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Queen's Necklace
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Queen's Necklace

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Product Awards:  

Ages Play Time Players
8+ 30-45 minutes 2-4

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Product Description

Paris, on the eve of the French Revolution... The Queens necklace is missing -- and soon enough her neck may follow! From the slums, where purse-snatchers and courtesans work their respective trades, to the inner salons of the Louvre, where confessors, royal astrologers, musketeers and court favorites mingle and scheme in hushed conversations -- the position of the Kings jeweler has suddenly become a lot more dangerous!

Players take the roles of Royal Jewelers who vie to sell rare jewels to the Queen and her court. Over 100 cards represent jewels and various characters inhabiting the court. Each player must best decide how to spend their hard-earned ducats: on the acquisition of beautiful gems -- diamonds, emeralds, and rubies; or to buy the favors of the various court followers. After three years of craftsmanship, the jeweler who sells the most precious gems and builds the largest fortune will receive the coveted title of Kings Jeweler and a place at the Court!

Product Awards

Games Magazine Awards
Family Card Game Nominee, 2005
Games Magazine Awards
Best Family Card Game, 2004

Product Information


  • 110 cards
  • the queen's necklace
  • 5 golden rings
  • 12 Scoring tiles
  • 1 rules booklet
  • 1 Days of Wonder Webcard

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.7 in 6 reviews

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by Owen
Excellent Family Game
November 02, 2006

We purchased this game about two years ago as part of a fairly large crop of games we got all at the same time because we wanted to do some game playing to help foster quality family time. Over the next year, Queen's Necklace easily won out as the most popular. To give you some idea, Carcassonne was next most popular but was considered too intense at times for the kids (they got pretty mad about swings in the game).

Overall this is a really great game and one that is very easy for kids to play level with adults very quickly and which rewards differing strategies - the balance is really very very good.

This game is so great that my friends and I just can't stop!
March 11, 2004

I bought this game coz it gorgeous layout but with little expectation for it at first.

However, once we learned how to play this game, we just can't stop playing it. A fun, enjoyable & variable game. You don't know who will be the winner before it ends. On my last game section, having 160 marks after 2 sale-days make me belevie I will be the winner (coz except 1 of the players got 60 marks, all other player got 0 mark at the time). However 1 of the 0-mark-players using his good strategy, he earn 170 marks in the last sale-day and become the winner!! Ooch ~_~

Fun in the court of the Sun King.
January 07, 2004

I had the great pleasure of speaking with Eric Hautemont of Days of Wonder while attending the Gathering of Friends get-together in April 2003. He informed me that Days of Wonder was taking an approach of releasing games with very high production qualities, even though this meant that they might carry a higher retail price. He felt that customers would appreciate the high quality and the games would gain a good reputation.

Only time will tell if this marketing approach succeeds, but I certainly cant argue with the quality of the games they have released so far. The latest two Mystery of the Abbey and Queens Necklace are both top notch in the production category and include some little features and components that, although really unnecessary for game play, are very nice touches and add atmosphere to the games. Queens Necklace even comes with an actual necklace!

Bruno Faidutti has teamed with Bruno Cathala to give us Queens Necklace. As Ive mentioned several times previously and is quite evident from some of our pleasant exchanges on various internet gaming forums, Bruno Fs tastes in games dont exactly match mine. I always approach his games with a certain degree of trepidation. Still, I marvel at his creativity and would be hard-pressed to find a more friendly and gentle man.

I had the tremendous honor and pleasure of learning Queens Necklace from both Bruno and Eric while at the Gathering. Experiences such as this fall within the realm of surreal for me. Of course, there was the fear that I wouldnt enjoy the game and be forced to render less than favorable remarks if asked my opinion. To my great relief, I thoroughly enjoyed the game and felt it was high-up on my scale of Bruno favorites.

Each player represents one of the kings jewelers, attempting to craft and sell the most desirable and valuable jewels in the kingdom. Players purchase various gems with which to craft their jewels. In addition, they must spend money to influence (or bribe, in more crude terms!) various members of the kings court including the king himself! Three times per game, players display their gems in hopes of selling them and gaining a healthy profit.

There are four types of gems in the game: diamonds, emeralds, rubies and amber. These gems are represented on four tiles as well as on numerous cards in the deck. The four tiles are mixed and randomly placed in a row on the table, which determines the order of their fashion-ability. These are marked by placing the four fashion tiles, one each above each of the gems. The gem that is most fashionable (the one placed underneath the #1 tile) is worth more than the gem that is least fashionable. The price ranges from a high of 30 to a low of zero. This fashion order can be altered during the course of the game by the play of the appropriate card (the Favorite).

The thick deck of cards contains 59 gem cards, depicting from 1 3 gems apiece. There are also over 35 special cards, including various characters, rings, etc. These are thoroughly mixed and four are dealt to each player. Then, three merchant cards are divided and dispersed into the deck, one of which is mixed into the final five cards. Five of these cards are then revealed and placed face-up in a row.

Each card depicts a 5-space track which displays the cost to purchase a card. The cost decreases each turn that the card remains un-purchased, eventually causing it to be discarded if no one purchases it after four turns. The current cost of each card is indicated by a small gold ring that slid down with each passing turn.

