- Number of Plays: 25
- Number of Players: 2 – 4
- Game Length: 10 – 30 minutes
- Mechanics: Hand management, Route Building
- Release Year: 2002
- Designer: Alan R. Moon, Aaron Weissblum
- Artist: John Kovalic, Cathleen Quinn-Kinney
Alan Moon is a prolific game designer. With a game like Ticket to Ride under his belt and selling millions I’m sure he could retire to a comfortable life and never need to design another game again. But when Board Game Design is your passion, I’m sure you can’t help but create games.
Here we are with another one of his games about traveling. In 10 Days in Europe, you collect tiles and place them into a timeline as you attempt to contiguous a trip across the continent spanning 10 days. The hook that turns this activity into a game is that once the tiles are in your holder you can’t swap them around. You can only replace a tile with one picked up from one of the three discard piles (or drawn blindly from the top of the deck).
In 10 Days in Europe you can always travel by walking to two neighbouring countries that are next to each other and share a border. You can fly between two countries as long as they’re the same colour as the plane you’re using, and you can travel to any country by sea, as long as they have a shore on the indicated Ocean or Sea
Other games in the 10 days series have other types of transportations. Asia has trains,USA and Africa have cars, but the core game remains the same between them all. Manipulate your hand of tiles until you have a cohesive 10 day trip across the continent.
The game starts with the board (which is literally just a map) and all the tiles splayed around the table. Each player picks up tiles one at a time and places them into their card holder. Depending on the order that you draw your tiles, this can set a player up for a easy game, or it can telegraph to a player that they’ll need to replace all 10 of their tiles before their game is over. In theory you could win right off the bat, but I’ve never seen it happen.
Once the game is underway, one of two things seems to happen to each player. Either they put themselves into a situation where they need a specific country (most countries only have one tile in the deck), or they hold their head in their hands waiting for someone to end the game so they can pitch the tiles they’re currently holding into the ocean.
10 Days in Europe is the kind of game that gets played back to back often. Games are almost always over within 15 minutes, and to reset the game all you need to do is throw the tiles back into the centre, give it a stir and begin again.
I don’t know how I feel about the board basically just being a map of Europe. I say that I’m bringing a board game, but really, 10 days is a card game with a cardboard map.The map does tell you what colours the countries are and which shores belong to which oceans, which is key information in the game. But it still feels more like a card game than a board game. This can also be a great learning experience if you aren’t familiar with a continent as learning the where in the world the U.A.E and Boliva are can make you look worldly and traveled when asked to point them out on a map.
10 Days is the perfect game to bring to the in-laws for Thanksgiving as it’s dead simple to play and is over quickly, allowing players who feel like they’ve lost to reset and start again from the beginning. There is a lot of luck in the game but I will counter that by saying there is a element of strategy involved, otherwise my wife wouldn’t have a 70% win rate over her 20 plays.
I do also appreciate the box size. The insert keeps everything in it’s place, even whens stored vertically, and if you took the insert out, you’d only have enough empty space for a banana.