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Zoom In Torres
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Store:  Strategy Games
Edition:  Torres
Theme:  Castles & Knights / Medieval
Format:  Board Games

Torres

multilingual edition


List Price: $44.95
Your Price: $35.99
(20% savings!)
(Worth 3,599 Funagain Points!)

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Product Awards:  

Ages Play Time Players
12+ 60 minutes 2-4

Designer(s): Wolfgang Kramer, Michael Kiesling

Manufacturer(s): Rio Grande Games, Abacus

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Product Description

A series of devastating tornadoes, unleashed by enemy mages in the recent war has left all the king's castles in ruin. Only the foundations of these once magnificent monuments remain. He has charged his sons with rebuilding his castles and promised the throne to the one who can rebuild the tallest and largest castles.

Each prince has 6 knights to supervise the building. Two or more princes may work together on a castle with their knights competing to control the highest towers of the castle. Once each year, the king will tour the castles, to judge the progress of each son. After he finishes the third tour, he will choose his successor and the winner!

This edition of Torres has all new artwork.

Product Awards

Deutscher Spiele Preis
2nd place, 2000
Games Magazine Awards
Game of the Year, 2000
International Gamers Awards
Best Strategy Game Nominee, 2000
Spiel des Jahres
Game of the Year, 2000

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Wolfgang Kramer, Michael Kiesling

  • Manufacturer(s): Rio Grande Games, Abacus

  • Artist(s): Franz Vohwinkel

  • Year: 2005

  • Players: 2 - 4

  • Time: 60 minutes

  • Ages: 12 and up

  • Est. time to learn: 10-20 minutes

  • Weight: 1,454 grams

  • Language Requirements: Game components are language-independent. Manufacturer's rules are printed in multiple languages (including English). This is an international edition or domestic edition of an imported item.

Contents:

  • 1 game board
  • 92 tower blocks
  • 24 knights
  • 4 scoring markers
  • 1 king
  • 40 action cards
  • 4 summary cards
  • 3 phases cards
  • 8 master cards
  • rules

Product Reviews

 
 
 
 
 

Average Rating: 4.3 in 29 reviews

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by John M.
Excellent 3D Building game!
January 04, 2007

Ok so I've played the Spiel des Jahres games from 1999 (Tikal), 2000 (Torres) and 2001 (Carcassonne). I currently own almost every incarnation of Carcassonne, plus all of it's various expansion sets, and I now own Torres. Soon I will get Tikal... and I'll be reviewing that game soon too. Plus I'm thinking I need to put together a shopping list here with all the Spiel des Jahres winners from 1978 to today.

I love games where you have lots of kewl pieces, and get to build things. Carcassonne is a neat builder game, but only in 2 dimensions, that is to say laterally (or flat) only. In Torres you get to build laterally and vertically. It's relatively simple to learn the mechanics, however getting down a decent strategy could take several games, or even several gaming sessions to find one that works best. Players are given a set number of castle segments based on how many players are in the game. There are several rounds per turn, and 3 turns per game. Players in turn use their action points to: place new castle segments, move an "in play" meeple, or to put "in play" a new meeple from their supply. It's best to place as many of your castle pieces as possible. Left over castle pieces are held over to the next stack and can be placed during the player's next turn. To put it mildly if you "hold over" too many castle pieces it makes it difficult for you to score more points, and build your own castles up. However! It is possible to "leech" points from another player's castle, so perhaps your strategy might be to move and position your meeples to steal (or leech) off your opponents hard work. But it's a lot harder to this than it is to build your own castles. And given the limited amount of action points you get per round, it's best to get as many castle pieces on the board as possible.

The king adds another layer where players who can get into the castle where the king is, and be on the same level as the king meeple, can score extra points. There are action cards which also add another dimension allowing players to jump over opponents meeples, and other special abilities allowing for more scoring opportunities. And there are a few optional scoring cards to add yet another layer of scoring for the more advanced player.

