Review – Splito
Zone defense AND zone offense.
|Romaric Galonnier, Luc Rémond
|25th Century Games
|Family Card Games
In Splito, players will play cards into shared zones, thus working together with the players on their right and left. Players will need to figure out how to stack up points in their own zones while also making sure their opponents don’t get too many points in other zones.
A crucial concept for understanding Splito is understanding the zones. Between each of the players, there are zones. So, in a 4-player game, there will be 4 zones between each of the players. To set up, randomly select 2 scoring cards (one with a moon icon, one with a star icon) and place them in the middle. Those point-scoring cards apply to all zones. Finally, deal 13 cards to each player.
Each round, players will select a card from their hand to place in either the zone on their left or the zone on their right. Cards can be colored/numbers cards, which will have 1 of 6 colors on them and a number between 1 and 6. Cards can also be point cards. Some examples of point cards are: exactly 2 cards with the value of 4, exactly 3 different colors, no cards with 2, a majority of 5s, etc. After players place their chosen card facedown next to the zone they’d like to play it on, everyone reveals simultaneously and passes their hand to the player on their left. Play continues until all 13 cards from each hand have been played.
Points are scored from each zone, and each zone’s scoring is dependent upon what scoring cards are in that zone. The only exception to that is the 2 scoring cards in the middle, which apply to all zones. So players will be trying to play helpful cards in their zones, hoping to make their zones more valuable than everyone else’s zones. Players will score points equal to the sum of the zone on their left and the zone on their right. So if you have 4 points in your left zone and 7 points in your right zone, you’ll score 28 points. The winner is the player with the most points.
Splito’s premise is interesting and unique, but my biggest concern with its gameplay was that players don’t actually have enough control over the gameplay to influence it in any real way. While I found this to be somewhat true, given the nature of so many different players playing to so many different zones, attentive players can find ways to mitigate opponents’ scoring opportunities. Perhaps there’s a high-point scoring card that won’t benefit any of your zones but could benefit some opponents’ zones; you could still choose to play that card in your zone, thereby preventing your opponents from scoring points off that card. There’s also the tricky back-and-forth of trying to force your opponents to contribute to your zones without completely neglecting them.
Splito is simple enough to grasp that newcomers could jump in and play immediately, even if they won’t understand all of the strategy yet. While Splito doesn’t offer super deep strategy, there is still a decent amount of strategy for players to discover. The unique premise of playing on different zones isn’t just a novelty; it makes for interesting gameplay that many families can enjoy.
25th Century Games kindly provided a review copy.
The Bottom Line
The shared zones gameplay transcends gimmicks and provides interesting gameplay.