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Best Board Games of 2006

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Cleopatra and the Society of Architects - #8 Board Game of 2006
Cleopatra and the Society of Architects

Cleopatra and the Society of Architects

Photo courtesy of Days of Wonder
Cleopatra and the Society of Architects

Designed by Bruno Cathala and Ludovic Maublanc; published by Days of Wonder; 3 to 5 players; ages 10 and up; $40 (approximate).

When you bring out this clever family strategy game, be sure to have a large table available. The large plastic components are visually striking, while the gameplay manages to be both simple and challenging. Players are architects, building a castle for the Egyptian ruler Cleopatra. While collecting resources and using them to add column walls, sphinxes, obelisks and other improvements to the castle, each player must also avoid becoming too corrupt.

The deck of 110 resource and character cards includes 34 "tainted" cards which, if played, will cause a player to collect corruption tokens. The corruption tokens are kept secret, so everyone has a sense of how much everyone has been corrupted, but only players with fantastic memories will know precisely. Becoming a little corrupt is unavoidable, and there are ways to shed corruption. But when the scoring is tallied, the most corrupt architect is tossed to the crocodiles before the winner is determined.

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