App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
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Jaipur is a one-on-one card game that is all about trading. You face off with an opponent in an effort to earn more money by trading and selling things like leather, tea, diamonds, and more. It may not be the most exciting concept for a card game, but this digital version is a delight to play thanks to the variety of modes it offers to players.
Trading card game
Unlike some of the more popular card games on the App Store, Jaipur is not a game about building a deck or crafting cards. Each game is played using a single deck full of commodity and camel cards that get dealt out to form each player's hand and a pool of five face-up cards to play off of.
On every turn, you can either acquire a commodity from the common pool of cards, trade multiple cards in your hand for multiple commodities, sell commodities in your hand, or collect all of the camels currently available. The ultimate goal of the game is to earn the most money, so a lot of your effort is focused on selling what you have, but all of the other things you can do on your turn can give you a better return if used strategically.
Supply and demand
Although the deck of Jaipur stays static between every round, the game has a surprising amount of variety to it. The game has modified versions of it that involve playing multiple rounds, while others can change the pricing of commodities.
These changes can greatly alter the pace of the game and prevents multiplayer games from feeling like a race to replicate the same strategy over and over again. Speaking of multiplayer, Jaipur seems to have a pretty good pool of players to join up and play against, which is not always true of digital board and card games on the App Store.
A surprising journey
If multiplayer doesn't interest you or you can't find a match, Jaipur luckily offers a quite a few ways for you to play the game offline. There is, of course, a pass-and-play mode where you can play with someone else locally, but there is also a mode to play individual games against AI or even live out a career as a trader in the game's Campaign Mode.
This Campaign Mode has you adventuring over the Indian landscape and competing against AI traders to earn money and camels to travel to new regions and build out your own palace. It may not be the most narratively interesting journey as far as single-player content goes, but it makes playing against AI a lot more compelling than it would be otherwise.
The bottom line
Jaipur isn't a hugely complicated card game, but there's enough to it that makes it feel strategically satisfying when you play. When you combine that with a healthy multiplayer community and an unexpected amount of modes, there's a lot to like about Jaipur. This is definitely a card game worth picking up.