Play time: 40-60 Minutes
Welcome to the Grand Bazaar! Where merchants and their assistants are frantically running through the alleys trying to outsmart their competitors, fill up the wheelbarrows with goods, take them to the markets and mosques to sell said goods , and ultimately get the required amount of precious rubies!
This, is ISTANBUL!
Moving the stacks around the table gives you the feel of running around with a group of people and telling them what you need. The theme really comes through in this game. The tiles are a gorgeous and depict the hustle of a hectic market, without being distracting.
I love how on this game you can have as much interaction with other players as you want. For example: The fact that you can send other player’s family member back to jail in order to get some lira or a bonus card. However, this is a strategy that you may want to think through since you can end up doing your opponent a favor.
This game was an instant hit for me. The fact that you can change your strategy every time you play gives Istanbul a lot of replayability. I also like the fact that the board can be ever-changing or you can follow the suggested layouts to ease new players into the game and try different strategies. The game is also very easy to teach and learn. This to me is very important because when I teach a game, I like my players to be able to quickly jump in and start having fun!