Deduction, Bluffing, and Gold Aplenty

Are you the King or the Merchant? Hmmm… Because I would love to steal your gold and use it all on my next turn. Or perhaps you’re trying to throw me off by choosing the Bishop? Hmmm…

That’s basically what it’s like to play Citadels. Players take turns choosing a secret role (the King, Assassin, Magician, etc.), which gives them a special perk or power. Then you take gold and build districts (cards) for victory points. It’s so simple… except that the roles changes each round. Guessing what other people have chosen is just as key to victory as obscuring your own choices.

The game plays well with 7 or 8 players, but takes longer with more players (almost 2 hours with the biggest groups). But either way, the rules are simple and easy to understand, so it stays fun and exciting the whole way through, even for casual gamers.

The Breakdown

  • Decisions: 4/5. Citadels is all about choice. Picking the right role at the right time is the key to everything in this game; play too predictably or too defensively and you will either make yourself an easy target or waste precious opportunities for prosperity.
  • Artwork: 4/5. For the most part, the illustrations in Citadels are wonderful. The characters themselves are unique and bursting with personality. The fact that the illustrations are all done by different people means more visial variety, but at the expense of consistency. But overall I think this game shines visually.
  • Replayability: 4/5. There is nothing variable in the setup of the game, but each round there are two character cards that end up out of the mix. Plus, depending on where you’re sitting, you may or may not have a large number of cards to choose from.
  • Awesomeness: 4/5. Is this game awesome? Yes, I believe it is. It may be too light for some and too heavy for others, but to me it fits squarely in the middle of the gaming universe.


Bottom line: If you like intrigue, or games that combine party elements with some clever strategic underpinnings, Citadels is for you. Enjoy!

  • Decisions 80% 80%
  • Artwork 80% 80%
  • Replayability 80% 80%
  • Awesomeness 80% 80%