ImhotepFall 2016 Games
Imhotep, named after the master builder of ancient Egypt, is a fascinating board game for ages 10 and up. Two to four players compete over six rounds to build pyramids, obelisks, a burial chamber, and a temple. In a turn, a player can perform one of four actions: (1) load stones from the quarry to their sled, (2) add a stone to an available ship, (3) move a ship to a game location, or (4) play a collected card. It's extremely well-made, beautifully decorated. A clever feature is the two-sided game board (A and B). Each side offers different game play, but the difficulty level remains the same.
The game consists of wood blocks (stones) which are off-loaded and used to build structures as follows: PYRAMID - Stones are placed on the next free space on the pyramid square, forming a 3x3 block base, 2x2 block second level and single block top. Points are assigned immediately according to the grid diagrams on the pyramid board. TEMPLE - Stones are placed on the next free space of the five designated squares. Points are earned at the end of each round based on the number of colored stones visible from above. BURIAL CHAMBER - Stones delivered here are placed in the next available space in columns. Points are scored at the end of the game based on the number of contiguous stones of each color represented. OBELISKS - Stones are stacked by color to create individual obelisks. The tallest obelisk at the end of the game gets the most points.
Ships can also sail to the MARKET. Here, players exchange stones for cards that provide some immediate benefit or result in higher scores at the end of the game. Players can load ships to score big points at the pyramid, but another player may take the ship to the burial chamber. Sometimes a player must decide whether to compromise her advancement to thwart her opponent's progress. Strategy is in full play. Do I go for the sure thing and take a few points now, or do I take a chance and hope for long term gain?
We were all engaged, discussing strategies, and pointing to alternative moves that might have been better. It was wonderful fun and I look forward many more chances to win (because I haven't yet).