Overall, this is one hell of a game, it can be fast paced, depending on the number of players and their skill levels, but as you play it, the games will become faster and easier to finish. Not a very good travel game, there are far too many pieces to loose, and is certainly not recommended. Although it travels well to a friend's house for a game session, don't take it out on a hike. As befitting a Spiel des Jahres game... 5 stars.

 
 
 
 
 
Torres: A Quick Review
May 23, 2006

Torres

Torres is a tactically challenging and very intelligent game by Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling (Java, Australia and many more). The new edition, published by Rio Grande Games is gorgeous, this is one of the best looking games in my collection, and one of the most stimulating. The very clever movement of the Knights means that every game is bound to produce a move or two that takes the breath away from the other players, being responsible for one of those moves is one of the most satisfying game experiences you can have.

Watching the teetering towers grow and the knights move about makes for a very enjoyable game that is both intelligently challenging and aesthetically pleasing. There aren’t many games I have played where players are up and down in their seats all game (to better see what is going on), and where they are glued to what is happening on the board.

The theme in Torres is weak, but if you can put that aside and look at it for what it is you will find a very enjoyable game. In Torres players make use of an ‘action point system’, where players spend their allotted action points on the various actions available to them, all his means that every turn is an agonizing process of attempting to choose the most cost effective actions for you during your turn. Each turn in Torres is gripping and tough, because of the variety of actions available and the limited amount of action points you receive to spend every turn, you always want to be able to do more than you can when it is your turn, and this makes for a tense and challenging game. Torres is one of the best scaling games I own – meaning that it plays well with 2, 3 or 4; most games don’t scale anywhere near as well. The player aids are useful and informative and the action cards easy to use without reference once you have read their descriptions in the rulebook. One of the great sides to this game is the fact that it doesn’t take long to play, even with the full compliment of players, which means you get a full dose of rewarding play in quite a short time – which is great.

In Torres there is also a set of Master Cards – which provide a range of optional scoring rules for the game. These Master Cards mean that Torres has a huge amount of re-playability, you can play with none, or with as many as you like, and each inclusion alters the game just enough to provide a new challenge for the players. Torres is one of the cleverest and most thought-provoking games in my collection; it is a gorgeous production that looks so good you often want to leave all the little towers standing – especially if you built the largest! If you love thinking games, or abstract games like Chess or Go, then Torres is a game you will enjoy immensely, and that will reward repeat play.

 
 
 
 
 
Awesome Strategy and Gameplay for 2-4 Players!
May 30, 2003

I am an experienced gamer (20+ years) and I bought this game recently. My first time out, I said, nice game, big deal. Then I really tried the game again, delving into the strategy and gameplay. It is fantastic, it makes Settlers, Tikal, Mexica, Carcassone, all seem like child's play. The game is simple, but the strategy is beautiful. Very few board games work both on a 2 player and a 4 player model as beautiful as this game. There are traces of Acquire and Chess that blend together to offer almost zero chance (random cards give chance) and loads the game with pure strategy. I went against two players who thought they had me beat, they shut me down, but through some clever building, I won by 269 points, they came in at 268 and 267, they were amazed, it was an incredible comeback! How many games with a scoring table in the upper 200s allow for such tight and exciting play.

A description doesn't do justice and in all honesty the setting is irrelevant, but if you like the games I mentioned above, you must get this game! No joke! Give a few tries, since the rules and strategy must be well understood to truly appreciate the concept.

Good Gaming! -JDM

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
update to a previous review by me
November 13, 2002

I reviewed this game in April of 2001. After a year and a half and 100+ games later, here's an update. If you want a great 2 player strategy game with no luck involved, BUY THIS GAME! (I have no idea how this game plays with more than 2 since I've never tried it)

Here's how we play it.

Hand out all the action cards. You have to try to remember which ones your opponent has played and not played, and you really won't be any good until you're familiar with all 10 cards and know exactly what their potential is for helping you win.

We play a best of 7 game tournament using our 6 favorite Mastercards, and, if we're tied at 3-3 we flip a coin to decide who gets the choice of the tiebreaker Mastercard. The losing player decides who goes first. (we've discovered that going 2nd is a distinct advantage because of the ability to place the king and we alternate until or if we play a 7th game)

Use a chess clock. Try 30 to 40 minutes each. We've had some games decided by flag drops. It also just adds a lot of tension to the game.

