The Road to Canterbury is a board game that really digs into the heart of medieval culture, while also being fun if you aren't a big scholar. However, even people like us who are super nerdy about things like this can learn something. I know the seven deadly sins well, between my Catholic upbringing, my studies in medieval lit, and teaching The Canterbury Tales. Yet even having a grad school background in this, I didn't know that luxury and lust are interchangeable. The things you learn. :)
Okay, so a quick primer for non-literary nerds. The Pardoner in The Canterbury Tales is not a good guy. He's really greedy and he makes his living, rather than actually pardoning sinners like he's supposed to, creating fake pardons and relics and selling those instead. Within the game, you play the Pardoner and it's on you to tempt the other pilgrims, direct from the work, into sin. You need no actual background in the literature or history, but if you have it, the game is even better.
The first thing I noticed about this game is the quality. Everything is very well made. All the boards are sturdy and solid, the artwork is from the Ellesmere manuscript, Lydgate, and Bosch's images of the Seven Deadly Sins, and everything is packaged well.
Each player gets his or her own reference card as well as velvet coin purse during play. These are also very high quality.
The instructions are fairly complex and the game takes a while not only to play, but also to learn. However, the instructions are clear and also a little entertaining. Check out the detail of selecting who goes first! (My husband clearly won this.)
This is not a quick game and it has a lot of pieces, so it's not something you play without setting aside time. However, it was really fun and also educational. My husband said he thought it may be an entertaining way to reiterate some of what he teaches before a test on the Middle Ages. It would require some coaching and creativity but in double blocks, it could work. I always love learning that's also fun and this game definitely has both in spades. Plus the quality and research that went into the development should be recognized.
I am so impressed by the game itself and its entertainment value. Awesome Pack chose an awesome game for us and The Road to Canterbury is definitely something we are going to play often!