The Castles Of Mad King Ludwig Review

By Dan Vasile, 2015-03-06 17:05
The Castles Of Mad King Ludwig Review

Who doesn't love castles? King Ludwig II of Bavaria having built Neuschwanstein – the castle behind the inspiration of the Disney theme park castles -among others, adores them and now he has commissioned your deft hands to build the biggest, most impressive castle ever to be built – subject to his ever-changing whims.

Castles of Mad King Ludwig is a 1-4 player game with variations for the number of players.

Each player assumes the role of a building contractor, adding rooms to the castle he's building while also offering his services to other players for a reward.

Starting with a simple foyer, one player is picked to take on the position if the Master Builder. That player sets prices for a set of rooms that can be bought by the other players, with the Master Builder getting to pick from the leftovers after the other players have paid him for their rooms. When a room becomes part of the castle, the player who built it gains points based on the size and type of room added, as well as bonus points based on the location of that room. Once a room is built, with all entrance-ways leading to other rooms in the castle, the player receives one of seven special bonuses.

After each round of purchasing, a new Master Builder is selected from the players, who then sets prices for a new set of rooms.

Once the room deck is empty, the game ends, with additional points awarded for achieving bonus goals, having the most popular rooms, and being the most responsive to the King's demands, which change each game - the whims of the King.

Whoever ends up with the most castle points wins.

What we thought of the game:


The positives!

The game was very quick to pick up and learn with all players getting stuck in after the first turn. The boards are colourful although could have done with some slightly better card stock as they may bend after a large amount of use.
There is a quick turn around between goes so players are not sat not able to do anything for a long time. Also due to the Master Builder changing each turn tactics become more relevant as time goes on, making this a very deceptively tactical game.
Even with four players we didn't get through the whole deck of rooms so next time it's played the game will be different.
The concept of the game is interesting and very hands on which means this game will be great for age 13 onwards...and also possibly good for those slightly younger who have played similar games before.
The Master Builder token is gorgeous and very well made.

The bits that could be improved on:

The box has no small bags or plastic tray for the pieces. Which means once you have punched the game out of the boards it comes on you have to pile everything back into the box where it can just slide around.
The card stock for the pieces isn't as solid as they perhaps could have been but with proper care they will last a good while.

The final verdict

Over all we enjoyed this game and had a lot of fun playing it. The different rooms caused a number of discussions and everyone was very keen to play it again. This would be perfect for any who like Alhambra, and other tactical games. It is also a good starting game for people who haven't played many before.

How much is it? The Castles of Mad King Ludwig is priced at: £47.99

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