Review – The Enigma of Leonardo from RightGames
Designed by Sergey Machin
Art – Leonardo da Vinci
note – Than you to RightGames for providing a review copy of this game
RightGames has produced English translations of four of their card games and my wife spotted The Enigma of Leonardo and said she would actually like to try that one. She is soooo NOT a gamer but she loves the art of Leonardo da Vinci so of course I’m interested.
Well The Enigma of Leonardo is a very simple set-collection card game with a light Leonardo da Vinci theme. Without repeating myself, the packaging and card quality is the same for all four of the games as described in my review of Kingdom of Crusaders (see below). The fantastic art of Leonardo da Vinci is the centerpiece of the game and is just wonderful to behold on all the cards. You also get some chits or “keys” to Leonardo. So what about the game.
A game for 2-4 players ages 8+, the object of the game is to be the first to collect 7 separate sets of 3 cards with da Vinci drawings. For each set, you earn a matching key token so you can keep track of your progress.
Each player has a hand of 5 cards and you lay your cards out in a 3×3 cross. The turn phases are:
1- Play a card from your hand
2 – Receive a Key token if you have created a set
3 – Draw a card from the draw deck
Simple right? Yes, but a cool mechanic is when you play a card onto your cross, you replace a card and that card is placed onto another player’s card on their cross. Then their card is discarded. So, not only are you planning your plays to create sets, but you are also thinking about what card you are essentially giving to another player and where you place it in their existing cross. Quite an interesting mechanic as there is continual player interaction and “take that” stuff going on but you need to be clever about placement and choice of cards to give away so as to minimize chance of your opponents benefiting from what you give them.
NOTE – A problem that arose though is that you can get trapped into a cycle of continuous “take that” going on (which just gets frustrating) and that extends the length of the game beyond its welcome. I think that a simple fix is to limit a game to playing it in an agreed set of rounds, with each round limited to going through 1 deck and whoever has the most keys wins the round. This way the game has a fixed length and avoids the trap of the “take that” cycle.
Otherwise, this is a simple, enjoyable game.
Did it work for me?
The Enigma of Leonardo is a quick, fun game. The artwork, of course, is outstanding and the tricky “take that” mechanic is spicy. Easy to learn and play, a nice filler card game. The trap of the “take that” cycle is a small problem easily rectified. A nice game for game nights.
Boardgames in Blighty rating – 6 out of 10 with my suggested rules fix, otherwise 5 out of 10
Yes, this is a lovely game for families (but use my rules fix) and a great introduction to youngsters to the art of Leonardo da Vinci.
For more information – www.russianboardgames.com