Here's some of the games I like, so you'll know where I'm coming from...chess, go, Big Boggle, Oh Hell the card game, mit list und tucke. Here's a few I hate...Yahtzee, monopoly, or any game with 50000 small punchout cardboard pieces, cards and coins.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
by Jake
A towering achievement.
June 26, 2002

I was initially drawn to Torres by a snapshot picture of the board with its castles of varying heights and knights perched on top of them. Not only was it uniquely beautiful among the games Ive seen (how many board games develop skywards as well as across the board? Not too many and this one does it darn well), but it begged for an explanation how did the game board come to appear that way? I was hooked.

And then I was confounded. The instructions were extremely simple to grasp. Im an avid strategy games player, so a game like Villa Paletti isnt going to win my vote for SDJ. I didnt see much strategy to this game. I kept reading reviews. Then I decided I had to buy it. And it wasnt until I tried playing it that the strategy became evident.

With four players, one will see right from the start that each player takes off in different directions (I play by the version where everyone gets their own pile of action cards and each card must be bought for 1 AP no player may hold more than 3 cards in their hand at a time). One person may go on a building spree, one person may throw knights onto their board as fast as possible, one person may buy action cards early, one person may go for the balanced approach, etc. And the structures emerge.

I admit the building pieces dont really resembles bricks and the knights dont really look like knights, but this wont detract from the gameplay one bit.

The gameplay is impressively smooth, mainly due to the limitation of 5 AP per turn. Its enough to do damage, but not enough to complete your strategy in one shot. For such an intense game, the downtime is very quick (from what Ive seen) and the total playing time is a brisk 45-55 minutes. This game rolls along at a steady clip, so Im a little suspicious of the patience of those who say it takes too long between turns.

What I really appreciate about Torres is that as the game develops there is plenty of opportunity to play offensive and/or defensive. Youre always wary of surprise attacks, but then youre also planning some of your own. Its a thrill ride planning and executing a sneak attack.

If you like games that involve building and claiming territory, this ones got your name on it. These towers soar.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Torres is still a blast
May 29, 2002

I've been playing Torres ever since it came out in English and I still love the mechanics and feel of the game. Many reviewers compare it to Tikal either favorably or unfavorably. I fall into the former category, as I feel Tikal is the game that drags. I don't think Torres suffers from down time as long as each player is planning their moves until their turn comes around, and the special action cards make for plenty of surprises and twists as the game progresses.

More distressing than any bad review is the unfair ratings of 1 star. Shouldn't that be reserved for games with serious flaws and extremely poor production value? Torres is a great game that isn't for some people, not a bad game that no one should play.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
by KT
High Marks All Around
April 05, 2002

The first couple times I played Torres I liked the game but wouldn't have put it close to the top of my list. Our group has played it many times now and it is definitely close to the top of our list. Games are close, they move along nicely (I don't have any of the 'dull' issues cited elsewhere in Torres reviews), it's a relatively easy game for newcomers to learn AND to do well at, and many different people have won over time. I like the way players can't really stop each other from doing just about anything, but you can definitely slow them down which, in many cases, is the same thing. The only negative I would give this game is the scoring track is not well done - I'd much rather have larger squares and have to deal with 'wrapping' the track than the tiny little squares zig-zagging back and forth.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
by Rocco
Great Game!
February 03, 2002

I have played Torres several times and I find it to be a great game. The limited action points keeps you on the edge of your seat trying to figure out what to use them for. I also like the fact that you can go into other players castles and get a lot of points from their hard work. And the action cards add a great twist to the game, especially since you have to decide if you even want to waste action points to buy them. This is a great game and I highly suggest you get it. You will not be disappointed!

