From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.
Istanbul is board game which places the player in the role of a trader. The game is a race to trade into the required number of rubies before anyone else.
To achieve this you’ll gather goods from around Istanbul before trading them (or the money they fetch) in for the desired rubies. Everyone likes rubies, right?
The city of Istanbul is represented by 16 cards, which are shuffled and dealt anew each game. This means there is no best path to follow that you can take form game to game. Each city layout provides its own challenges and opportunities. This game’s tactic may be useless the next time you play.
To move around the city your merchant needs helpers, using one at each new square visited. Run out, and you have to return to the Fountain square to gather your helpers once more. If you visit a square where you already have a helper you get to re-collect them.
Regardless of the layout, your best plan is to time your moves so you can visit a few squares at a time, leaving your helpers and returning again to collect them.
Istanbul is a race, and the Fountain is like taking a pit stop.
Some squares let you gather money, others provide trading goods. depending on which square you visit, either can be traded for those precious, precious rubies. Beware though, the best prices and exchange rates are obtained by the first visitors. Each subsequent visitors pay more. In this way the acquisition of rubies becomes harder as the game goes on.
I found Istanbul to be a fun game, and one that rewards multiple different approaches. The varied layout from game to game mixes things up nicely and ensures you can’t just replay the same sequence game after game. I’d happily recommend this one to new and experienced players alike.
Also, here’s a bonus song: