Jaipur is a 2 player only set collection card game by Sèbastien Pauchon set in a desert merchant theme. The goal of Jaipur is to become the richest trader (most rupees=points) at the end of each week (round). In order to earn rupees, you collect goods and sell those goods at the market. Camel cards are used as a great way to exchange cards and get extra rupees at the end of the week.
Each turn, players have a choice of taking cards or selling cards. Players can take cards in a few different ways. One option is to take exchange goods using cards in your hand or by using the camel cards. A second way is to just take one single good. The third option is to take all the camels in the market. It can be advantageous to keep a good stock of camels as they can be used for exchanges and do not take up space in your hand.
Selling cards is ultimately how you get rich in the game. You can always sell just one good unless it’s one of the 3 expensive goods (gold, diamonds, silver), in which you have to sell at least two. For selling goods, you take as many tokens as you sold. These tokens are your points in the game, and the tokens do go down in value as they are sold. Only silvers maintain their value (5). If you sell at least 3 goods, you can take a bonus token which gives extra rupees at the end of the round.
The round continues until 3 types of goods tokens are depleted, or there are no cards left in the draw pile when filling the market. Players add up their rupees and total score. Whoever is the richest gets the seal of excellence. Play another round if a player does not have two seals of excellence. At the end of a round, if a player has two seals of excellent, that player wins the game.
Jaipur fills that niche of a light to medium weight two player only game. I love set collecting games, so Jaipur gives me that experience without being too long or overstaying its welcome. The camels are a very interesting part of the game, as they add quite a bit of strategy. Do you take the camels and possibly reveal goods that your opponent needs? Or do you exchange the camels to gain a set of goods to be sold later? I love the decisions in this game, and thankfully they don’t cause any sort of analysis paralysis.
The art and components of Jaipur are high quality and well done. The goods tokens are made of thick cardboard and feel nice in the hand. The cards shuffle well and are playing card quality. The rulebook of Jaipur was easy to read and understand. The custom insert fits everything in the box well.
Overall, Jaipur is a very solid set collecting game. While the light weight of it may deter some gamers, it’s balance and ability to play multiple rounds wins out the weight. When wanting to play a 2 player game in under an hour, Jaipur is an excellent choice. I can see gamers bringing this to vacations or playing it at lunch hour. Highly recommended for those that like shorter 2 player only games.