Sunday, October 13, 2013

Candle Quest: the Best Board Game for Hanukkah

Candle Quest is a new board game for Hanukkah, and really the ONLY good game for Hanukkah by anyone, anywhere. Sad to say, but true.

Game in Progress
Candle Quest is a re-theme of my game It's Alive, a light family strategy Eurogame, basically a set-collection auction game. It plays for two to five players, takes about 30 to 45 minutes to play, and is appropriate for ages 5 and up.

Unlike most "children's games", this game is a solid light Euro strategy game, and extremely enjoyable for adults, with high replayability. The game is nevertheless easy to learn, friendly, simple to teach, has kid-friendly graphics, and has a quick learning curve for younger players. My seven year old was regularly able to play competitively with me.

Draw a card, and then buy, sell, or auction the card. You can also buy a card from someone's discard pile. The game is over when someone collects all eight colored candles (each candle color also has a distinctive candle shape, so the game is playable by the color-blind), and the winner is either the first to complete their menorah (basic game) or the player with the highest value collection (advanced game). This new version slightly simplifies the "buy from the discard pile" option and also adds a simplified variant for younger players.

The fun comes from choosing which option to take on your turn, and how much to set the auction price. You can try for a quick win by buying all the low priced cards, you can sell cards on your turn and hope to pick up cards on other players' turns, or you can try acquire the highest priced cards with the most cash remaining.

I don't rate my own games on BGG, but if I did I would give this game a 7.5 or 8. I've played it hundreds of times myself and I still enjoy it. I even discover new strategies sometimes.

Available from Victory Point Games, Amazon (supposedly, but it appears to be out of stock and we're hoping it will be available with their free shipping option RSN), and NWS, The game comes in box and polybag versions.

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