Eight-Minute Empire: Legends
Overall Rating: 10/10
GLAM Age Range: 13-Adult
Number of Players: 2-4
Playing Time: 8-20 min
Publisher: Red Raven Games
Available At: Amazon.com
Quick Take: Speedy and more strategic version of Risk. This is about a half step more complex than the original Eight-Minute Empire but the payoff is more variety in game play and a more seamless game (you don't get stuck trying to move your pieces across water anymore). You can pick cards that give you special abilities which really adds to the strategy without making the game too complicated. We've never played a game in 8 minutes, it's definitely much closer to 20, but that's still a lot of game you're playing in a short amount of time. This is my go-to lunch break game with my husband while he's working at home. Our 8 year old son often joins in for a game or two as well.
How to Play: Your goal is to end the game with the most points. There are several ways to earn points: the number of territories you control, the islands you control, points for a type of card you've collected, and for having the most elixirs pictured on your cards. Each turn, six cards are lined up at the top of the board. The first is free, the next two cost one coin each, the two after that each cost two, and the final one costs three. You are given a certain amount of coins at the beginning of each game which you must allocate throughout the entire game in selecting and purchasing one card per turn. Once you have selected your card, you may perform the action at the bottom of the card and you gain the ability or points featured on the top of the card. You may add more armies, move armies across land, or build a city. Special abilities allow you to gain bonus armies or move your armies extra spaces. With four players, the game ends when each player has acquired eight cards each. At this point you tally up your points and see who has the most. Generally the point spread is not very big so it's a close call at the end to see who is the winner.
Variations: The game board has so many different ways it can be set up. There are four game tiles that you lay down each time and they are two sided so there are an abundant number of variations for your game board. Also, there is an entire page front and back with variants as part of the official rules. The main one we use is very simple but instead of the youngest player winning the first-player bid in the case of a tie, you roll a die to see who wins. We also really enjoy the leader cards that give players special abilities that apply during the game.
Similar Games To Check Out: Splendor, Eight-Minute Empire, Monopoly Deal, Patchwork