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Splendor (2014) is a trading-up strategy game where you play a global trader during the European Renaissance. Nobles once content with large castles and fur robes, now seek dark sapphires and glittering diamonds. You must balance accruing currency or investing in assets to maximise your wealth faster than other players. It's unusual because it offers the race-to-riches of Monopoly without having to deal with other players taking your wealth.

Play involves deciding whether to draw specific types of gems from the bank or spend them on the card assets on the table. As you build a collection of these cards they provide gems of their own to reduce the cost of your next purchases. This creates an exciting snowballing of wealth which you must leverage to buy cards worth 15 points to win the game.

As you progress, the super expensive items that seemed out of reach to begin with, become possible to attain. There's a thrill in how you build your economic world because each and every decision can tip things in your favour as long as you look ahead at what asset cards fit with your resources.

The result is a board game that's quick to learn but with a depth that requires you to think ahead. Strategies develop where you laser focus on a single currency, race to the larger commodities or foil other players by hoarding currency or reserving cards they may want.

Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Splendor 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Ellen Robertson and updated 3 months ago.
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Play StylePlay Style

This is a Collecting and Strategy game with Push-Your-Luck elements. You can play with 2 to 4 players in the same room.

You can play this game in the following styles:


Learn to Play: This takes half an hour to learn. The basics about currency and turns are really quick to learn, although it takes a number of turns before the depth of the game is apparent.

The first time you play, this makes it easier to learn:
  • Play 6-7 rounds with two players without nobles or reserving cards.
  • Play a few more rounds adding in nobles and reserving cards.
  • Restart the game with all the players.

Play Time: This game will take between half an hour and 40 minutes to complete.


Age RatingsAge Ratings

Skill Level

8+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Provided younger children have the patience and planning to think ahead they can enjoy this game.

Content Rating

We rate this suitable for 3+ years-olds.


There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.
You can purchase expansion the Cities of Splendor expansion that adds:
  • City objectives
  • Bonus currency from Trading Posts
  • The Orient special ability cards
  • Strongholds for additional reservations.

There's a mobile application version of the game, for iOS, Android and Steam. 

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 01/01/2014

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Players: 2-4

Genres: Collecting, Strategy and Push-Your-Luck

Accessibility: 34 features

Components: Cards and Tokens

Developer: spacecowboys 1 (@spacecowboys1)

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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