Shadows Over Camelot

Shadows Over Camelot

We are currently studying the Middle Ages … finished reading King Arthur’s Tales (written by Sir James Knowles) … and have just started Henty’s The Boy Knight: A Tale of the Crusades.

We are in the midst of the era of chivalry and I have found a game that fits in perfectly: Shadows Over Camelot has each player (3-7 needed, suggested age 10 and up) working as a knight of the Round Table, trying to complete various quests including the search for the Holy Grail, obtaining Excalibur, finding of Lancelot, and the Pict/Saxon wars. The game takes about an hour-and-a-half to play but it is such fun.

It’s a cooperative game … sort of. All the players are “good guys” and working toward the same end … but unlike most cooperative games, you can’t be overt about the cooperation. You can drop hints but you can never give direct advice or help another player. As players get used to the game, you can add a really cool element — one of you is a traitor working to take down King Arthur and ruin the quest. The intricacies of the game take a game or two to truly “get” … but then it’s all fun from then on out.

opening the box

opening the box

The game is a tad pricey (I don’t usually buy $50 games) .. but this one is so well-made, so well-thought out as to be worth every penny. The boards are thick and will stand the test of time … the game pieces are plastic but nicely worked plastic … the quests mean that the game lasts way beyond finishing a single quest. Each time the game is played, it’s different. Very cool.

King Arthur, Sir Gawain, Sir Galahad, Sir Kay, Sir Palamedes, Sir Percival, and Sir Tristan come to life as possible players’ persona. Each player has his own coat of arms card which explains strengths and weaknesses. There is so much here for really learning and understanding the Age of Chivalry!

But, just in case we do get tired of playing the six included quests, there is an expansion pack, Merlin’s Company, adding Merlin and seven more knights.

I highly recommend this game generally, but especially if you, too, are doing a Middle Ages unit. Really excellent.

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