Board Game Review – The Oracle of Delphi [EN]

I haven’t posted a review before after just playing a few games (actually still on my second play of it right now). But this game already looked interesting and intriguing after watching a few reviews and seeing comments. Once i tried it, i knew my hunch feeling wasn’t wrong. The Oracle of Delphi is an unusual game for Stefan Feld. Although some mechanisms remind usual for him point salad euro style aspects, this one is actually a race. Yes, you don’t have to compete who will have more points at the end, you just have to be the first. One can say that main mechanism in this game is pick up and deliver. You take something from one place, then sail and deliver to another. And for more fun there is also a luck element. You have to find your islands to build temples by looking randomly at cards or have to roll a die when fighting monsters. But you also can find special abilities which help in search or take heroes into your team to help you with fighting. Even your main source of resources in this game is 3 dies, which you roll at the beginning of every turn to get “mana” to be able to do various actions. Again, you can alter the results with special tokens. But the main idea behind the game is – planning and effectiveness. When to sail to the opposite corner of the map to gather offerings for the gods, should you stop on the way to slay a monster, which can give you an ability to sail faster? Have your opponents already completed most of their task and now you have to take a risk and fight monsters with bare hands? This is what attracts me in this game the most. And this can scare beginners in the board games world or those who dislike being presented with too many options (same problem in Five Tribes). I myself still find it hard to be able to keep everything in mind. The map is so confusing with all the different colors. And vast selection of options can make you dizzy at first. Good thing is that by the end of the game there are less options and you can be more focused on a few things. Overall game’s time and complexity are well balanced. It doesn’t feel too long or too short. Well, i would still remove the last part with having to go back to Zeus after completing all your 12 tasks (build 3 temples, deliver 3 offerings and 3 statues and slay 3 monsters). I get that it’s thematic (in a fairly abstract game) and gives one hope to still win by a small chance if your opponent has completed all tasks before you. But it is a bit anticlimactic having to do that one last sail after you have actually completed everything. That’s a minor thing though. I have probably tried just one other Feld’s game (Castles of Burgundy, not my cup of tea), but this one truly captivated me. Planning and racing. Good combination – 9/10.

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