Christmas Games 2010 – Dragonheart

Courtesy BGG

Dragonheart is a two-player card game that uses a basic trick-taking mechanic.  The real appeal here is not the game mechanic but the appearance and theme.

The Theme: Players are wizards trying to either free or keep the dragon imprisoned.  The theme is what drew us to the game and what sparks the initial interest from our kids (fantasy and dragons is a winning combination).

The Look:  Dragonheart has beautiful components with a very visually striking board and evocative art on the cards.  Some might call the game pricey at nearly $20 retail but the quality is worth it.

The Play: Both players have identical decks (except for the backs) and play from a five-card hand (six if you have the petrified dragon).  As cards are played on the board they activate actions that allow one to take other cards.  Players must play their cards to get the maximum number of points while preventing their opponent from doing the same.  Play is fast and simple; there is no text to read and the rules are straightforward.  The four-page rulebook is mostly examples of play.

The Win: The game ends when either player exhausts their draw deck or the third set of treasure ships is played.  Players total their scoring cards and the highest sum wins.

The Verdict:  Dragonheart is a fun filler game for any family member.  The two-player format is a bit limiting in the RockyMountainNavy family; with four kids we tend towards larger games.

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