Crystal Palace is a dice placement game in which, at the beginning of each round, the players themselves decide their dice stats. The greater the amount, the better, but it comes at a cost. Dice are positioned at eight action locations in a competition for the best tools, patents, and brains over the course of the game.
Board Game Scores & Ranks:
- BGG Weight: 3.74
- Play time: 90 – 150 Mins
- Player Count: 2 – 5 (Best 3)
- Year Published: 2019
Crystal Palace Board Game Designer:
- Resource Management
- Worker Placement / Dice Placement
- ‘Buzz’ Scoring Track
- Unique Income Track that goes down at end of each turn
Board Game Theme:
At Crystal Palace, at the time of the first World Fair in London (1851), players took on the role of a country, trying to build a buzz with spectacular inventions and the help of popular and powerful people.
Goal of Game:
Collect most VP by end game. Do so by creating inventions and hiring great inventors. Points can also be scored via selling dice back to the market, collecting points on ‘buzz track’, sending workers to the Black Market or spots on the player board, filling up slots on the player board and finally converting money & resources at the end of game.
Crystal Palace Components:
- Invention Cards
- Inventor Cards
- Nation Player Boards
- Dice, Workers, Markers in 5 Player Colours
- Gears, Idea Custom Tokens
- Various Income & One Time Chits
- Loan Chits
The game’s basic rule set and action order is the same game to game. The variability comes in the different actions and strategies presented by the different invention cards, inventor cards, and research tiles. Initial cards or tiles can shape gameplay from the beginning. There are also other factors, such as maintaining your income throughout the game, as money is very tight. This forces players to manage their money, and try to increase it during the game, primarily through earning shares that increase income. Money can also be gained via research spots and places on the board. As money is tight, the bidding can become fierce and is a large factor in this game. Players will have a very difficult time coming back from aggressive overbids. All said, while you’re trying to do roughly the same thing every game (earn VP in game, cover up places on your board by end game), how you fulfil your objectives changes drastically from game to game.
Board Game Replayability Review:
8.5 / 10 (Goes the Distance)
Based on 11 Plays
The game comes with multiple, modular player boards that change based on player count. This gives the game a home for groups large and small. In smaller groups against regular opponents the bidding mechanic creates a cat & mouse tension. Gamers will have a difficult time running through the same strategy, as regular opponents will get wise and outbid, under bid or move into ‘preferred spaces’ frequently.
The game has a great loan system where a loan can be taken out at any time, but can never be removed. You can always do something, but how far into debt do you want to go? We recommend this game for economic euro fans, and for those that enjoy back & forth bidding tension.
For us, Crystal Palace Goes the Distance and is staying in our collection.