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Rise of Babel Board Game First Impressions

I originally reached out to Bedouin Games when their game The Flood was funded and heading out to backers after their successful crowdfunding campaign. Although we haven’t had the chance to look at The Flood yet – very soon, we hope! – Elijah was kind enough to send over their next game coming to crowdfunding, Rise of Babel. Once again a Bible themed game, Rise of Babel will have players building decks and playing cards throughout the game attempting to place resources on the Tower of Babel or nearby towers in order to score points. I do love a good deck building game, and my wife loves tile placement. So was this a hit?

Please note this is our first impressions of Rise of Babel. We will have a more fulsome review in a few weeks after we’ve played it more. You can follow the campaign page here.

When companies put a lot of care and work into their prototypes you know you are working with something that’s at least going to be produced well. While a prototype, the components we received for Rise of Babel were superb.

The thick cardboard tokens are really great, and since you will be randomly drawing some of these tiles from a bag, having nice thick cardboard is essential. I know some folks will want to put these items into little casings, but as they are square I’m not sure that will be possible. It will also make placing them on the towers more difficult. Based on posts Elijah has made on Facebook groups, it sounds like a deluxe version of this game could include acrylic tokens! Here is hoping!

The artwork and board design are phenomenal, which should be expected when dealing with art created by Andrew Bosley (Everdell, Tapestry, Citadels). The iconography is great throughout as well, and we were only left with a few questions that we couldn’t find in the rulebook (potentially our issue) such as what the magnifying glass meant on a card – we assumed, I think correctly, that this meant you could look at something before choosing (i.e. look in your bag and choose three resources to place in your stalls).

The game is played over an undetermined number of turns, and on your turn you will play out 5 cards from your hand. At the beginning of the game, each player begins with an identical 10 card deck, but over time you will purchase other cards and tailor your deck to how you want to play. Cards will do a number of things, including but not limited to moving your elephants towards the towers with goods you have placed in your camp, placing goods in your camp or market, placing goods directly onto the tower, and more. There are also coins on some cards that will allow you to purchase new and better cards.

All of these actions revolve around players moving tar, brick, wood, and stone from their bags to their stalls, market, camp, and ultimately, the tower. Each type of resource scores differently when on the towers. Stone is scored in diagonals, wood in rows, bricks in columns, and tar being adjacent to other tar. Placing resources that match icons on the tower will earn you victory points, which might influence your strategy round to round.

The other sources of victory points come from cards you purchase, upgrades you get via your playerboards, and even negative victory points when your tiles are next to confusion tiles on the board game.

This isn’t a full rules overview or a how-to-play, and there are many aspects of the game we haven’t touched on yet. However, I believe the above gives you a good idea of what you are doing each turn.


And I love how it all works so well together. When playing out my cards and getting new cards, it feels like I’m playing a more in-depth game of Dominion, which is high praise I think. The way you decide how to use your cards each turn provides a ton of decision space which I love to have in a game. I like multiple paths to victory, and games that don’t have a one-strategy-to-win feeling. Rise of Babel will be different each time you play based on the cards you purchase, the towers you see, and what other players are doing around you.

Being flexible is key to success in Rise of Babel as you never exactly know what other players might do on their turns. Diversifying isn’t actually a terrible idea, as it gives you options when finally moving goods from your camp to the market. This game very much feels like one that rewards those who can think quickly on their feet. It’s not an overly complicated game to understand and play, but there is a lot more strategy packed into this box than meets the eye.

We still have half a dozen more plays to get through before nailing down any final thoughts on Rise of Babel, but early impressions from our gaming group are very strong. Let’s see how tall we can get this tower, shall we?


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blank Adam Roffel has only been writing about video games for a short time, but has honed his skills completing a Master's Degree. He loves Nintendo, and almost anything they have released...even Tomodachi Life.

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Twitter: @AdamRoffel