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Board game review & gameplay of: Bruxelles 1897

Game design: Etienne Espreman

Illustrations: Vincent Joassin

  • 8/10
  • 10+
  • 2-4 players
  • 40-60 minutes


Bruxelles 1897 is a card game based on Bruxelles 1893 (2013). 

In this game you are architects, art dealers and artists. To become the most influencial in these art nouveau circles, you will have to create and sell art and build architectural buildings.

Players will play 4 rounds. Each player will get a set of architectcards in a particular color. These represent your workers. On your turn, you can put one architectcard on top of an action card (in the play area) and then you pay the money that is indicated on this architectcard. Then you resolve the action and play continues to the next player.

Actions consist of getting construction elements for building buildings, building the actual building, creating art, selling art, exhibit art and hiring noble men that give you some special benefits during the game. All of these actions give you points one way or another.

When the round has  ended because everyone has passed their turn, players will receive points for finished shields, if they own biggest part of it. Besides this there is also an area control element in this game. By placing your architects, you are competing for bonus actions at the end of the round that are shown below the play area. There are four different benefits you can win by having spent the most money in one row; getting an architect out of jail and going up on the architecture, noble or the prestige track in order to make some of the actions worth more points in the end.

When the final round has ended, the bonus cards will give the player that has the most coins extra points in that specific category. The player with the highest points wins the game.


Firstly I must mention that I thought this game was very difficult. I think it has something to do with the art. But don't be fooled by the looks of this game.. This game is incredible! I love workerplacement games and this one is a very special one with some extra mechanics hidden underneath workerplacement only. 

I really enjoy the fact that it is played only by cards. The combination of the architectworkers with a certain amount of money you have to spend works really well, you really have to work out the things you can and cannot do. But that besides that your architects also form shields and also compete along in an area control battle for some extra actions, makes this game so very nice and a little bit brainy (in a good way).

This is a game I will definitely bring on holidays, since it offers so much gameplay for its size. Not to even mention its replayvalue, because you form a new play area each game, it offers lots of replayability.

If you like innovative workerplacement games, this is a nifty little one which will not dissapoint!


A copy of this game was provided to me by Geronimo Games for the purpose of writing this review. My opinion however remains my own.

Boardgamegeek BGG

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