Between Two Castles
In Between Two Castles, 3-7 players ages 10+ are working to build a grand castle for Mad King Ludwig. Each player is building one castle with the player on their left and another castle with the player on their right. The lower score of the two castles you help build is your final score. This is a semi-cooperative game. You are working together with others while still vying to be the sole winner. The player with the highest score wins. The rulebook is very well done and easy to read through, which I very much appreciate!
The educational benefits of Between Two Castles include math, engineering concepts, lots of planning, and collaborating with others. The kids at Julie's Game School and I definetely recommend this one!
Set-up is a breeze. Just pull the two inserts out of the box, take the lids off, and set them next to each other as shown above. Give each player one quick-reference card. Then place one castle token and throne room between each set of players. Now, give each player one set of face-down tiles. If the game was put away correctly, each player should have 9 tiles. Now you are ready to play!
The first part of each turn is done in silence. Each player picks two tiles from the ones available to them. One of these will be added to the castle on their left and the other to the castle on their right. The two tiles you choose should be placed face-down in front of you. The remaining tiles should be placed face-down under the castle token on your left. Once you have placed the castle token on them, you cannot change your mind.
Once everyone is done picking their tiles, they reveal the ones they have chosen and start collaborating with the players next to them. Together, decide where to place your tiles in each castle. Each tile has different ways that it will score points. There is a quick reference card to use in addition to a very well-written rulebook to use for reference.
Once the tiles have been placed, start the next turn. Take the stack of tiles under the castle token to your right and choose two more. Again, this part is done in silence. Continue this process until each player only has one remaining tile. These are discarded and each player grabs a new stack of 9 tiles. Play continues the same as before, with tiles being passed to the right this time. The last tile in this set will again be discarded and then scoring will begin. Each player will score the castle to their left.
Castles are scored one tile at a time and scores are recorded on one of the included score sheets. The score sheets included with Between Two Castles make scoring much easier. After each castle is scored, the score sheet is placed by the corresponding castle. Your score is that of the lowest scoring castle that you helped to create. The player with the highest score will be the winner!
As an educator, my favorite part of Between Two Castles is the planning and collaboration with peers that is required to do well. The theme and artwork are also fantastic! Additionally, there is a good deal of STEM to be found in this game. If you would like to purchase a copy of Between Two Castles, it can be found at the Stonemaier Games website. Happy gaming!