Recently, I have been playing a number of two player games and among my wife’s favorite games are the Century series. Each game uses similar resources, iconography, and easy to understand rules to make unique game experiences.
In Century: A New world, the third of the series, we find a great worker placement game that’s equal parts light and complex. This interesting combination of simple rules with difficult decisions which is the hall mark of any great game.
We’ll take a look at the game play, components, and theme of this game.
- Players: 2-4
- Playtime (with Setup): We find it between 45-90 minutes
- Publisher: PlanB Games
- Designer: Emerson Matsuchi
What’s This Game About?
If you would have told me that this game is taking players to the Americas during the 1600s to explore new lands, trade with the locals, and hunt and gather to survive I would have told you that you were crazy. Yet, that is exactly what this game is themed on!
That means the theme of this game just does not stand out to me. As I think about it even as I write this I find it hard to see that immersion into discovering new lands and peoples. The theme is loosely established here from my point of view.
Interesting Decisions and Managing Resources
Where this game let us down on theme, it really shines in game play! At it’s core, Century: A New World, is a worker placement and resource management game. Effectively, on your turn you will place one or more workers (workers in this case also being a resource) on a spot on the game board, take the action that spot grants you, and wait for your turn again.
Most of the places on the game board require one or more workers to be placed on the location to gather different colored cubes that represent various resources. Don’t worry if another player has taken the spot you needed. Just place one more worker than what they have placed at the location. Their workers return to their worker pool for re-use.
The top track of the game board presents 4 unique spaces. On these spaces you can spend the resources represented on cards to collect the card and score points for the end of the game. There are additionally bonus tiles you can collect here that go to in game bonuses or end game scoring. Finally, the cards themselves have bonuses as well.
Finally, if you ever need more workers you can spend your turn collecting all of your workers from the game board. You won’t get an action, but next round you will be ready to explore again!
Game Components and Value
Selling at $40 US, this game is a great value for the money. Starting with the cards, these are made of great card stock material. They are a bit oversized, as is normal for the series. The art is tasteful and the iconography is easy to understand and can be seen clearly even from a distance.
The game board itself is modular based on players and other factors. Again, it’s easy to see what’s going on with the iconography, though the little symbols next to each action space is a bit small. The art again is really high quality and likely speaks to the theme of the game. Something that I have always overlooked.
As with all of the Century games, the resources are all represented by small wooden cubes of various colors. The nice thing with the game, and this is something that they do not have to include, are the resource bowls. This keeps things nicely organized on the table.
Your worker meeples are a bit small and I wish they were a bit bigger, but for what you get in this box I really am not complaining here.
So, what’s the verdict?
While I am not completely blown away by the game I do rate it fairly well and often find myself going to this game on the shelf. At the price point it is hard to find a worker placement game that has as much as this has going on within a box. Couple that with easy to use components makes for a very enjoyable experience. If there is one game from the Century series to collect, I would recommend this one.
If you are a fan of the series, then this game will let you combine the other two into one, big Century game. While I haven’t tried that combination yet, I am looking forward to it.
I rate this game an 8 on BoardGameGeek. I definitely recommend this game for it’s price, ease to get to the table, and game quality. It’s a real value in a fairly small board game box.