Tuesday 31 October 2017

Carcassonne Family Tile Game Review (age7+)

Carcassonne is a modern classic. A beautifully illustrated tile game that feels as if it's always existed, based on the real walled French city of Carcassonne and with a storyline as old as history. Carcassonne is very easy to learn and suitable for 2-5 players aged around 7+. Using hexagonal tiles players build cities, cloisters, roads and farms, claiming points for completed builds and continuing until all the game tiles are exhausted.

We're reviewing the updated edition and as well as the inclusion of Abbots, it is different because the illustrations are brighter and more detailed. The box itself is gorgeous and a great smaller size for shelf storage. Open the box and the redesigned tiles don't disappoint.

You need to press out all of the thick card tiles, so allow 10 minutes before first play.

Throughout the game you use a wooden token, or Meeple, to show your running total on the scorecard and to claim a road, city, farm or cloister.

You can see the difference between the older illustrations and the brighter and more detailed new illustrations here on the scorecards - the new card is at the bottom.

The tiles are beautiful and there's no doubting what you have on your card. Gameplay starts with the first river tile being laid - although there are many ways to play and you can easily adapt your gameplay, so when playing with younger children we've always laid the entire river as a bigger starting block.

Each turn you take an upturned tile from the pile, turn it over and add it to the map. Features (roads etc) must match up with existing features, but it's rare that you can't place your tile anywhere. Then you can add a Meeple.

When adding Meeples to anything other than a Cloister, you decide on road, city or farm and you can't add to a feature which already has a Meeple. You can however end up in the same feature if a connection forms as the map expands.

Points are awarded and Meeples returned to their owner whenever a feature is completed - when a road has a city at each end or a city is completely enclosed by a wall for example. Whoever has the greatest number of Meeples in the feature earns the points unless it is a tie, in which case both players get the points !

The aim of the game is to get the most points. When all of the tiles are exhausted, the game is over and points are given for incomplete features and added to the score card.

My 7 and 9 year old boys are excellent at Carcassonne. They play a fabulous game and my 7 year old is quite ruthless at times. You can play the long game and try to get the longest road or largest city, but you can also nibble away by creating tiny joining roads very quickly and collecting points that way. There are real tactics to Carcassonne and you get much better very quickly, although often it really doesn't seem to matter how many years you've played for, you can still win or lose by design, luck or accident!

Carcassonne is an excellent family game and brilliant for multi-generational play. The rules are very simple to learn and play is straight out of the box. Each game takes around an hour at most and the backstory and ideology to the game is understood by everyone. It's a beautiful game and an excellent gift. A real crowd-pleaser.

Carcassonne is distributed by Esdevium Games and available to buy now from all good toy shops and games stockists £32.99rrp including Amazon where it is currently reduced.. There are tons of expansion packs and add ons to increase the map with special features or allow extra players to join in. There's even a Star Wars edition.

We were sent our copy of Carcassonne for review for the Blogger Board Game Club. The Amazon link is an affiliate link, so I get a few pence each time someone orders through me, but they don't pay any more!


  1. I totally need to play this game! I have been to Carcassonne, the castle is absolutely beautiful - well worth a trip there xx

    1. Oh wow! You lucky thing. You should definitely play - my boys can thrash you too! :D


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