Istanbul board game
Istanbul board game


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Overall Rank: #82 | Trending Rank: #433
Hustle and bustle in the bazaar district of Istanbul: merchants and their assistants are hurrying through the narrow alleys attempting to be more successful than their competitors. Good organization is key: wheelbarrows have to be filled with goods at the warehouses and then swiftly transported by the assistants to the various destinations. The goal of the merchants is to be the first to collect a certain amount of rubies.

You are leading a merchant and four assistants through the 16 Places of the bazaar. At each Place, you can carry out a specific action. The challenge is that, to carry out an action at any of those Places, your merchant needs the help of an assistant and has to leave him behind. To use that assistant again later, your merchant has to come back to that Place and pick him up. So plan ahead carefully to avoid being left with no assistants and thus unable to do anything...

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User Ratings & Reviews

  • Oh man. So much to love. So easy to pick up and play. As play grows your actions are required to be more precise. Certainly a lot of different ways you can go about things and the ability to randomize most of the board helps with replayability. I certainly think I'll get the expansions to add a bit of variety and play to the game but the box alone is a fantastic game to bust out and play within an hour with under 4 people.
  • Set up is challenging (especially for new players), but game play is pretty good once you get going.
  • From Ilona: This game is with every player count amazing. For your first game using the layout which they suggest for the first time after that just randomize the location of the tiles. This is also in some way a puzzle game, I don't like worker placements that much anymore but this and Dinosaur island are the exception.
  • Delightful game – always happy to play. The little plastic rubies help.
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Yeah they have more than I thought! Not a ton, but you can find #Catan, #Istanbul, and #Wingspan on there!

There's a few things about it that make it different from other games that I quite enjoy.  The spatial element of moving your president around the board combined with the building up of power to take bigger actions is fun and interesting.  The blocking of other presidents is starting to become another interesting aspect now that we've played it enough to be able to start looking around at what other people are doing. :) 

It's a bit of a race as well.  There are some pretty big scoring opportunities on the board that are only available once so you are keeping your eye on everyone else, what they have in their warehouse, where they have built up power, to guess what they might be going for.  

It's not quite like any other game I've personally played or seen.  I know #Istanbul is often compared to it but I find the similarities are only at a basic level.  (You move a main piece around using a path of assistants.)   I like both games but prefer Yokohama.


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