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Johnny Come-Lately says this is Grrrreat!
September 04, 2001

If you're not put off by the abstract nature of this game, you're in for one heck of a good time. My friends and I have been playing this game for the past two weekends, and we're slowly getting the handle of the subtle strategies that one needs to employ to get ahead in this game. I thoroughly recommend this to a gamer who's looking for something to play with non-gamers and gamers alike. There's enough meat in this game for everybody.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Great game for four
June 17, 2001

I am very glad to own this game. If only it supported more than four players, however. Perhaps it would be possible to kludge the game and add a fifth, maybe a sixth. Who knows?

At any rate, Torres plays very well with four players, especially the 'Master' version in which players receive a hand of action cards they are free to spend over the course of the 3 game phases. I particularly enjoy the Master challenges, which allow savvy players to rack up lots of bonus points.

Overall, Torres is very enjoyable, providing players attractive game components, an outlet for fairly complex strategy formulation, and a flexible setup system.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Instantly Accessible
May 06, 2001

Lets cut to the chase.. BUY THIS GAME.

For those of you who are still here, this is a brilliant game that is accessible to not only the hardcore boardgamer, but to the novice alike. I was able to teach someone who doesn't play board games inside of 5 minutes, and he had a great time. I only have one complaint: it is not as deep as some players may like. You can use the master cards for more depth, but they feel more like an add-on than anything else.

PROS

  • Easy to learn
  • Great concept
  • Great board and pieces
  • Plays in under an hour

CONS

  • Not as deep as a strategist would like.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
by Al Hahn
Absolute classic! Chess without the headache.
April 11, 2001

Fabulous game. My nephew and I have been addicted to this game for a month now. We've played about a dozen games over the course of the last 4 or 5 weekends. No two games are alike, each has its own special flavor. We quickly got to the master version though since it adds much to the game using the master cards. Interestingly, we draw for who goes first and whoever wins usually asks the other to go first.

It seems almost impossible to think of a strategy beforehand... you constantly have to adjust your strategy as the game progresses, attacking and defending.

I haven't played the 3 or 4 player version of Torres, but I suspect the 2 player version is the more serious and challenging version.

Unlike chess, we drink beer and chat back and forth about the game in progress. It's hard to describe, but the game is deadly serious while at the same time possessing a 'fun' factor that's missing from chess.

If you're a serious game player who thinks Monopoly or any dice game is a waste of time... BUY THIS GAME!

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Some strategy here for everyone!
February 03, 2001

I picked up this game after reading the general overall positive comments from the previous reviews and the fact that Torres won the [page sdj]SdJ for 2000. I wanted something new to play so I took a chance on Torres.

Let me say that I was not disappointed in the least!

I'll try not to be redundant with my brief comments; Torres is an excellent abstract strategy game of agonizing decisions with the luck factor minimized to the draw of special action cards. If you can't stand luck in your games at all, play with the Master rules so that everyone starts with an equal set of resources. Or you can try disregarding the special action cards altogether if you prefer (I enjoy having the special action cards remain; they bring a dash of the unexpected to gameplay).

Finally, for those who are looking for a pure strategy game that two people can play (and plays well) then look no further; unlike other excellent games that don't translate as well (or at all) for two players (Settlers of Catan and El Grande are two that come immediately to mind), Torres does this very well.

In conclusion, if you want to take a chance on a new game as I did, you most certainly won't go wrong with Torres.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Taking strategy to new "heights"
August 15, 2000

After only a few playings, I can understand why TORRES is the 2000 Spiel des Jahres. And we haven't even played with the Master cards yet.

Timely card play is critical, and can overcome earlier errors. I've learned the hard way that buying a card or two each turn to expand your options--and keep your opponents guessing--is a must.

The bits are not first rate, but they are functional, and certainly do not detract from the game.

I don't think we'll tire of this game. I most highly recommend this board game.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Forget the Basic, play the Master edition!
July 18, 2000

I have played Torres with 2, 3, and 4. It is a very different game where 2 people requires more long range thinking and 4 players requires more of being able to change your plans in response to other people's actions.

