Like Ticket To Ride and Settlers of Catan, Carcassone is one of the most popular board games to come out in the last twenty years. It’s certainly the quickest of the three to play, so should feel right at home on the Nintendo Switch.
The game basically involves blindly picking up tiles and placing them next to existing ones to build roads, cities and monasteries, while trying to both score points and hinder your opponent.
It’s a good looking game - the crisp HD visuals allow you to see the details on the tiles, and the music is chilled out and appropriate, complete with chirping bird sound effects. The well-paced tutorial makes the game easy to learn, teaching you both the rules of the game and how to play it on the console. A lot of boardgame to videogame adaptations fail to do the former very well and assume everyone already knows how to play. We're looking at you, Small World.
The controls work well - it’s easy to place down tiles, rotate them, move around, zoom in and out, and place your meeples. There are also decent time-saving visual prompts as to where you can legally place the titles, as well as a list of remaining tiles which isn’t usually possible to see.
Overall it’s hard to deny the videogame version is as good as the real thing, if not better, but £10 cheaper. There’s currently one expansion, which is also £10 cheaper than its real life counterpart.
Sadly though it’s a faithful recreation of the board game, but not really anything more. There’s no online play, not even any wireless play between two Switches. Multiplayer is just limited to local play. As for single player, it doesn’t really offer much at all. There’s just one game mode with three different levels of difficulty. No in-game achievements, no campaign, just no fresh ideas at all really.
Carcassone on Switch offers the ability to play a modern classic board game anywhere without needing a large table to play it on, but unfortunately that’s pretty much it. It’s a very bare bones package. A couple of minor tweaks make it better than the original, and it’s a nice looking game, but if you don’t have someone to play with you’re really not going to see much value in this.
CARCASSONE / DEVELOPER: ASMODEE DIGITAL / PUBLISHER: ASMODEE DIGITAL / PLATFORM: NINTENDO SWITCH / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW