IMHOTEP Builder of Egypt Review

Since the Egyptian times man has been playing board games. Today we are going to look at Imhotep by Kosmos, an Egyptian themed board game.

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Have you ever wanted to whip some slaves to build the greatest monuments that will stand the test of time, and then this is the game for you, as you take on the role of Imhotep the fabled master Egyptian builder. Use your cunning skills to out manoeuvre your opponents to build the best monuments and win the game.

Basics on How to play or I’m not telling you the whole rules decide after this and get the game:

Now this game is so easy to pick up and begins after a quick read of the rules which are laid out nice and simple, making it is easy to follow and understand even for a non-geek gamer or my mum. That’s one of the things I really like about this game, it’s a teach anyone to play and can get anyone into board gaming besides Monopoly which is like Marmite you either love it or hate it, I am the latter.

What do I have to do I hear you say to play this game, its simple, take stones (gorgeous square meeples) on boats and then move the boats to the different ports, unload the stones to build your monuments (of greatness) or trade at a market. Players now score using a set of mathematical numbers that needs some arithmetic but not as complicated as some games like Agricola, or Five Tribes (more about those another time).

Games takes place over six rounds (cards) chosen from seven cards keeping the game to a nice time limit, unlike the four hour game marathons some heavy Euro games take or six hours Monopoly with my family when I was young (YES I really do hate Monopoly) . When all six rounds have played out, players total their scores and I am crowned the winner of Imhotep, in my dreams anyway.

Players achieve this using a number of actions they can perform each round. My favourite action is to move a boat to one of the five boards in play, if it has the minimum number of stones on to meet the requirements to move the boat. This is the best part as you can move a boat that other players don’t want you to because, a) you are evil, b) you just want to win the game or c) you can.

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Using these actions at the right time, having enough stones to load onto boats and then moving boats to the correct location creates some interesting and frustrating decisions. This is the sweet part of the game, these mechanics makes it fun and gives it a nice amount of choices to players.

Scoring is interesting as the five ports all do different things and there are never enough boats for all five ports, another great decision mechanic is when and where you move the boats to these ports, is one of the key parts of the game and what makes the game so much fun.

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Summary:

Imhotep is a really good clean family game that is simple to learn and play. It is tactical with lots of replay ability as the game rounds are different each game. The ports each have side A and B which score differently. It is easy to pick up. I have taught both my children aged 9 and 12 to play it and they enjoy it. There are tactics and the scoring can require some good maths. The artwork and theme is really good and the stones are nice and malleable. Game play is about the right length and governed by the six round cards. You do get a sense that at the end of the game you have built great monuments to the Egyptian gods.

I highly rate this game and would recommend you playing it but let me know your thoughts and comments.

 

Tony Carr

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