Jaipur is a 2 player set collection trading game in which you trade for gems, silver, gold, and more. You are hoping to become the Maharaja’s personal trader by being richer than your opponent at the end of each week.
Jaipur has a very small footprint, it only consists of 55 cards and 60 cardboard pogs. The artwork is colorful and clear. Each card represents either a type of good or camels, and looks like a market stall straight out of Jaipur, India. Other than the good quality cards and tokens, there’s really nothing else to the game. It does come with a unique pink insert that looks nice and stores the game well.
Jaipur is played in rounds, best 2 out of 3 wins. In each round you take turns back and forth. On each turn you can either take cards from the market, or sell goods. You are trying to collect sets of goods from the central market to eventually sell for points, if you sell sets of 3, 4, or 5 at a time you will get the respective bonus. The round ends when 3 piles of pogs run out, or when the market deck is gone. Whoever has the most camels in their herd at the end of each round gets a bonus pog. Whichever player has the most points at this time receives a seal of excellence, 2 seals wins the game.
Usually trading games don’t work well for two people, but the unique mechanism where you trade with the market instead of each other adds a lot of tension and creates a sort of balancing act. It takes some degree of skill to know whether you should trade as soon as you get a set, or hold out in hopes for a larger set and a bigger bonus. We think that the most interesting part of the game is its’ tempo. You could wait for the market deck to run low and get big points, or you could get as many easy points as possible quickly, which forces the round to end earlier than your opponent may expect.
It is somewhat luck based, but given that it’s so short and is played in 3 rounds makes it a flaw that is easily forgiven. It’s a simple game, and there isn’t anything particularly bad that can be said about it. Maybe its’ biggest flaw is that it doesn’t really do much to stand out against some of our other favorite 2 player games (Patchwork, Akrotiri, 7 Wonders Duel).
- Clear and colorful art.
- Unique trading mechanism for 2 players.
- Good amount of strategy in controlling the tempo.
- Kind of Simple.
- Somewhat luck based.
Final Thoughts and Rating
Jaipur is one of those games we play when we don’t want to think too much. It’s quick and relaxing, while also having you make some interesting (while simple) decisions.
Final Rating: [star rating=”6.5″ max=”10″ numeric=”yes”]