GTM #218 - Tower of London
Reviewed by Jane Trudeau-Smith & Philip Smith


On our show, we review games for two or more players, specifically focusing on the two-player aspect. When we picked up this game from Wizkids we did not realize that it was for 3 to 5 players. However, that did not stop us! We recruited our friend Chris to play so we could give it a proper review. After we played, we decided that we could get away with playing with two if we wanted to, even though the box recommends 3 to 5.

If you are familiar with the actual Tower of London. you may know the legend that says if the ravens leave the tower, the kingdom will fall! (Google it and you will see!) In this game, the goal is to be the first player to capture seven ravens to win the game! If after three rounds no one has seven ravens, everyone loses!

How is it Played?


The game board is only 17 ½ x 11 ½ so it is compact when folded, which could make it a good traveling game. The board represents the Tower of London and the different aspects of the tower. It is divided into three scoring areas (orange, green and blue) and four quadrants. In the first round you just choose a starting player however you see fit, but the turn order can change. The board has a turn order track, which we will talk about shortly.

A scoring card is selected and placed on the board. We used the 3-player scoring card. The scoring card shows how many ravens each player receives when scoring each round. (We decided if we play with just two we would just ignore the third player category for scoring.)

The Event cards are shuffled. Three are randomly chosen and placed on their spot on the board. Each player receives a set of player cards (13) in their color, and matching “Beefeater” cubes (20). There is a pile of 31 raven tokens that everyone can see on the side.


There are four phases to each round, and each phase is quick:

  1. Prepare – turn over an event card and each player shuffles their deck and draws a hand of six cards to start the round. Even though you use three event cards in a game, there are 13 different ones to make game play different each time. An event can be something like, “At the end of this round, before scoring, if you control Byword Tower earn 1 Raven”.
  2. Playing Cards…
    1. All players pick two cards from their hand and place them face down in front of them in the order they want to play them. The first card allows you to place your beefeater cubes on numbered/colored spots on the board. The second card gives you an ability to play this turn.
    2. Each player in turn order reveals their cards and places a beefeater in the tower based on the first card and then does their ability on the second card. For example, on the first card I may have a choice to place a beefeater cube on spot 5 (which is orange), 18 (which is green) or 31 (which is blue) – you only get to choose one spot. On my second card the ability I chose is “Add one extra Beefeater to a building +/- 1 from where you placed” – so I get to place a second Beefeater on another building 1 number higher or lower the first building I chose.
    3. Last, everyone looks at the first card they played. Whatever number is in the orange area – they place a cube on the turn order track on that number. The player with the highest number goes first and turn order follows the track from there. You then repeat these steps two more times so that players use all six of their cards.
  3. Reduce Decks – From the six played cards (discarded), each player returns three to the game box, the rest in the draw deck are shuffled. In the last round, you will have one extra card, as expected.
  4. At the end of the round, you score to see who has the most control on the board. You do this by counting the number of buildings the player controls in that area – the person with the most Beefeaters on each building controls it. In the first round you only score the orange area, second the orange and green, and in the third round the orange, green and blue areas. The score card tells you how many ravens to give the players based on first, second and third places. It is possible that someone could collect seven ravens and win before the third round.

The strategy is to find a way to take control of the most buildings of an area where you get the most ravens, like maybe giving up one building to take two others. Also, be sure to play the event cards. In our example above, if someone controlled the Byword Tower they would get an extra raven.

Once everyone understands how to play, the game can go very quickly. We enjoyed this game a lot and recommend it for anytime you just want to play something quick; it doesn’t take a lot of time to learn. We tried it afterward with just two players and it worked just fine.

Timing of the Game

According to the box game play takes about 45 minutes, but with the three of us playing it took less than a half hour. So, this would be a great choice if you don’t have a lot of time to play, or maybe a good game right before turning in for the night.

Fast Facts:

  • MSRP: $24.99
  • # of Players – 3-5
  • Age Range – 14+
  • Duration – 45 minutes
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