Castles of Mad King Ludwig, Ted Alspach

 

Castles of Mad King Ludwig is a good game. It’s good. But it’s not great. We’ve played it a few times since we got it last year and I still couldn’t put my finger on why it just isn’t as good as Suburbia, until I spoke to Jon tonight and came to a conclusion…

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I thought I’d like the theme a lot more than I actually do, building the crazy castle, the cute little rooms…the box and the components are lovely and aesthetically it’s a gorgeous game to have in your collection. But nothing about the playing and scoring particularly excites me and that’s probably because, as Jon pointed out, you only get points for joining your tile up to doorways and receive bonus points for connecting to one room, and yeah you get some bonuses for completing rooms, but in my opinion only one of them is worth having, and the end of game extras are just a bit random. Whereas in Suburbia the theme works well for me, it’s a lot smoother and for every turn you get more opportunities to score points because of the hexagonal layout so there’s more to be gained or lost depending on where you place them, so Suburbia is basically more challenging and rewarding. I liked that with Suburbia your town has to make sense and work to win the game and didn’t like the randomness of the mad King’s castle as much.

BUT having said all that Castles isn’t BAD, and maybe if I hadn’t played Suburbia first and loved it I would of liked this more. So yeah, Castles, I wouldn’t dismiss it, and I’d probably play it again, but if you’re going to go for a Ted Alspach this game is definitely the lesser of the two. More Info

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