Video Game Review: Carcassonne

Carcassonne is probably best described as a tile- based city builder. It is a game I downloaded off of Xbox Live for my 360 around Thanksgiving as part of a free promotion, and while it was a game I probably would not have acquired originally were it not available for free, it is one I would download now having played it even if it did carry the usual cost.
Graphics: Nothing spectacular. Carcassonne is based on a board game, and as such there is little animation and the tiles are detailed enough to do the job without being anything spectacular. The biggest difficulty comes when the board becomes quite full and you have to zoom out to see the entire playing field. It can be hard to make out all of the tiles accurately then.

Sounds and Music: The sounds are okay, if plain. The music actually gets on my nerves after awhile. It’s redundant and it really was not very good to begin with.

Game play: The game itself is very easy to play. Rules customization is handled easily, the menu is a cinch to navigate and placing tiles is pretty intuitive. There is not much game play to really be had in a tile-based board game, but they made it about as good as could have been expected.

Intangibles: Quite a few to be had here, actually. The online multiplayer is good, as is the local multiplayer. Games can get a bit fast and confusing when you have more then three players, but it is still a fun experience. There is a lot of strategy to the game, but it is easy enough to pick up and play that it is not discouraging. There are some good tutorials built into the game as well, to help with the learning curve of the strategy.

Overall, this game is good for what it is – a decent multiplayer strategy game based on a popular board game. It is a good value, but not a game that many people would want to run out and buy in my opinion, either. Xbox 360 live games such as this are reasonably priced, and this gives you a good experience for what you pay. However, it does not stack up as a deep single player experience. I consider the game more of a group diversion than an immersive game I could sit down with for hours myself.

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