notre dame is the latest contribution to the well-known "alea big box series", and as expected another great addition to it. in notre dame each player (from 2 to 5) leads a district of paris placed around the cathedral of notre dame and tries to use the different buildings in his district efficiently to gain as much victory points as possible and therefore win the game.
at the beginning of each round each player gets three cards he can use for various actions in his district, though he has to pass on two cards to his neighbor - which means that through this mechanism you also determine the available actions of the other players. after each player finally has three action cards again, he now uses them to place influence cubes in the buildings of his district to gain money, gain further influence cubes, gain victory points, use his coach to collect certain treasures and so on. at the end of each of the nine rounds each player has the possibility to corrupt some drawn character to get additional money, victory points or extra actions. and last but not least during the whole game you also have to take care of the "rats" (an indicator of the hygienic conditions in your district).
we mostly played with three people and all of us really liked this game of tough ressource management and decision taking. it plays fluently, the mechanics are well thought-out and the design is appealing. a worthy successor of great alea games of the past.
Players play as well-off Parisians in the 15th century who wish to improve the importance and appearance of the city quarter around the famous Notre Dame cathedral. The primary game concept is original but simple card play which players use to permanently improve their influence in the quarter. However, turn after turn, round after round, players must make choices that can have major implications. Because if one does one thing, then the other can't be done any more. Concentrating on one aspect means automatically ignoring another. Which, above all others, is particularly dangerous in the case of the gradually approaching plague...
After 9 exciting rounds and about 75 action-filled minutes, Notre Dame is over. The 'maitre' who has made the most of his cards and has garnered the most prestige points is the winner. (Alea)
This game is part of the Alea big box series.
2-5 players, 75 min
author: stefan feld
category: ressource management
notre dame @ boardgamegeek.com
notre dame @ luding.org
buy the game online @ cosimshop.de or coolstuffinc.com