Probably the most interesting Wave 3 Game from a parts perspective, I've wanted to get this one since I first saw it for the huge number of exotic bits and bobs in it.
"Take a magic carpet ride to find Far East fortunes in the LEGO Games Orient Bazaar. Discover exotic treasures in the colorful nooks of the bustling market! Spend your gold wisely and battle for fortune by collecting priceless matching items to sell! A great family trading game for 2 - 4 players."
Set Name: Orient Bazaar
Set Number: 3849
Theme: Lego Games
Year Released: 2010
Number of Pieces: 198
Price: €21.99 on release
The cover illustration does the job, but the colour scheme is oddly washed-out and the box doesn't stand out too much on the shelf. It kinda gets lost in among the other, more vibrant Game boxes. The guy on the right is busy contemplating his next move. It's difficult enough without your opponent constantly trying to bounce the die off your forehead.
The back shows off the huge number of interesting elements, plus a few mechanical closeups. Very little of the set is actually built; the game's high piece count is almost half made up of individual moving game parts.
The box side, in case you're in one of those little shops with no room to display boxes from the front. This layout is pretty standard for all Lego Games.
Inside are four bags and the die. It was tough work resisting the urge to split the bags immediately - Look at them! Look how awesome the contents are! For some reason, the red and orange crystal formations are in a different bag from the yellow and blue ones.
Normally I show the manuals after the bags but TO HELL WITH THEM! The Parts Square is where the action is. Unfortunately, it's an oddly fuzzy Parts Square this time, sorry about that. As you can see, the colour scheme runs the extremes of boring whites and tans, and madly psychadelic warm hues and blues.
The cooler parts. I could probably have just copy/pasted the last image, because the cool/mundane ratio is exceptionally high, but I'll be nice. In the golden department, you gots the full 4-part Prince of Persia dome plus a smaller dome to cap it, two goblets, and a whopping 60 2x2 round tiles to serve as coins. In the trans section you gots eight crystal formations across four colours, and eight jewels across four colours. There's a single printed element, which is probably completely useless for anything outside of the game. And lastly, you gots the four sprues, each containing the new perfume bottle accessories that look rather swell indeed.
As my lovely assistant demonstrates, the square bottle is the only one that a minifig can grip by the neck. The others must be held from below. Unfortunately, to offset that, the square bottle doesn't have a proper round stud slot on the base, and is largely hollow with only two buttresses to grip a stud. It's completely inadequate and slips off easily. I do like how the square bottle looks kind-of like a bottle of bourbon, in case anyone has any hobo MOCs planned.
Here are the five microfigs, with another assistant for scale. Hmm, wait a second, these guys look awfully familiar...
Hah! They're the same explorers from Ramses Pyramid! Except this time, they're wearing trousers. They must have struck it very rich inside that pyramid. I think this is the first time that microfigs have been repeated in another game. Why they all decided to go into the perfume business is beyond me. Maybe they just can't stop themselves from competing with each other.
And finally, here are the manuals. For some reason, the instruction booklet was folded in half and the rulebook wasn't. It's a pain, but whaddyagonnado?
The interiors aren't anything amazing. There's very little building in the set so the instructions are brief. I took this photo before starting to build so it's quite serendipitous that I opened it to this random page. Note the big gap in the Bazaar's floor, that will be relevant during gameplay. The rulebook is clear and concise. The usual three pages per language, two for basic rules and one for variants. There are ads at the end but they're the usual ones.
Like I said, there's very little building work involved, so I didn't take any photos during the build. Just four identical stalls and the central bazaar. Most of the parts remain separate and transferable.
Here are the spare parts. Not too bad a haul, but nothing too valuable either.
Then there's this green tile. It's pictured in the "Completed" illustration, up beside the coins, and listed in the parts inventory, but the rule book doesn't mention it. I have no idea what I'm supposed to do with it.
Okay, let's begin! Caveman, Cheerleader, Dummy and Diver have agreed to help me demonstrate how this works. It's a trading game, obviously, and a fairly simple one at that. Starting with three coins each, the objective is to be the first to make 15 gold. You do this by buying individual items, then selling them back as sets for a profit. The shapes of the items don't matter, all that matters is quantity. Each side of the die has two tiles, and the player chooses which ability to use.
Caveman rolls the die, partially demolishing one of the stalls in the process. The result lets him buy an item from either the red or yellow stalls.
The Caveman decides to apologise by buying some red beard perfume. Alternatively, instead of buying anything, he could have sold any number of items of one colour, but it's a bit hard to do that on turn one.
Cheerleader's up next, and she rolls green/black. Green lets her trade an item with another player, but she doesn't have any left. Black it is, then.
Black lets the Cheerleader close down one of the stalls, preventing anyone from buying from it. To do this, she physically picks the bazaar up and places it over the stall, which is a tad extreme I thought, but if she's got that kind of arm strength, who's going to say she can't? She picks red to slow Caveman down a little.
She also gets to buy one of the bazaar's golden goblets. These act as wild cards and can be sold as part of any set. Overall, black is definitely the colour to roll.
Skipping forward a few turns, and everybody's had three turns. They're all out of coins so they've no choice but to start selling.
On his turn, Caveman heads to the bazaar with his two red items and smelling like a garden of roses. Hoping the dealer won't notice that the bottles now contain only water, he trades them in for a tidy sum of three coins. The wheeling and dealing can resume!
Umpteen turns later and a winner is finally declared! Diver hits the 15 mark first and goes off to buy himself a solid gold camel.
Forgive the exuberance, but this ROCKS! The parts selection is well above par, and 198 is a high figure for a game of this price and box size. The game is also a lot of fun; it's a very simplified version of other trading games but it retains much of the decision-making, forward planning and Machiavellian market sabotage of other, more serious boardgames. The only problems I had were tiny: the issue with the square bottle, and the somewhat unsatisfying building process, but they're completely overshadowed.
Design: 9/10 The structures are extremely simple due to the high proportion of non-building elements. The bazaar doesn't slide on and off stalls too easily and tends to pick them up when you try to lift it off, but that's not much to cry about. The game rules are excellent; simple enough for younger players (but probably not really young) and deep enough for everyone else.
Parts: 10/10 The selection is fantastic, with the huge number of gold disks and perfume bottles and some basic, eternally useful building elements too. The updated Ramses Pyramid microfigs was a very nice surprise that I hadn't known about until I examined them up close.
Build: 7/10 I barely noticed this stage, it was so quick and simple. This is a Game that's very much focused on playing over building. The buildings are very functional while at the same time good to look at.
Playability: 10/10 Max marks again. The expected play time is ten to twenty minutes but games could easily go on for much longer than that. Good fun with very simple rules.
Price: 9/10 Most games of this box size are €2 less, but this set has a lot more parts and many of them are very rare or unique, so this feels very fair.
Total: 95% Probably my favourite game out of all the ones I own so far. It does pretty much everything right.
Thanks for reading!
He's In The Money
Edited by WhiteFang, 02 August 2010 - 02:30 PM.