Review: Nile DeLuxor – farmers on the banks of the Nile

Nile DeLuxor - packaging

Life of the Egyptian farmers should be simple. On their plants, he sun is shining all the time, so everything is growing nicely. And on the banks of the Nile, the longest rivers in the world, there is a lot of small fields. But their owners should be warned daily about the Egyptian erratic weather. The sun is so strong here, that you could cook an egg on a stone. And the near river, can be even more dangerous, than the warm disk above the horizon. Drought is palpable in the air.

And when it rains, water floods all the surrounding fields, sometimes carrying farmer huts with it. While this is welcomed by growers, but with a big crop comes another unpleasant view. A flock of locusts may overshadow the sky. They will harvest the crops instead of their owners. Do you still think, that life is Egyptian farmers is simple? We do not. We have tried it for ourselves.

Well not quite. We had a little help from a card game . We got this game for review from its publisher, company. We have already published review of their interesting game Kingdom of Solomon (review) or adventurous Venture Forth (review).

Nile DeLuxor - packaging

Nile DeLuxor is a new edition of card game Nile, and it is extended with a new monument cards expansion adding more depth to the game. This edition was published in 2010 and has obviously the same authors as the original – and . Very original Egyptian graphics on cards was created by and thanks to him, Nile DeLuxor looks really tempting at first sight.

Like many other card games, also this one is located in a small oblong box, which would even egyptian pharaohs take with them to their tomb for a final journey. At least they time would run faster by and they would probably only had a problem, they could only play it with the scarabs inhabiting the pyramid.

And what would such a pharaoh find in a box, when he had lifted the lid covered with hieroglyphics? Basically not much to brag about – just a deck with a lot of cards. The largest part of the whole deck is occupied by different types of crops – there is a total seven of them. Then, there are also speculation cards in the deck and new ones with stones and monuments on them. One is a plague of locusts and the second one should mark the place, where the flooding will take place. Now listing of all kinds of cards is over.

Nile DeLuxor - packaging

Egyptian pharaoh would probably have to deal with the problem of rules. They do not come in hieroglyphs and there is only an ordinary English, which is below such a great ruler. But we amply it sufficient as would you, because we do not presume you live in Egypt and do not speak English. Fortunately Nile deLuxor is a simple game and you can start playing even after reading our review.

Preparation is really simple and fast. If there are only few players participating in the game, you have to put aside certain types of crops. Then shuffle all other ones to make a drawing deck. This shuffling takes place of course without the flood and locust cards. Each player then gets five cards into his hand dealt from this shuffled deck. Now you shuffle it once more, to put a plague of locusts card into it to a random place, which will make it arrive randomly throughout the game. You put a flood card into center of the table. It will serve as a placeholder for the upcoming flood cards, which will players reveal.

The game takes place in a few seasons, which consists of many rounds. Every year players will be planting, growing and harvesting crops, but they can also speculate to get more seeds to their warehouse (hand). For monitoring, which season are you in, there is one another type of cards in the box, which we have not mentioned neither in the list of components – three cards / counters of seasons. Now you should place them in a stack in a way, that there is a number one card on top. Now the first season of game can start.

Nile DeLuxor - packaging

Players take turns in each round. They will progressively make five steps, before the game can proceed further to another player. Active farmer reveals the top card from the deck. This way he draws a current flood card and puts in on the flooding pile. Flood card shows clearly, which crops can be harvested in this round. Their fields are so watered, that they have grown within a few days and matured to the required size. Floods are good, mm-yeah.

The player, who has field with this crop in front of them planet, can now harvest the top card from his field with this product. You will be planting crops later in the turn, by simply putting them from your hand on the table in a way, that the same card types partially overlap. This way, you can easily see, how big which field is, which is very important for the game.

Farmer (and it may not be his turn!) can remove corresponding top card of harvested crops from the field and place it in his warehouse. This is important mechanic, as the whole game focuses on this one. Once harvested, there comes the time to trade – you can exchange two cards from your hand can for one random drawn from the deck. Or you can make a sacrifice to goddess Hapi, who will reward you with a second flood and another harvest. Even this offering costs you two cards from your hand.

Nile DeLuxor - packaging

Now is the time for some gambling and speculating with crops. But instead of it, you can plant new crops and create new fields. There are a few buts here. First, you must not plant the crop, which is depicted on the currently revealed flooding card. If you are creating a new field, you must play at least two cards of the same kind to be able to establish it. When you are extending your existing field, you can play any number of cards there. Or you can start two different fields, each with one card. Always, however, you have to decide between these three options and make only one of them.

But there is one more limitation. The Nile can always hold only one field of each crop. If you want to create a field of the same crops kind, as another player has in front of himself, you need to build larger field. It is therefore necessary to play more cards, than the opponent owns. When you succeed, the second player must destroy his field and discard these used cards – he does not take them back into hand!