A players turn is quite simple:

1) Influence. The player may play as many influence cards (blue cards) from his hand as he desires. These cards are characters from the kings court and can be used to perform a variety of actions. Some of the cards include:

a) Confessor: Look at all of the cards in an opponents hand. Very useful to gain information as to which cards a player is collecting.

b) Forger: Choose a player and a gem type. If possible, that player must discard a card of that gem type. If he has none, he must show you his entire hand to prove it.

c) Thief: Steal a random card from an opponent. Watch out for that Musketeer, though!

d) Courtier: The player has an extra three ducats to spend this turn.

e) Favorite: The player may cause one gem to become the favorite. The tiles are rearranged accordingly.

2) Card Purchase. A player has 10 ducats to spend on the purchase of cards from the face-up display. He can divide amongst the cards in whichever way he sees fit. No change is given and money cannot be kept for future turns, however, so use it or lose it!

3) Devaluation. Any cards remaining on the table are devaluated. The gold ring on each card is moved down one space on the cost track. This makes these cards less expensive and more attractive to the next player.

After devaluating the remaining cards, new cards are revealed until there are once again five cards in the face-up display. If a Merchant card is revealed, play is temporarily halted and a Jewel Sale occurs.

The jewel sale is comprised of three steps:

1) Displaying the jewels. Each player secretly decides how many of his gems he will offer for sale, as well as any special characters or cards he will play to somehow influence the sale. Players separate their cards into face-down rows, each containing one type of gem and any special cards being played with that gem. When everyone is ready, these cards are revealed. It is wise to keep the number of cards secret until everyone is ready.

2) Rarity. The number of each type of gem being offered for sale by ALL of the players is tallied. The four rarity tiles are placed below the gem tiles to indicate the rarity of these gems. For example, if there are fewer emeralds being offered for sale than any other gem type, then the 1 rarity tile is placed below the emerald tile. The rarer the gem, the more it will fetch when sold.

3) Selling jewels. For each type of gem displayed, the player with the greatest number being offered for sale gets to sell those gems. These gems, no matter how many displayed, fetch ONE price. The gems are sold as a package and not individually. The amount the player receives is found by totaling the numbers on the fashion and rarity tiles that appear above and beneath that gem. This can range from a low of 0 to a high of 60. Certain cards played with those gems may alter this number. The displayed gems and special cards are discarded. All other players simply discard the cards of that type that they had displayed and get nothing in return. Very, very tough.

This process is repeated for each of the four gem types, with the money earned being recorded on a piece of paper. This is perhaps the only component deficiency in the game; there should have been some sort of score track included.

Once all sales are completed, the rarity markers are set aside and play continues. This entire procedure continues until the third merchant is revealed. A final jewel sale occurs and the player with the greatest accumulated money wins the kings favor and is victorious.

Adding spice to the game are numerous special characters and items that can be purchased by the players. In addition to the blue influence cards discussed earlier, there are numerous other cards that can be played at various times during the course of the game. There are too many to describe in detail here, but here are a few:

a) Astrologer: Discard immediately after purchasing it and draw the top card from the deck into your hand. This is a sneaky way to get a card into your hands and foil the card-counters in the group!

b) Musketeer: This card can be used to cancel an attack by the Forger or foil the thief. Further, three musketeer cards can be played to steal the Queens Necklace from its current owner.

c) Queen: When a card is drawn to replenish the five face-up cards, this player can take the card directly into his hand.

d) Ring: This VERY powerful card allows the player to sell TWO jewels instead of just one during a sale. However, the card MUST be played with a particular type of gem and only has effect if the player is successful in selling that type of gem during a jewel sale.

e) King: The King cancels the sale of a specific gem type during a jewel sale. Nasty, nasty. However, beware the Queens Necklace!

f) Queens Necklace: The player who acquires this card also takes the actual necklace included in the game. During a jewel sale, the player may play this card with a particular gem type. IF the King card was played by an opponent on that type of gem, the sale of that gem type is NOT cancelled. Further, the player of the King card must pay the holder of the Queens Necklace a tribute of 50 ducats. Ouch!! There is only one Queens Necklace card in the deck, though, so once it is played, this threat is removed.

Since the vast majority of cards are acquired from the face-up display, astute players will know which players possess the powerful cards. They should also have a good idea as to the current distribution of gem cards. Of course, since each player receives four face-down cards at the beginning of the game, there is still an element of uncertainty involved.

The real tension in the game is present during the jewel sales. Deciding how many cards of a type to play is vital. You want to play enough to guarantee that you will have the most displayed and consequently be able to sell that jewel. On the other hand, the fewer of that type of gem played, the rarer it will be and, thus, fetch a higher price when sold. You also want to use your special cards wisely, particularly those that will double a sale for you. A dilemma, to be sure!

With so many special powers floating around, the game does have a certain amount of chaos present. Thats not surprising since this is a Faidutti game. Still, it seems rather manageable and not over-powering. Yes, the game can have a bit of a repetitive feel as the same purchase cards phase is repeated throughout the game. However, there are enough special cards to shake things up a bit and keep things interesting. Further, the choices that surface during the jewel sale phase are significant and keep this game from becoming stale. I dont know the life-span of the game, but for now, Im perfectly happy to play it and introduce others to its charms.

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