Priests of Ra Mini-Review

Now it's time for a quick rundown of Priests of Ra.

Let me start off by telling you that Priests of Ra is a remake of Ra.  I have already reviewed Ra, so I'm going to assume that you're familiar with that game.  (If not, go check it out - Ra is an awesome game!)  This review will mainly highlight the differences.

Building the pyramid is a different scoring mechanic
Priests of Ra is an auction game like Ra, and all of the bidding, sun tiles, and Ra tiles work in exactly the same way.  The difference is what pieces you are bidding on.  In Priests of Ra, you are bidding on buildings, workers, pyramids, priests, and plagues.  Each of the buildings and workers are double sided, with different images (and colors) on each side.  When a player pulls a tile out of the bag, he gets to select which side is showing.  However, when a player buys a priest, he has the option of flipping over one of his pieces - whether one that he just bought, or one that he already owned.  For scoring, workers score at the end of each epoch, and you get points for having the most workers of a certain color, and another bonus for having at least three types of workers (this bonus is an "ankh" and scores after the third epoch); then they are discarded.  With buildings, you score points for every "complete" building (a pair of buildings of the same color), with a bonus if you have three or more types of "complete" buildings; you keep buildings from one epoch to the next.  Priests are worth two points each, and are then discarded.  Pyramid pieces only score at the end of the third epoch, and are worth points based on how tall your step pyramid is.  Plagues are scored after each epoch, and you lose points based on how many you have, with the penalty per plague growing as your number of plagues grows.  At the end of the third epoch, whoever has the most points wins.

So, yes, Priests of Ra is basically the same game as Ra, but slightly different.  One of the most impactful differences (that I actually like) is that, in Priests of Ra, plagues stay from one epoch to the next.  In Ra, you can get plagues that don't hurt you (if you don't have the tile that is being plagued), but in Priests of Ra, plagues always hurt you, and if you collect too many of them, can hurt you really, really badly.  Yet, they aren't so bad that a single plague is really all that damaging - after all, if you can buy a large collection of tiles inexpensively because there is a plague, that might be worth doing.  However, just because one plague doesn't hurt you doesn't mean that you should not be careful.  If you get enough plagues, you can lose 20 points - after each epoch!

It even has the same Ra piece
The next thing to mention about Priests of Ra is the tile flipping.  Instead of the "god" tiles in Ra (that let you steal a tile from the currently available tiles, Priests of Ra has priests.  Priests aren't as strong as gods, since you can't take what you need from the center, but they are still quite helpful since they can both flip tiles and get rid of plagues (if you have three priests during an epoch scoring, you can discard a plague tile - this is the only way to get rid of plagues).  Like gods, priests can be useful or useless based on when they come up, and what tiles come with them.  In Ra, a god tile is worthless (ok, it's action is worthless, the tile is worth 2 points) if you purchase it with your last sun - you are out of the round, so you can't steal any tiles.  However, in Priests of Ra, priests that are purchased with your first sun tile are also fairly useless, since you really won't care which side most of your tiles are facing at that point.  They can at least still be used to cancel a plague later.  Again, not really better or worse than Ra - just different.

That's really about all I have to say about Priests of Ra - if you feel like my review should be longer, go read the Ra review again, and pretend that everything I'm saying there is about this game.  Then you should feel better!

Overall, I give Priests of Ra a 9.0/10.  It's a good game, and I actually enjoy it quite a bit - however, I'm dropping it a bit from Ra, simply because it's not innovative.  It's a remake.  And, whereas that is not a bad thing, I don't feel the need to own both games, so I will probably be parting with this one.

1 comment:

  1. do not forget, that this game is good for 2 player. ra is very iffy with two.