Players can speculate instead of planting. This means, that they can play a speculation card from their hand. Every speculation card contains several types of crops. Player then reveals a new flood card and if it corresponds to at one crop from the speculation, he gets to draw three cards from the deck as a reward. At the end of his turn, the player takes two new cards from the deck and adds it to his hand. Now the turn continues with another player revealing new flood card.

Nile DeLuxor - packaging

Season ends, when a player empty supply of cards. At that moment, however, they do not do anything with their stored crops. They only take all the discarded cards (from destoyed fields) and re-shuffle them for the next season. Once you pass a predetermined number of seasons (as much as there are players), the game ends.

Scoring takes place after the final season. All players take their harvested crops and sort them into piles according to species. They order them from left to right from smallest to largest. The player who has the most cards in his leftmost pile is the winner.

Nile DeLuxor is an excellent card game, that will get to you, when you first play it. A seemingly simple game offers plenty of ways to break through and win. First of all, you can destroy your rivals by building larger fields, but as the field grows, it becomes increasingly difficult. This is the main mechanic of the whole game, as overplanting (as we called it) is the only way, how to plant in a progressed season.

The game feels nice, because even when its not your turn, you can find yourself harvesting your field (and you often will), because someone has flipped a card with your crop on it. There are turns, when several crops are harvested, when a speculation card is revealed. Overall, the harvesting style is smart and funny, so players can benefit anytime. Of course it is important to grow the right crop, but do not be afraid of injustice. During each turn, you would turn all the cards, so the chances are quite equal.

Nile DeLuxor - packaging

It is important to keep track of cards, that have been harvested, since game winner is decided often by a lack of certain crops. In addition, locusts will arrive each season, and they will feed on and destroy the largest field of crops, which players have in front of them on the table.

Because the game consists of several rounds, you could fear like us about the length of the match. But the deck is getting thinner with each round and thus also reduces the playing time of incoming seasons. In addition, the game is really dynamic and its coming to the end in the beautiful way, like you were draining water from the tub. Its faster and draws you more into its depths as you go closer to the end.

The whole experience is enhanced by an expansion with monuments. There are three of them and they are in the deck (if you choose to add it) from the beginning. Players can také advantage of their skills, when they have built it – stone is planted the same way crops are. And yes, you can steal monuments from each other just like the crops. On top of it, there are three stone piles on the table at one time – one for each monument.

Nile DeLuxor - packaging

You have to keep in mind, that winner is determined by the fewest cards of one type. So you have to keep track of how many crops of different types do you have and try to harvest all of them for several times.

The game offers plenty of ways to increase the number of cards in hand. And you need it to have a good selection for each round. As a result, you can always decide, what is the most right card to play, at least according to your own conscience.

Nile DeLuxor is boasted by a wonderful treatment, that underlines the whole gaming experience. Overall this is a great game, that is really based on strategy and still offers you a lot of fights and dragging. Just from these conflicts and constant overflowing of crop fields benefits this game the most. More tension is added with the unexpected arrival of locusts, so you are trying not to be the one with the largest field. Everything fits together beautifully and everyone who sits down to play, will immediately enjoy it. Simple game, deep experience. Nile DeLuxor is a obligation for every fan of card games.

DesignerDaniel Callister, James Mathe
ArtistChuck Whelon
PublisherMelmac Games, Minion Games, White Goblin Games
Year Published
# of Players2 - 6
User Suggested # of Players Best with 5 players
Recommended with 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 players
(14 voters)
Playing Time30
Mfg Suggested Ages8 and up
User Suggested Ages8 and up
(2 voters)
Language DependenceNo necessary in-game text
(3 voters)
CategoryAncient, Card Game, Farming, Print & Play
MechanicHand Management, Highest-Lowest Scoring, Random Production, Take That
FamilyCountry: Egypt, Rivers: Nile
Primary NameNile DeLuxor
Alternate NamesDe Heersers van de Nijl

Infos courtesy of boardgamegeek.com. More Infos.

Review: Nile DeLuxor – farmers on the banks of the Nile
Final word
Nile DeLuxor is a card game, that will get to you! You grow plants near a Nile river by playing cards from your hand into stacks creating fields. But there can be only one field with each crop on the shore, so players are constantly stealing fields from each other and devastating the smaller ones. You will live through several seasons, every time harvesting, whenever field get flooded by Nile. And it does not even have to be players turn to harvest! You can get a lot of help with farming from monuments, which will give you new strength and skills. You become superfarmers! Nile DeLuxor offers lots of fun and its unfairly neglected game. It suits family gaming and also as a quick filler. So what are you still waiting for? Do not buy air tickets. Buy Nile DeLuxor instead!
Reader Rating0 Votes
Pros
extraordinary graphics
game lasts several seasons
scoring according to the least number of harvested crops kind
Monuments expansion
simple rules, tough choices
seasons are speeding up = more and more tense game
Cons
none
4
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