The newest entry in the Istanbul series is a ‘choose-and-write' board game that combines worker-placement with roll-and-write elements.
Istanbul: Choose and Write is a newly released board game set within the same universe as the original 2014 tabletop title, but features a selection of mechanics inspired by the roll-and-write genre.
In the game, players become merchants looking for financial success in a classic Turkish bazaar. The goal of Choose and Write is to collect as many rubies as possible by travelling through the bazaar and performing various actions in order to acquire resources. Any gathered resources can then be exchanged for rubies at specific locations within the bazaar.
During their turn, players can select a card that corresponds to a certain location within the bazaar. Each location in Choose and Write will enable players to perform a specific action by selecting the associated card, or a card for a location adjacent to it. Certain actions will allow players to collect resources or Lira – currency – that they can then exchange for rubies at other places within the bazaar.
Whenever the active player selects a card, all the other players can choose to perform the same location action but must cross it off their action sheet. However, If a player wants to benefit from a specific action that is already crossed-off their sheet, they will need to choose it on their turn. Besides location cards, players can also choose to perform the action of a guild card – which requires that they spend resources in order to do it.
Whichever player has the most rubies by the end of the game is named the winner. Besides a multiplayer mode, Istanbul: Choose and Write features a solo game mode with a total of 14 challenges for players to attempt, with each one gradually increasing in difficulty.
Istanbul: Choose and Write was designed by Rüdiger Dorn, the creator behind the original Istandbul – which was awarded the 2014 Kennerspiel des Jahres, one of the most prestigious awards a board game can win – as well as the family board game Karuba and Las Vegas, a game that gives players the opportunity to invest in the casino industry.
Pegasus Spiele is the publisher responsible for releasing Istanbul: Choose and Write, with the company previously publishing the original Istanbul, alongside MicroMacro: Crime City – one of the best board games released in the last few years.
Istanbul: Choose and Write is currently available at a retail price of €24.99 (£22/$27).