“Papa, where do crystal golems come from?”
“The great masters craft them using soul crystals.”
“Oh… but where do soul crystals come from?”
“From all over the world. They are very rare. Legend says they are the souls of people who died long before the first humans came to Carvania.”
“Well, when I grow up, I’m going to be a crystal trader! I’ll travel the whole world and I’ll find the very best crystals and the masters will make great big powerful golems from them, like the Gatekeeper!”
So begins Plan B Games’ fantasy re-theme of their popular Century: Spice Road. While Spice Road is more historically themed around spice trade, Golem Edition trades spices for crystals and demand for mighty golems. The hand-building and resource management remain exactly the same, just with a more colorful and lighthearted theme.
A game of Century: Golem Edition starts with each player taking a Caravan Card, 2 starting Trading Cards (identical for each player), and a number of crystals depending on the number of players. The Golem Cards are then shuffled and 5 are placed face up in the center of the table. Copper and Silver coins are placed above the left-most Golems. The Trading Cards are then shuffled and 6 are placed face up in the center of the table to form the game’s market. Each color crystal, yellow, green, blue, and pink, are separated and placed in plastic, diamond-shaped bowls.
The goal of Century: Golem is to have the most points after someone purchases their 5th Golem.
On each player’s turn they may take one of the 4 following actions:
- Take a card from the market – Take a card from the market by placing one of any of their crystals on every card before it in the line, starting from the left. If any crystals are on the card they’re taking, those are taken too. Slide remaining market cards left and draw a new one from the deck. The leftmost market card is always free.
- Play a card from their hand – Use a card to gain crystals, upgrade crystals, or trade crystals.
- Claim a Golem – Pay the appropriate amount of crystals for the Golem, taking a Copper or Silver coin if that Golem is under one. All Golems shift to the left and a new Golem is drawn.
- Rest – Take all played cards back into their hand.
Play continues until the someone purchases their 5th Golem. The rest of the round then plays out and scores are calculated by players adding up the values of their Golems and adding an additional 3 points for every Copper Coin they have and 1 point for every Silver Coin they have.
For the full rules, click here.
- Box 👍
- Rulebook 👍
- Golem Cards ⭐
- Trading Cards 👍
- Caravan Cards 👍
- Plastic Crystals ⭐
- Plastic Crystal Bowls 👍
- Copper and Silver Coins⭐
(👍 = Good, 👎 = Bad, ⭐ = Exceptional)
Century: Golem Edition is an excellent game for both new games and those long ingrained in the hobby. Its easy-to-learn rules, quick play, and colorful artwork make it very approachable while the different combinations of Market Cards allow more in-depth strategizing and experimentation of play style. There’s an amazing amount of variety in how many different ways you can use these cards to earn, upgrade, downgrade, and trade your crystals and create a profitable engine for claiming Golems. The Golems themselves are a wonder to behold, each different in its apparent function and drawn in a style very similar to Hayao Miyazaki’s robots in Studio Ghibli’s movie Castle in the Sky,
A price of $39.99 for the game is certainly money well spent with both the quality of the game and its components being exceptional. Century’s plastic gems and metal coins compliment the colorful artwork and contribute much to its fantasy theme. For those who may have been interested in Century: Spice Road but just wasn’t too keen on the more drab theme, or those looking to pick up and excellent gateway game, Century: Golem Edition is a solid choice for your shelf.
A copy of Century: Golem Edition was purchased for this review
Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.