Citadels Board Game Review –

Board game remakes and reprints are on the rise, and Citadels is one of those titles that’s been given a glossy coat of paint, included all previous expansions, and relaunched for public consumption. As an owner of the original in this little box, it’s nice to have a full set of the game to enjoy, and I think it’s a worthwhile upgrade to make.

What I love about Citadels is that it takes hidden character deduction gameplay to another level with a city-building mechanic, and for the most part it works really well. Having all the expansions included – meaning you have more than the original 8 characters to choose from – makes the game more playable as you don’t feel like you’re doing the same game after game. comparing this version next to my original, the cards are higher quality, the plastic parts are a step up from the cardboard parts of my original, and the 3D printed crown is a nice touch for the token of the first player.

In Citadels, you build a city by buying cards from the center of the table. And while there’s some great role-playing buried here, you ultimately have to build city districts so you can earn points to win the game. On your turn, you can either take two gold from the supply to buy a new card. Cards will have different points attached to them, and having a good variety of cards – some of which have additional benefits – will be key to victory.

The secondary aspect here is the hidden roles you will be playing. You could have the assassin, allowing you to eliminate someone. You could be the thief, allowing you to steal someone’s gold. There are over 20 different characters you can be – numbered 1-9 – and only a set number will be used each game. You will select a role and pass the remaining cards to the people around you, until everyone has a role. Not knowing what role people have adds to the intrigue, but when you use a role to derail an opponent’s plans, it’s very satisfying.

The reason I like this game so much is that it balances both aspects well. In practice, I hate role-playing games, deduction games. Experiments like Coup and Werewolf are terrible, and I have no desire to play them. It strikes me a little differently, and I appreciate the city building aspect which is arguably more important than the roles you choose, except when they directly help you. Derailing others is fine, but you win by building a better city than others, not how many times you ruin someone else’s plan. And because of that, I think people choose roles that are more beneficial to themselves than detrimental to others. There is a great balance.

Citadels is a pretty old game, all things considered, but this new release has brought it back to the table for our weekly board game night. It’s been a few years since I last played Citadels, but having this upgraded version with the expansions has brought it back to relevance. Even if you own an older copy of Citadels, this is a great upgrade well worth buying. It just might revitalize this game for you!

Adam Roffel has only been writing about video games for a short time, but honed his skills by earning a master’s degree. He loves Nintendo and almost everything they’ve released…even Tomodachi Life.

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