Tutankhamun is a 30 year old Reiner Knizia game that is getting resurrected by 25th Century Games. Not only is Tutankhamun a solid family game, but the level of polish that was added to the game makes this something worth getting excited about.
Set Sail… for Poverty?
In Tutankhamun, players are trying to shed their wealth as they collect ancient artifacts to place in the tomb of King Tut. This set collection game is unique because players are fighting their way to the lowest score possible in order to win. The box is built to be the tomb that sits at the end of the Nile River. The Nile is made up of 70 artifact tiles and 10 god tiles which players will gather throughout the game.
Each player is given a wooden ship token which will sail up the Nile until hitting the tomb containing the body of King Tut. On your turn, you can move your ship up the Nile as far as you would like and then take the artifact from the location you choose to stop on. Moving past artifacts mean that you’re leaving those up for grabs to the players behind you.
Artifacts have a single number on the tile that gives you two pieces of information. A tile with the number “6” means that there are 6 tiles in that set and the player who collects the most of this set will decrease their score by 6 points. If a player has the second highest amount in that artifact set, they will decrease their score by 1/2 the amount of points on the tile. Players with keen eye will grab tiles that help them get second place when an artifact set is scored.
This new edition of Tutankhamun introduces god tiles which add so much to the game and honestly brings a deeper strategy that wasn’t present in the 1993 or 2004 editions. There are 2 of each of these 5 god tiles that are mixed in with the artifacts and make up the Nile. The THOTH tile will give you the ability to swap two artifact tiles that are further up the Nile. The RA tile allows you to place an artifact onto the Underworld board, possibly causing that artifact set to score earlier than expected. The OSIRIS tile can be a huge game changer by allowing you to retrieve a tile from the Underworld which is essentially where passed up tiles get discarded.
A game of Tutankhamun ends when a player reaches 0 on the score tracker or when all the tiles are removed from the Nile.
More Than A Pretty Box
We spent around a week playing the prototype that 25th Century Games provided. We were incredibly impressed with how this project came together. The artwork is a huge upgrade from previous editions and the bottom of the box doubling as the tomb and the score tracker pulls everything together. This score tracker uses Canopic Jar markers that look great sitting around the edge of the box.
Because the game plays so quickly (around 20 minutes), it was so easy to get the family to jump into a game before or after dinner. In our house of teenagers, it feels like we’re always playing a game that someone doesn’t care for. This was actually a game that the kids asked to play! Setup can take a little chunk of time because you’re laying out 80 tiles, but it’s a minor inconvenience.
The tiles are cut in a way that makes the tiles wind left and right like a river and gives the whole game some great table presence.
Tutankhamun is another great game from 25th Century Games and it’s proof that older games can get a fantastic face lift when in the right hands. This is a game that still holds up after 3 decades and it’s a Kickstarter project you shouldn’t miss out on.