"Abu Hassan: Open sesame!
Popeye: Open what?
[Secret door opens and Abu and his thieves go in. Popeye arrives too late]
Popeye: Open up. Now what was that word they used to open this thing? Open sissy! Open sayso!
Popeye meets Ali Babas 40 thieves -1937
In a medina on the borders of the kingdom thrives a dishonest merchant with excessive wealth. Gold coins, fabrics and carpets pile up in its hidden and well-guarded den. In the middle of his treasure are nine bluish sapphires of great purity. Nine precious stones that make you dream. In the city, looters, thieves, and other rogues start a challenge: Whoever steals the most of these stones this night will be crowned king of thieves. Will you answer the call? Will you brave the forty thieves who keep the loot?
The game is made of 40 thieves cards and 25 special cards. Each card has a color and a symbol on the back, but only one is true. Players have to use deduction, memory and push their luck to arrange suits of symbols or colours to steal a sapphire. Place twelve cards into a 4 x 4 grid face down.
The Sapphire gems are placed into the gaps between the cards.
Each player turn has four phases;
1: ‘make a hand’ phase where the player ensures they have a hand of three cards drawn from the pile
2: ‘glimpse’ phase, when they can peek at a card on the grid without showing others what it is.
3:‘action’ phase, where the player can play card or do action on card from the grid.
4:‘attempt a steal’ phase, where the player managed to arrange suites of symbols or colors to steal a sapphire.
Once all the Sapphire gems from the grid have been taken, the game ends. The one with the most Sapphire gems wins.
I currently have the prototype version. That being said I am pleased with the size of the cards. They are bigger than I expected them to be and are very durable for flipping over when you need to. The artwork is thematic and well done, although I hope the red and yellow character is more distinctive in the final version of the game. Maybe the yellow carded character has a grey beard or something, just to make him more distinguishable from the red.
This is a very light deduction game which I found to good with two players but far more enjoyable with four. Sometimes if you know someone is setting something up, you have to take a risk to guess a row and try to get the sapphires before your opponent does. The ability to steal a sapphire from an opponent with the correct specialty card is a great way to balance out the game if someone gets on a run of guessing the right rows.
I can tell you without a doubt JackBro has been very diligent in working on this game to make sure its mechanics and gameplay are as tight as possible. If light deduction is in your wheelhouse, you should check this one out.
Weekly Blog Schedule.
Friday - Bi-Weekly
Saturdays - Monthly
A Gloomhaven Campaign
First Sunday Of The Month