1,2, or 3 adjacent titles being considered sandbanks and 4 adjacent tiles being considered Islands. An Island can not be adjacent to any other land mass of it's own color, including diagonally. Light and dark tiles can freely being placed next to one another.
ENDING THE GAME:
If the light tile player cannot place any more tiles and chooses not to place a bridge if possible, the dark tile player gets one last turn before the game is scored.
SCORING THE GAME:
Islands all by themselves, without bridges, are worth 1 point each. Islands that are connected by bridges are scored depending upon how many Islands are connected.
2 Islands = 3 Points
3 Islands = 6 Points
4 Islands = 10 Points
5 Islands = 15 Points
6 Islands = 21 Points
7 Islands = 28 Points
8 Islands = 36 Points
In the event of a tie, the person with the most Islands on the board wins. If these are tied, the person with the most bridges wins. If these are tied (unlikely) it's considered a draw.
THOUGHTS ON THE GAME:
Ponte Del Diavolo is one of those rare games with few and simples rules that offers the player so many choices each turn. Do you place a bridge to keep your opponent from playing titles on a certain square. Do you place tiles in such a way as to keep your opponent from being able to build a bridge. Deciding on the best 4 title formations for your Islands all by itself is fun. The game is suppose to represent the bridges and waterways found in Venice. During the course of a game, it's a joy seeing it all come to life. According to the box, this game was invented in memory of Alex Randolph who invented the famous Twixt game. I imagine that Mr. Randolph must be somewhere smiling, with the release of this wonderful new game.