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Res Publica
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Store:  Card Games, Family Games, Sale
Edition:  Res Publica
Theme:  Ancient Rome
Genre:  Civilization Building, Trading
Format:  Card Games

Res Publica

English language edition

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Ages Play Time Players
10+ 30 minutes 3-5

Designer(s): Reiner Knizia

Manufacturer(s): Avalanche Press

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Product Description

Three to five players engage in trade to build cities, acquire technology and erect monuments. Lead the Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans or the mysterious Atlanteans into a bold new future. Will you build a new level of civilization or sink into hopeless barbarism? Find out in Res Publica, the exciting game for players ages 10 and up from master designer Reiner Knizia.

Players trade people cards in hopes of acquiring enough to build a city. Once a city is erected, a player draws technology cards and attempts to acquire enough to build a monument representing the advance. The player with the most advanced civilization wins.

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Reiner Knizia

  • Manufacturer(s): Avalanche Press

  • Year: 1999

  • Players: 3 - 5

  • Time: 30 minutes

  • Ages: 10 and up

  • Weight: 360 grams

  • Language Requirements: This is an international edition or domestic edition of an imported item. Manufacturer's rules are printed in English.

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 3.5 in 4 reviews

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by Ben
Back-up Game
March 12, 2002

If all games go bad, play this! One of the best trading card games. Every gamer should have this. Takes about 15min to get the hang of it but its worth it. Only fun with 4 or more players but can be played with 3. This game is worth its value and it can be played in any location. Anybody can learn this. Have fun!

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
A rather tricky trading game
March 21, 1999

Res Publica is a very interesting card game which reminds me of a sort of slow motion Pit (Parker Brothers).

The object of the game is to collect sets of cards. You get to draw the first sort of card (people) at the end of each of your turns. When you turn in a set of 5 people, you receive a village--which allows you to draw the second sort of cards for each one you possess. These civilization cards can be turned in (in sets of 5) for more victory points.

Of course the important part of this game is trading. On your turn you get to make ONE offer. This can be something you are looking for, or are offering up for auction. Each opponent gets ONE chance to either offer or request. You can then pick from the best counter offer.

Over the course of the game, you have to be very careful about watching what other players are looking for, and keep this in mind. And making the correct counter offer is critical as trading advances the game.

The game moves along nicely with lots of carefully worded trades. The only downside is that the first players to get their villages seem to be at a rather significant advantage. And sometimes the card deck order will keep a player from completing a set for some time. And this happens in about a third of the games I have played, and is the only reason I keep it from being 5 stars.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
A fine rummy variant with trading.
May 16, 2004

Make no mistake about it: this isn't a trick-taking game, and there are no genine auctions. What the award-winning Reiner Knizia has crafted is a very challenging and interactive card game that builds on traditional rummy games and incorporates a trading mechanism a few steps up from Go Fish or Pit.

Players draw or trade cards in order to meld cards of the same ancient civilization (e.g. Romans, Egyptians, Greeks, Phoenicians, and Atlanteans), and later, skills/knowledge (e.g. navigation, metallurgy, alchemy), displaying them as they are created to earn bonuses such as city cards and the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World ---- all of which add up to score in the end.

The interesting trading rules are a bit different than, say, Settlers of Catan, but not at all complicated.

The card set in the Avalanche Press edition is one of the most beautifully rendered ever, and actually provide the only 'ancient civilization' theme flavor in the game.

All in all, Res Publica is an excellent card game that's suitable for both family gamings, as well as strategy gamers. If you're into card games (and especially rummy games), I highly recommend it.

Unique verbal interplay.
July 13, 1999

Take the feel of Settlers of Catan and combine it with any trick taking card game, and you have Res Publica. One of those "you must have such-and-such before you can build such-and-such" games. However, this being strictly a card game, with a very unique player interaction/bidding-type system, is what makes this game worth playing. To obtain the sets of tribe or civilization cards you need to garner points, each player in turn has two options in the way to request a trade of cards. You may request one or two types of cards, as in, "I'm looking for . . .". Or, you may offer one or two types of cards from your hand, as in, "I have . . .". But, you cannot do both in the same turn! This process goes around the table with the other players presenting their offers, and you choose which one, if any, you wish to accept. This verbal interplay is the major strategic element of the game, with the rest of the game mainly being a lay-your-groups-and-draw-more-cards routine.

The high quality cards and graphics accent the theme of growing civilizations very nicely, also giving a microcosm semblance of playing the Civilization board game. For a unique and fun 45 minute card game with a sound theme and excellent interplay, Res Publica fits the bill nicely.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.

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