"I know that gold would be helpful, but think of all the things I can do with FOUR camels!!" If you find yourself saying this a lot, then Jaipur might just be the perfect game for you!
Jaipur is a two-player trading (with the bank) game. On your turn you can either do two things - take cards or sell cards. When taking cards, you can either take a single card (if you're not at your hand limit), you can trade any number of cards from your hand (and camel herd) for any number of cards in the available pool, or you can take all of the camels (though there might be a smell involved) and place them in your herd. When selling cards, you can sell any number of matching goods (you have to sell at least two when selling the three best goods). When selling, you collect a victory point chip per good traded - and the chips decrease in value as players collect them. However, if you trade 3-5 matching goods at a time, then you get a bonus scoring chip (worth a lot of points). Once three goods piles run out, each player counts how many points they have. Best two out of three determines the best camel trader on the planet! (Which, I think, may be similar to best port-a-potty cleaner when it comes to smell, but fortunately I wouldn't know first-hand.)
|You definitely want to collect chips first|
The next tough decision that Jaipur gives you is which goods to collect. Do you always collect the most valuable goods? If so, then it will be much harder to actually gain very many of them since there is a smaller number of them available in the deck (I think), and your opponent will also be trying to take them. Yet, if you choose not to collect the more valuable goods, then you are leaving your opponent uninhibited when collecting the most valuable goods! Plus, what happens when you have two copies of three different goods in your hand (the hand limit is seven), and there are two copies of the goods you need in front of you? You have to decide which ones to take, and what to put back, which then may give your opponent a collection of matching goods!
|Aren't the camels pretty?|
I didn't really find any "cons" with Jaipur. However, it does have a very limited gaming appeal. By this, I don't mean that only certain people would like Jaipur - I really think that most anybody could enjoy it. However, it is only two player, and takes about 15-30 minutes. So, because of it's length, you probably wouldn't get together just to play Jaipur, and you also probably wouldn't play it 5 times in a row. Plus, with only two players, it's not especially amazing as a filler, because I normally have more than two people waiting around on game nights. However, with all that said, when you do need a short game for two players, it is amazing. And, obviously, the most common situation that requires two-player games is playing games with your spouse. I think that Jaipur works wonderfully for this, and in fact, I have played it with my own wife.
Overall, I give Jaipur an 8.5/10. Again, if I don't see myself getting together just to play a game, then I don't like to give it a 9 or higher, but that is really the only criteria that keeps this score so low. However, it is in the upper echelon of filler games, in my opinion. I believe that everybody (not just gamers) should try Jaipur, and I plan to keep it in my collection for a long, long time.
If you have a love affair with camels, you might also want to check out Through the Desert. Otherwise, some other nice little two-player games are Babel and Atlanteon. Or, if you want some more thoughts on Jaipur, check out I Slay the Dragon's Jaipur Review, or this other review of Jaipur by Games With Two.