Jaipur – a game about collecting and selling goods. A game made for just 2 players. Is it worth owning a game that only plays 2 players when so many games play 2-4 or 2-6? Let’s find out…is Jaipur fun?
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Jaipur // 2 players // 30 minutes
In Jaipur you are collecting and selling goods. These goods include things like gold, silver, cloth. There are also camels…which are not goods, so they aren’t really part of your hand or used to directly gain points…more on camels later.
On your turn you can either collect or sell your goods. To sell goods you lay down one set of goods you have collected and take the associated tokens. So if I lay 2 jewel cards, I earn 2 jewel tokens.
There are a few different methods of collecting cards – you can just take one card from the market. Or you can take all of the camels from the market and add them to your camel stash. As a third option you can trade any number of goods from your hand with that same number of goods from the market.
The unique thing there…you can trade camels. Now, you can’t sell camels for points…so why collect camels? They act as a great currency or filler, allowing you to quickly snatch up a lot of goods from the market without having to discard the other goods you’ve collected.
The camels are the first thing that I LOVE about this game. There are lots of interesting decisions of when to use and when to take camels.
Say you and I are playing a game and there are a few camels available in the market. If you take all of the camels from the market, you will flip over new cards to replace them…that might give me exactly what I want.
But, maybe I already have 7 cards in my hand, the max number I can hold. This might be a perfect time for you to take camels, reveal new cards…cards I won’t be able to snatch up…allowing you access to any new cards revealed.
And I didn’t even mention that you gain 5 points for having the most camels at the end of the round. The camels provide a lot of interesting choices and chances for you to deduce what I’m going to do on my turn.
The second thing that makes Jaipur so fun is the timing of selling goods. When you sell goods, the tokens, which earn you points, are arranged from largest to smallest. So the sooner you cash in the higher the point value.
But…there is incentive to wait to sell, and that is because if you sell multiple goods at a time you are given a bonus token. If you sell 3, 4, or 5 goods at a time you gain one of these tokens, which can be worth a lot of points.
This pits you against your opponent as you are trying to deduce if they are going for the same thing…and if it is worth waiting to get the bonus token, or if it is better to sell now to earn the higher point good tokens.
Final Review – is Jaipur Fun?
In Short – yes! I love the decision making of when to sell or take cards. Included in that is the player deduction, trying to figure out “if I take these cards now, what will you do?” The artwork is pretty, the length is just right, the game never overstays its welcome.
I will also mention Jaipur’s positive player interaction. Naturally a 2 player game has a competitive feel – either I win or you win. That can make games feel cutthroat and mean.
While this game can have those moments, they feel minor compared to other 2 player games. I generally feel like the game has a playful banter feel rather than a cutthroat “you’re sleeping on the couch tonight” feel.
The only negative I can say about the game…and I hate even saying this…is the game doesn’t have that “IT” factor. And I don’t know what “IT” even is.
I love to play the game, but there are some games that I haven’t played for a while that I’m just itching to play and it is all I can think about. Jaipur has never had that for me. And while I’ve never turned down the opportunity to play Jaipur…I’ve never been dying to play it.
But that is a fairly minor thing. It is a solid game that I absolutely love and highly HIGHLY recommend.
Overall I give Jaipur an A and a thumbs up. Jaipur is fun! It is a game that I think is about as perfect as it could be. For a simple, quick, lighthearted trading type game, Jaipur is perfect. I think most any couple could add this to their collection and be very pleased.
Pros: Meaningful Decisions / Player Deduction / Artwork / Length / Player Interaction
Cons: No IT Factor
This may be my number one suggested 2 player game. What is yours? I’d love to hear your thoughts.