Castles of Caleira is the latest game from designer Keith D Franks published by Cutlass Boardgames it sits 2-4 players, plays in around 10 mins and recommended from ages 8+ I think slightly older kids would get more from it.
This review is based on the PnP version supplied while the campaign is live
A micro card game where each player is trying to build their castle by placing cards from hand in front of them either face up or face down some cards have victory points associated to them and at the end of the game the castle worth the most points wins. When cards are played face up any abilities they have are executed and should a face down card be revealed (flipped over) by way of another action card it’s ability will execute. A few examples abilities on cards are playing cards that are worth zero points but allow you to destroy another card on the table or a card that allows you to exchange cards with another player and another let’s you rearrange the top few cards of the draw deck.
Light Rules Overview
Setup is super easy; Adjust the number of cards in the deck to the number of players, shuffle and then deal two to each player, put the rest of the shuffled deck in reaching distance to form a draw pile and that is setup complete.
Rules are equally easy to explain there are three actions to be taken:
– Draw a card
– Play one card from hand
– Resolve any abilities of played card
That’s it, rinse and repeat until all cards have been played.
To determine the winner, add up the faceup cards victory points for cards that have any and each facedown card is worth one point, whoever has the most points wins and built the best castle.
– Simple to teach and setup lightweight game
– Super portable
– Great artwork (my home printed version does not do this justice)
– Nothing has jumped out at me over the games I have had.
I know, another microgame, what can I say they are easy to get people involved in and have them come back for more and Castles of Caleira is no exception to this. People I played this with were surprised by the amount of strategy / bluffing and goading you can get out of such a minimal game and that is driven by the face down element of placing cards. I have played with and without the moat cards as they are not in the lowest tier and I think both versions play well, I’d be hard pushed to pick a definitive version, the moat cards do add another level of strategy that I like but I do like the idea of the wallet, I still have a copy of dragon punch in my bag as it takes up very little space so when rotating my everyday carry games it just stays in the bag.
I think this is a strong example of what can be done with the micro card format and it’s good to see people still exploring this game space. If you are in the market for supporting a well-executed and surprisingly strategic micro game I recommend you check out the campaign linked below.