Game Profile: Istanbul

Welcome, merchant!  How well can you utilize your assistants in
this strategy game of collecting valuable rubies?

Classification Strategy Game
Mechanics Modular Board, Grid Movement, Pick Up & Deliver
Publication AEG, 2014
Ages 10+
Time 40 – 60
Players 2 – 5
Istanbul is the 2014 winner of the prestigious
Kennerspiel des Jahres award, i.e. strategy game of the year in Germany. The
game features merchants racing around a marketplace, dropping off and
recollecting assistants who can perform tasks in each of the 16 modular market
stalls.  The race is to acquire 5 rubies
before your opponents.
Players will each begin with a team of one
merchant, 4 assistants, one family member, and a wheelbarrow.  They will
take their merchant/assistants team through the various places within the
bazaar. Each place has as a specific action that will be performed when a
merchant and his assistants stop at it.  In order to perform the action at
a location the merchant must leave behind one assistant.
There are various ways to acquire rubies.  Rubies can be acquired at both the small mosque and the great
mosque.  Each mosque requires 2 visits
and 2 specialty mosque tile purchases in order to obtain a ruby. One ruby can
be acquired from the wainwright after 3 visits and 3 purchases of wheelbarrow expansions.
 Exchange goods for rubies at the Sultan’s
palace.  The Gemstone dealer wants gold
for his rubies.
In order to get ready
to acquire rubies, merchants will have to drop off assistants at various
warehouses and markets to obtain goods and/or coins to be traded for what is
needed to acquire rubies.  Merchants must
use their assistants as efficiently as possible, pick them back up quickly and
re-employ them in other market locations. 
Along the way merchants can acquire bonus cards to speed the
process.  They can make use of the governor
and the smuggler.  They can even use
their favorite family member who keeps getting arrested and sent back to jail.

With the modular set up of the 16 stalls and a number of ways to get the rubies, Istanbul promises plenty of good times and replayability. We have an open copy of Istanbul available in our Demo Games Library for you come in and try.

Awards: 2014 Kennerspiel des Jahres (Game of the Year)

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