Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Tumult Royale

Tumult Royale

Spring 2016 Games
Ages: 10 & Up
Manufacturer: Thames & Kosmos
Price: $39.95

If you know what the word "tumult" means (confusion or disorder), you have a clue where this colorfully illustrated, feudal-times game goes. In Tumult Royale, you play the role of the royals. And you have one goal: Raise the most statues of yourself across your kingdom to reaffirm your royal reign. First noble in this 2-4 player game to place 25 statues of himself or herself on the game board wins.

To build that many statues of yourself (there are 100 statue pieces total), you need resources-meaning lots of tiny game tiles of such commodities as bread, marble, building tools. You also need the good will of your subjects, the ones you are carefully but increasingly taxing, round after round, the ones whom you need to support your vanity campaign. Get too greedy, push your luck too far, and revolution's in the air (commoners hate getting ripped off by their nobles). That's how you lose.

For a relatively simple game, Tumult Royale first appears fairly complex. So many pieces! Seven rounds! Gameplay is determined step-by-step by spinning the arrow card. There's even a timer for the grabbing commodities.

There's a royal quagmire of rules dictating how you place statues, judge the commoners' sentiments, collect taxes, steal competing nobles' commodities, resolve "tumults," punish the greediest player, and all sorts of medieval things until you crown the new king. Once you get it, the game suddenly becomes vigorous and fun! And there's an underlying humor to it. Ultimately, you'll find Tumult Royale to be a strategical pleasure.

Don Oldenburg   ©2016 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

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