We have found that we enjoy Torres much more using the Master cards since it changes the game slightly each time and it removes the luck element of someone drawing the 'right' card at the right time. All in all, it is a great game and I highly recommend it.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Torrential Fun!
May 31, 2000

Torres is my current favorite 'German' game. I really like deep games that play well with any number of players--and trust me, this one plays great with 2, 3 or 4 players. It's another game from the designers of Tikal but this game takes things a bit further. It plays faster than Tikal--down time between turns is reasonable considering the number of things a player can do on a given turn. The game is a bit more abstract than Tikal--but the theme is functional and since I like abstract games, this was hardly a problem for me. I love the difficult decisions each player must face on their turns--so many things to do and so few action points!

For me, this is the best game released last year. This game plays as good as El Grande and Tikal--two other games high on my list. It's faster than Tikal and plays down to 2 players much better than El Grande. This gets a max rating for game play that is outstanding. Pick this one up!

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
A tower by any other name would still stand tall...
October 11, 1999

When reviewing a game, I first have to wonder, 'What is it that people want to read in a review, and why are they reading the review?'. Second, I have to temper the review so as not to interject my own personal bias towards what I like. I don't like to give a total rewrite of the rules book. IMHO, A good game shouldn't take longer to read the rules than play the game. This game meets my criteria.

Torres is a great strategy game at heart, with a touch of luck thrown in. For those who want a pure strategy game (one without luck), there are rules included to turn it into such a game. Replayability is guaranteed with the random start (you place the starting pieces) option. The board is a bit bland in color and the art a bit abstract unless you like that kind of design. However, the bits (including the board) are of great quality to be expected from Rio Grande Games. I was particularly happy to discover that the knight and King pieces were made of wood (since they looked like plastic on the back of the box). The rules are fairly well written. The only confusion I initally had was how your pieces are used during a round and how the rounds make up a year (aka 'phase' in the game). Play is well balanced and down time is minimal. You'll be thinking of your next move or paying attention to your opponents. Fun factor is high.

On to the game. You place towers on the board in order to build the biggest and highest castle. The only catch is that your height can't be any greater than the base of your castle. (for example: a castle made of two pieces next to each other can't be more than two pieces high) Next, you place knights on the board to claim castles and eventually give you scores based on the height position of your knight on any given castle. Through the game, each turn is limited to five action points for you to use in any combination of building, moving knights, drawing action cards, adding knights or passing. After each set of turns, there is a scoring phase. The action cards introduce the element of luck. Do you spend one action point on drawing a card, or do you use it to expand a castle? The cards can be very valuable however, allowing you to do things like use 7 action points in a turn, or moving a knight up a level diagonally. The luck of the draw can be eliminated with the Master Rules which give everyone the same set of cards a la El Grande expansion. This was a great touch of genius (or a case of learning from other great game mechanics).

I taught this to my eleven year old son last night in about fifteen minutes, and he picked it right up. Though he lacked some of the strategy, he picked up on the fun factor right away. The game is designed to play different with two, three or four players, and has a card showing the different setup for those number of players (another nice touch). If you like strategy with or without luck, you can't miss with this game.

Personally, I like tons of bits like in Axis and Allies, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, or Big City, and my first look at the box was disheartening. Hmff, a bunch of castle bits all the same size and color. Boy, did I ever prove myself wrong. A great game can have simple bits and still be a winner. This game may very well take the Spiel des Jahres award, or will at least make the nominees (my forecast is in the top three). The theme, or story of this game is truly abstract but it works. I could have just as easily been about the Towered city of San Geminagno in Italy, or building skyscrapers in New York. Either way, taller is better. This game rates a 95db on the Mulder Meter. It loses 5db on a personal level only due to the bland board. Buy it, play it, you won't regret it!

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
"The Boys are back in town..."
September 28, 1999

One of cinema's best moments is in 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid'. Early on, they are being tracked, and the two cannot elude the posse. Finally, Newman turns to Redford and says, 'Who ARE these guys...!' Michael Kiesling and Wolfgang Kramer are creating a similar image. They collaborate and create 'Tikal', awesome game, great reviews, German game of the year. So, do they rest on their laurels and kick back? NO! They produce 'Torres', a terrific game and sure to be in the running for Game of the Year, 2000.

'Torres' fits more into the 'abstract strategy game' versus the complete mayan theme of 'Tikal', but does create a nice castle & knights theme. Players expand out and up 8 single towers at the onset of the game. Players are limited on what can be done every turn, and there are 'specialty action cards' that can be obtained. Unlike 'Tikal' there are no wertung cards to vary the scoring rounds. Scoring is more like '[page scan/se=0170/sf=category/fi=stockall.asc/ml=20]Manhattan' i.e. after a set amount of building is done, everybody tallies up.

The essential strategy though, is not in the building, but use of your knights, to score points and stymie your opponent. A well placed/moved knight will elicit several epithets from your opponents and ensure excellent scoring opportunities.

Finally, a note on the artwork. The outer box and the gameboard artwork are really creative. It's Picasso cubist meets pop art meets medieval. It really does not lend anything to the play of the game, but creates this funky visual effect that makes the game more enjoyable.

Highly addictive, endless playability, and ease of rules for new players, makes 'Torres' highly worthy of anyone's game collection. I'll say it again, 'Who are these guys...!'

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
No doubt one of the year's best...
September 27, 1999

I suppose Torres can be described as [page scan/se=0170/sf=category/fi=stockall.asc/ml=20]Manhattan meets Tikal. The rounds are set-up very much like Manhattan. You have 3-4 turns between scoring rounds during which a limited amount of castle segments can be placed on the board.

The Tikal-like elements come from the use of Action points. Each turn you have 5 action points to spend in any of the following ways:

  1. Move a knight - 1 point
  2. Add a knight - 2 points
  3. Add a castle segment to the board - 1 point
  4. Draw an action card - 1 point
  5. Score 1 point on the score track - 1 point
  6. Play an action card - 0 points

Knights can move 1 space in any orthogonal direction (i.e. not diagonally). They can drop any number of levels during a move, but may only go up 1 level. Knights may also move through the 'corridors' of the castle. In this manner they may move a distance much greater than 1 square. This last concept is difficult to describe without seeing the castle pieces.

New knights must be placed adjacent to one of your existing knights. The new knight may be at the same or lower level as the existing knight.

A castle segment can be played anywhere on the board with the following restrictions: the height of a castle cannot exceed the area of its base, and the game starts with 8 one-segment castles, these castles cannot be joined.

Action cards allow you to do funky things with castle segment placement or knight movement. For example you can move your knight up two levels during a move.

Every 3rd or 4th turn (depending on the number of players) is a scoring round. Each knight's score is the product of the castle level he is on and the area of the castle base (i.e. its footprint). There is additional scoring each round for having a knight on a specific level of the 'King's Castle.' The King is a pawn which only moves between rounds. Scoring for the King's Castle is as follows:

If your knight is on level 1 of the King's Castle during the first scoring round - score 5 points. If your knight is on level 2 of the King's Castle during the first scoring round - score 10 points. If your knight is on level 3 of the King's Castle during the first scoring round - score 15 points. After the first and second scoring rounds, the player in last place may move the King to a different castle.

Torres has a lot of player interaction. You'll probably hear things like 'You &%!@' and 'I'm gonna get you for that' uttered on a frequent basis. Strategic placement of your Knights and Castle-segments is key. What you do on your turn can severely limit your opponent's scoring opportunities. This is an excellent game which plays very well with 2, 3 or 4 players. To be sure, this is an abstract game, but theme definitely fits the 'feel' of the game.

Torres is a definite winner. I will be shocked and concerned if this game is not nominated for SdJ.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Do not confuse this game with Tikal
February 04, 2002

After recently panning Tikal, and reading a few reviews of Torres where it is compared to that 'game', I felt the need to clear the air. While it is true that these two games share some similar play mechanics (limited movement points, tile/castle placement), the fact is they could not be more different in end result.

Torres is a very easily-learned yet deep game, full of surprises and last second victories, while Tikal is the gaming equivalent of an enya song (i.e pretty, but oh-so dull).

Torres, like any game with a scoring system where the players know about the timing of the scoring round in advance, can suffer from board over-evaluation syndrome. However, it never seems to get too out of control since there are really only 2 or 3 options for players.

