Overall Rating: 10/10
GLAM Age Range: 7-Adult
Number of Players: 2-4
Playing Time: 30 min
Publisher: Space Cowboys
Available At: Amazon.com
Quick Take: Resource building game with a decent amount of strategy. Despite my unofficial rule that all games I currently play must be 20 minutes or less, this makes the cut because it's just so good and there is an easy way to make it quicker to play. If you want to do the official rules though it really does take 30 minutes and your first time playing it might take even longer because there is a learning curve for strategy and rules. But once you've played through once game play is easy and your playing time will speed up quite a bit.
How to Play: First person to 15 points wins. You acquire points through development cards and eventually prestige points. Each turn you're allowed to collect a certain number of gem tokens which eventually you use to purchase development cards. There are tiers of development cards, low or no point cards are at the bottom, high point cards are at the top. The trick is that once you purchase a development card, the gem pictured on the top right of the card now enters your hand as a sort of permanent gem and you can use it on repeat to help purchase more development cards without your existing development cards leaving your hand. Simple enough!
Variations: Best change: turn this into a 20 minute game by dealing out one or two of the base level development cards to every player to start the game. They don't have point value, they just make it so you can purchase cards for fewer jewels sooner. Also, some friends have played without the prestige points at the end just to keep things a bit more simple for their first round of play (although this does make the game take a little longer). And they have written variations in the rules for games with just 2 or 3 players.