27 01 2010

Carcassonne, while not very obvious from it’s title, is a strategy game on the XBox360 arcade. Being adapted from a board game, you wouldn’t expect it to be any good. I mean, why would you play a videogame when you can play the board game instead? Well, the videogame blows the board game out of the water. The controls are extremely simple, and anyone can pick up the controller and be able to play it in minutes. The basis of the game is to put down tiles on a board. The tiles have different shapes and pictures on them, be it a road, 4-way intersection, tree or a building. The point of the game is to get the most points. You get 2 points per tile for a city (made from a bunch of buildings together) and 2 extra points per tile if there is a pennant on it. You get 1 point per tile for a road (To complete a road, you must have an ending of some sort at each side of it, much like a real road). You have followers as well. You start with 7 of them, and you can put them down on tiles, which make it known that they are yours, and therefore, your opponent isn’t able to take a territory out from under you midgame. However, when your in a 2-player game you tend to run out of them quickly, so you must be conservative in those games. You also gain points for the amount of cities and roads you have at the end of the game, and that is where the scores get close and that lead you had during the game might get taken from you.

Now the highlight of the Xbox version as opposed to the actual board game is that you are able to play online. The online gameplay is probably the most crucial point of the game, as it allows you to play with anyone. There is a cult following of the game, and while it might be a tad difficult to find a game, eventually you will and the game shows where it shines. The Xbox vision is also compatible with this game, which makes the game more board-like, as your face to face playing it, something that I welcome with open arms.

While the multiplayer is a huge part of the game, you are able to play single player with/against an AI. Yes, there are team games, and they can get very intense. The AI is actually good at the game as well, so don’t think your going to win all the time, because it’s going to win. A lot.

The music, being generic and repeated, isn’t obnoxious or annoying at all, which is something that you don’t see very often in arcade games. While the graphics aren’t spectacular, they work for the game. It wouldn’t have been necessary to have graphics on par with Modern Warfare 2 for a board game, and it is good that they realized that when making the game.

All in all, Carcassonne is an awesome game, and one that you will find yourself playing for a long time. With its easy-to-learn and simple-yet-fun gameplay, you’ll find yourself addicted to it in no time. Find it on the marketplace for 800 points.


Gameplay: 10

Music: 8

Visual: 10

Lasting Appeal: 10

Presentation: 10






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