Updated: May 26, 2020
Two stalwart organizations; Stonemaier Games partnered with Bezier Games to combine the game-play mechanics of Between Two Cities with the room scoring triggers of Castles of Mad King Ludwig to build this new game, Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig.
This game like all Stonemaier games has beautiful artwork and is a clever, clever game. The rules read as formidable and will take a few playthroughs to grasp all the nuances. However, the play is quick to pick up and well worth the time. It has unquestionably stayed on the game table for weeks since our first play.
The King demands. You are a world-renowned master builder who has been asked by the Mad King Ludwig to help design his castles. Projects of such significance require the expertise of more than one person, so for each assignment, you are paired with another master builder to execute your grandiose plans. Will your planning and partnership skills be enough to design the most impressive castles in the world? The game tiles are very elaborate, works of art that lends to EVERY castle to be impressive!
Thematically, the tiles detailing, and whimsicality bears no effect on the end game, but we took immense pride in our completed castles and have taken photos post each game.
This game is not cooperative but brings a mechanism of teamwork due to you that fact that you are building two castles throughout the play that are shared. The trick is not to focus just one of the castles because both of your castles determine the scoring at the end. We did enjoy the communication between you and the other player who shares the castle, though it may have been somewhat fraudulent as not to show favor to one castle. Depending on where the tiles are placed the score can vary. There are seven types of basic tile, food rooms, living rooms, utility rooms, outdoor rooms, sleeping rooms, corridor rooms, and downstairs rooms. Each tile is different, and there are unique advantages on tiles if placed regardfully. There are bonuses earned when tiles are connected correctly and when you have multiples of the same room.
At the end of the game, each castle is scored. Your personal final score is the lower of the scores of the two castles you helped design, and the player with the highest final score wins the game. To win, you must share your attention and your devotion between the two castles.
The game trayz are unequivocally perfect. They place together precisely in the box and utilized well for gameplay out of the box. The Game Trayz make setup so easy, you can be playing right after opening the box.
At Nerdz Garage, we enjoy a fast game over morning coffee to get our brains going. Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig has been our morning ritual as of late. Some mornings there are just two Nerdz at the morning meeting, and we play the two-person variant, and thus far, Mad King Ludwig has won every time!
We love Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig. It feels streamlined, very thought out, and well produced. We bought the game without spoilers or reviews, and it has proven to be one of the better games in our collection. If you like tile placement games, we enthusiastically recommend this one.
Designer: Ben Rosset, Matthew O’Malley
Artists: Agnieszka Dabrowiecka, Bartłomiej Kordowski, Laura Bevon, Noah Adelman
Publishers: Delta Vision Publishing, Feuerland Spiele, Ludofy Creative, Maldito Games, PHALANX, Stonemaier Games
Release Date: 2018
Player count: 2 – 7
Age range: 10+
Mechanism(s): Card Drafting, Partnerships, Set Collection, Tile Placement
Time range: 45 – 60 minutes