by Shelley Stuart
(Upstate New York (USA))
Board game manufacturer:
Rio Grande Games
Number of players:
A game I play again and again and again. It never gets old or boring.
The game and gameplay
Collect the most artifacts from the Caliph’s Palace to win the game.
The game board consists of three zones; the dragons’ caves, the city and the palace. The five dragon caves hold the treasure chits you will use to purchase the artifacts. The four city areas allow you to do certain events.
Once you bribe your way past the palace guards, you can spend your treasure chits to purchase artifacts. All artifacts convey special powers or privileges you can use in subsequent game rounds.
Aladdin’s Dragons has a very simple mechanic: place tokens, then tally your token strength.
Place tokens: You have eight tokens valued from one to nine (missing the “3” token). Starting from the first player, you secretly select a number and place it face-down on one of many areas on the board. Players continue placing tokens until they are all on the board.
Tally your token strength: Area by area, players reveal the tokens placed on the board. You collect the treasure, event or artifact on that area if you have placed the highest total token value on that area.
The game ends once someone purchases the last artifact. Players then tally the number of artifacts; whoever has the highest wins the game.
Best family board games guide
Pros and cons
Players keep their acquired artifacts hidden, so you can’t tell who’s winning until the game ends. You can adopt different strategies for the game, and no one strategy dominates.
The game plays well with four and five players, plays in a reasonable amount of time and has good player interactions. All in all, I have always enjoyed a game of Aladdin’s Dragons no matter who I play with.
Editor’s note: frustratingly, we cannot find anywhere to buy a copy of this game — not even on eBay! Can anybody help?
Aladdin’s Dragons is a great staple for the regular and family gamers. You will get every penny’s worth of enjoyment for years to come.