Majesty: For The Realm Guest Review - It's NOT Splendor!

“Try Majesty out! Hurry, you must try it, it’s the new Splendor killer” – this is basically what I’ve been getting in my earhole lately from everyone. Now firstly, this has been tried before with Century Spice Road and I found that average at best – it’s fine, but drags on a bit for a filler and was very dependent on what cards came out early in the game. Even then it’s nothing like Splendor, just the same gateway level. Secondly Majesty is designed by Marc Andre, the same man who gave us Splendor – why would you design a game designed to kill off your old one? And thirdly, why does everyone want to kill off a cool entry-level game that’s been a staple in bringing in new players for the last few years? Even my parents like it, that’s a feat in itself!
So I’m going into this not expecting it to be anything like Splendor other than its ease of play. But what appeals to me is certainly not the generic theme Majesty is based on, but more that it’s portrayed as a gateway game from the same designer and has had some pretty good reviews lately. I have a segment on Throat Punch Lunch called “The Starting Tile” for a reason – I like good gateway level games, they’re a perfect blend of fun, short time length and ease of teaching for new gamers. And in this case, being a fan of Splendor, the designer has a good starting pedigree for this type of game. So can lighting strike twice?