Tikal, on the other hand, is practically interminable once a scoring round occurs. As players move, and take back moves, and try in vain to decipher the rosetta stone that passes for Tikal's game card, you'll slowly find the game turning into a $25 4 player staring contest...

In the end, Torres and Tikal, while sharing a few similarities, offer two completely different playing experiences.

Pick up Torres now. You won't be sorry.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
A very cool game...but cooler than the other nominees? hmm..
July 11, 2000

Torres is indeed a very solid, fun and engaging game with good twists, great decisions and a fun scoring mechanism which, although not original, works better than others of its ilk. This seems to be a real touchstone for W. Kramer, who seems to love to play mix n' match with different games' mechanics and come up with something new. Unfortunately, Torres never really seems new to me, but rather constantly reminds me of other games with the different familiar mechanics. I have not added the game to my want list because, good as it is, I already have Tikal, and to me it would almost be like owning the same game. What?! you cry. Certainly not! This guy hasn't grasped the full complexities of the etc, etc... Well, actually, I think I have. Using action points to move guys to the best scoring spots in time for a scoring round IS Tikal and Torres, any way you slice it, special cards or no. Granted, Torres is a 'purer' game than Tikal, but for me I think If I played one of them one night, it would be a while before I was ready to play the other. They're just too similar to feel very different to me. Sorry, I know many of you may shake your heads at this, but I call 'em as I see 'em.

Particularly disappointing for me, however, much more than the game itself (which I did give four stars to, or an eight on a 1-10 scale), is that a game so similar to last year's SDJ won this year. Now, I ask you, if this had been called 'Return to Tikal' and the castles were Mayan Pyramids, do you think it would have won? My God, I hope not. And yet that theme would have been better than the one they gave it! I hope you can see what I'm getting at here: A new and improved game that was called something different won! How unfair! It's particularly a let-down because there were so many delectable courses at this year's SDJ smorgasbord: Firstly, the two very worthy runners up, both very original, successful and fun to play, one even more abstract than Torres (Carolus Magnus) and the other a beautiful, creative game that has been critically acclaimed. Not to mention the excellent Web of Power and easily worthy Taj Mahal... what is it with these people, do they have something against Reiner Knizia? You got to feel pity for the guy.

But since this is a review for Torres, I will say that it absolutely deserved to be a nominee, maybe even a finalist, although I was a bit sour at even that. I'm just sorry to see that other games were passed over for the SDJ. On the part of the panel of judges, it was a safe decision, a defensible decision, and in my not-very humble opinion, a decision that was typically conservative, politically-correct and very German. Here's hoping that they'll be a little more unpredictable next year.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
The King and I
April 23, 2000

This game introduces a very great element--the king. My gamers tends to focus on the king rather than building the great castle. Yet building a great castle and placing your knights in it will let you win the game, it seems that the effect of the king sways the game. The action cards in this game seems to be very useful, as you can use action points to pick them up and use them in next turn. However, there seem to be no cards that can affect the position of king. Once there is no place available for a player to place his/her knights into the castle where the king lives, he/she will probably not be the winner of the game. (There is one exception--when I play this game with my friends these days, I find I never have the opportunity to place my knights into the king's castle, but finally I won the game). What does this mean? Is the king really that important? Or just an illusion to players?

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
by Paul
My tower's bigger than your tower...
December 31, 1999

Yes, it's an excellent game. The mechanics and strategy are not apparent until after the first game or so. Building a castle will undoubtedly help your opponent--you just have to help them less than you help yourself. Large castles soon become huge as each player attempts to occupy the higher spot, and his score will beat yours by the overall size of the castle if he is one level higher.

The basic game is not very good as the random draw of cards removes a great strategic (when do I play THIS?) element.

I hesitate to give it 5 stars because it seems to miss the mark of straddling full abstract strategy and simulation--there are too many rules to be a good clean strategy game ala Kahuna, which also uses cards, but I feel remains a purer game.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Become the king of the castle
September 05, 1999

A storm has devastated the royal castle, and as the king clings to life the princes gather to rebuild the palace from the few remaining foundations. Who builds best will become king.

