CAMPANILE - Reviewed by Mike

Category/Format: Abstract/Card

Our group have recently rediscovered CAMPANILE, which was reviewed in detail by Mike Siggins in SUMO 31/32 JULY 1996, enough for me to make the original purchase.

For any new subscribers who may not have heard of it this is a card game in which players build any one of 5 towers, each in a different style of architecture, and bet upon which towers will be the tallest when the game ends. Only 4 of the 5 towers score and players with the largest and 2nd largest bets in each tower get a certain number of points. Highest point total wins.

The number of cards in your hand from which you select to play a tower card consists of only 4 at any one time and certain restrictions apply as to which towers you can extend and also upon which towers you can bet, the size of the bet being related to the number of storeys (is that the plural of storey ??) that the player has extended in that turn.

The real crux of the game is that the cards depict an increase of 1.2 or 3 storeys and it is the choice of the player as to which of these options to choose. If you have bet upon a certain tower you may wish to extend it by 3; if you wish to retard the growth of other towers on which the other players have bet you may increase it by only 1. However, your decision is not as straightforward as that, as the card to replenish your hand up to 4 is taken from the next FACE UP card under the pile relating to the number of storeys you have just increased it by. So you can see what choice there is but it may not be a card that does your cause any good (i.e. it helps the other players), so there is a little thought required.

As with any random distribution games you can become frustrated when the cards do not 'come right' for you but that does not detract from an amusing little filler game, ideal for closing a session, the game taking 20-30 minutes.

One word of caution though. The cards are quite thin to enable them to be placed on top of each other to depict the growth of the towers and as the height of the towers are so crucial we always leave the placing of cards to ONE PERSON to handle carefully. This is not a game where you want any sleeves knocking the cards about. !!

I'm not sure of the availability of the game now but it's worth searching for.

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