Review by Bobby ‘Biscuit hipster’ Davies
Castles of Burgundy is complex. Like 4D Rubik’s Cube complex. Designed for 2-4 players, and with games ranging from 60 to 90 minutes your aim is to become the most prominent Prince in medieval Burgundy. Over 5 rounds you’ll roll and place dice on the board to acquire Silverlings, Workers, and Buildings, completing Regions and accumulating points to hopefully be the Princiest Prince since Prince himself.
Now I’ve struggled with CoB, it’s taken an awful lot of Youtube How to Play videos for me to wrap my head around it. The basics are fine, roll dice, buy or place pieces based on what you roll, use worker tokens to alter dice rolls by one if there’s a building or plot of land that you’ve really got your heart set on. (I’m looking at you, Boarding House.) Difficulty alone is not something to bash a game for, though.
You see, the reason I had to resort to outside assistance is because the in game tutorial is so weak. The pacing is dreadful and the writing whilst thematic, did elicit a couple of groans from me. I honestly felt more confused through the in game help as nothing felt cohesive and the endgame was explained far too late to me. Graphically, we’re not pretty. Things are plastered across the screen in a manner that is somehow compact and slapdash at the same time with a large glossary taking up a large column on the left hand side of the screen. Great for finding out what each of the seemingly endless tiles do quickly, not so great for visibility.
That same glossary is what lends me to believe that this is a game originally designed for Tablet or Phone rather than PC. With no scroll wheel you’re left dragging the Glossary up and down the screen. Seems well built for a deft swipe of the finger on your Tablet of choice, less so for mouse users. Don’t even think about the mouse scroll wheel, I now have one thoroughly exercised finger from attempting it. World’s Strongest Finger 2K19 here I come.
Castles of Burgundy is a game for someone that’s for sure, just maybe not me. If you and some friends are major board game fans and love a bit of strategy, competition, and complexity then pick this up from a game store. I just don’t think the PC is the best place for it, on your shelf next to Ticket to Ride and Pop Up Pirate certainly is though.