A rather shaky theme greets the gamer in what is essentially an abstract 3-D game. Players must move wooden pawns around an 8x8 board in order to gain control of towers. The towers are placed by the players, who can then move knights into and up the towers to cash in when scoring comes around. Victory points are awarded based on castle area multiplied by the level the knight is sitting on in the castle - thus a knight sitting on the 3rd level of a castle that has an area of 5 squares will pick up 15 points.

Players are restricted in how much they can accomplish during a precious turn. Action points are spent to place/move knights, build towers as well as purchase action cards. These cards allow the quirky movement/tower rules to be broken in some way, and when used at the right time can be very powerful.

Overall a 'different' game that uses the third dimension very well. I've tried a two player as well as a four player game and found the game to work well with both those numbers. Variant rules, as well as a 'master' version, all add to the package.

Well worth considering.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
by A Gamer
Chess, 5th generation - A 11 year old's review
January 20, 2011

I may only be eleven, but I'm really into games... When I first opened the box I thought it was going to be boring, after playing for a few minutes, I got the hang of it. Torres is a simple to learn, fun, family friendly,mildly competitive game. It's like chess, improved, and simplified. If you play 2 players and it takes about 20, 25 minutes, probably not even that long. The main gist is to score points by building towers, moving knights, and getting "up to level" with the king, you get 5 actions per turn and certain things cost a certain amount of actions.You also get a certain amount of tower parts per turn. There are 3 phases and a scoring after each of them. The person with the least points places the king for the next phase. You get 5 knights for the whole game, and that's really it (other than movement rules etc.)I really love this game,so does my family, and I wouldn't be surprised if you and your family did too!

 
 
 
 
 
by Tom
2000 Game of the year?
February 25, 2002

Maybe I expected way too much out of this game from all the praise it has received. Ive given it several chances now but I just dont enjoy it very much and dont see myself playing again in the foreseeable future. The theme is so weak, it seems like it was slapped on as an afterthought. Game play is excruciatingly slow and tedious. Sure, there is a lot of strategy involved but its not fun strategy. I feel like an accountant, constantly crunching numbers, when playing this game. I guess Im just more a fan of pure abstract strategy games that dont need pages and pages of rules along with tedious scoring systems to make them work.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
by Mille
Boring
December 31, 2001

This game has almost everything I hate in a board game: slow turns, little player interaction, practically non-existant theme, and bland pieces. Those tower pieces really do bother me. They just look terrible. Yes, there's definitely strategy to the game, but it'll be hard to convince anyone I know to play Torres again.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
Not for me
August 16, 2001

I just don't enjoy this one. We've tried all the various versions of making the special-power cards available, and none of them are satisfying. Any kind of random draw makes luck into an overpowering factor. But when you get away from the luck by giving everybody all ten cards to choose from at the start, the game slows down to where you'd have more fun watching paint dry.

Some games seem too slow while waiting for my turn--this one is too slow when it IS my turn! For whatever reasons of patience or taste in games, I just don't find it entertaining winnowing through those cards time after time.

So, if you're thinking of trying this one, beware! Some players do enjoy it, but for others it is on the 'will never play again' list.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
 
 
 
 
 
by Jae
Tedious game of waiting.
August 07, 2001

I had very high hopes for this game with all of the glowing reviews. Moreover, I was told that it had mechanics similar to Tikal, a game I have great passion for. Unfortunately, after 12 games of Torres, I can honestly say I have no taste for it. It is true that some of the mechanical flavor for Tikal was borrowed from Torres, it is quite obvious. However, it was used to much greater effect in Tikal than in Torres.

Torres suffers from a serious case of 'analysis paralysis'. The more players you have, the longer down time is between turns. Players seriously overanalyze each move and carefully calculate the appropriate height to make their tower so the opponent cannot enter. While the game is attractive, has nice pieces, and is moderately portable (in comparison to bookshelf games), the game play is excessively slow and tiresome.

I would much rather play Tikal.

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

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