March onward if you are looking for the best Arabian Board Games out there because that is what we are going to give you. These games often have themes or storylines set in the Arabian Peninsula of the Middle East, but may include locations around the Persian Gulf as well. Some of the most popular themes and imagery in Arabian games has to do with deserts, palaces, jewels, camels, and oases, to name a few. This is our list of the 10 Best Arabian Board Games.
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#10 | A Thief’s Fortune
A Thief’s Fortune makes the list of the best Arabian board games because it is unique and ingenious how they bring this theme to life. It is a really fun game that plays with time and will make you think in a new dimension that you have not really seen in other board games. A wonderful and relatively new title.
Each player represents a different possible future of the same character. By visiting different locations, interacting with local characters and making sure certain things happen, you try to find the path that will lead you as far away as possible from danger. With three areas in front of them: past, present, and future; players draft location, event, and character cards into the “future” area and move them toward “present” by doing what needs to be done. For 1 – 4 players, games run 45 – 90 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy A Thief’s Fortune
#09 | Byzanz
Byzanz makes the list of the best Arabian board games because this is a tremendous economic auctioning game that just wouldn’t make as much sense if it didn’t push the theme of a merchant bidding at market. Games are not at all hard to play but they can get very cutthroat. An on the edge of your seat thrill ride.
You are a merchant in Byzantium and you are trying to have the most profit from the markets inside the city which is done by bidding on offers from the market to collect as many sets of 3 cards of the same good. This is a pure bidding game, good and merchant cards are shuffled together to form a deck. Offer cards determine what gets flipped on the table and players go around the circle bidding. It gets much deeper from there. For 3 – 6 players, games run about 45 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Byzanz
#08 | Amul
Amul is one of the lesser-known titles on the list of the best Arabian board games but that is because it is relatively new. We predict big things for this entertaining medium weight drafting and management game. The prosperity of a splendid city of merchants peaks after Arabian conquest in the 10th century and it was destroyed by the Mongols in 1220.
Each player is a striving merchant, competing for wealth and success. The creative card drafting mechanism caters to swift and simultaneous gameplay, keeping all players constantly engaged. Draft cards from the market to collect goods and valuables, hire guards, assemble caravans, and make contracts with traders. For 3 – 8 players, games last 30 – 45 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Amul
#07 | Crusader Rex
Crusader Rex makes the list of the best Arabian board games because it ticks all the right boxes, the gameplay and theme are there and get high marks. You are smack dab in the middle of a historic conflict engaging in this dice roll, move and attack game.
One player plays the Christian Franks, the other, the Muslim Saracens. The objective of the game is to control important Victory Cities such as Jerusalem, Acre, Damascus, and Antioch. You find yourself immersed in the theme and historical flavor that Crusader Rex has to offer. The Franks looking to take back the Holy Land, can they hold out until the powerful crusaders arrive? For 2 players, game last about 3 hours.
FOR MORE: Buy Crusader Rex
#06 | Marrakech
Marrakech is a game on the list of the best Arabian board games that uses actual carpet squares. It is a fun game that has some unique things. It is rare that everyone moves the same person, but like moving a cue ball around in a game of poll, Marrakech has it and does it well.
Each player takes the role of a rug salesperson (Assam) who tries to outwit the competition. Each player starts with 10 coins and an equal number of carpets. On your turn, you may rotate Assam and roll a die to move. If Assam lands on another player’s carpet, you must pay that player 1 coin per square showing that is contiguous with the landed-on square. Then, you place one of your carpets orthogonally adjacent to Assam. For 2 – 4 players, games run a quick 30 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Marrakech
#05 | Aladdin’s Dragons
Aladdin’s Dragons is a great worker placement and auction game. You need to make hard decisions about where you are going to invest your resources and it could go very right or terribly bad. The theme is spot on and this was an easy choice for the list of the best Arabian board games.
Players are putting numbered bidding chips face-down onto the board sequentially. After the players have placed all of their chips, then each of the areas is resolved. The bottom part of the board is where players attempt to gather treasure tokens, the middle part of the board features a number of special actions, and the top part of the board is where players use treasure tokens to purchase artifacts. The player who can collect the most artifacts by the end of the game wins. For 3 – 5 players, games last 60 – 90 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Aladdin’s Dragons
#04 | Through the Desert
Through the Desert makes the list of the best Arabian board games because it is an amazing title in the category. Strategy is essential in deciding how and where to build your tribe’s caravans. There are multiple ways to gain points and several ways to win. Fun and replayability is high in this medium weight classic.
A game of strategy, patience, and cool plastic camels! The desert is still treacherous, mysterious, and without mercy. But for those willing to risk the dangers of the shifting, sun-baked sands, the desert holds riches beyond compare. Players each control a tribe of nomads vying for control of the desert. By establishing caravans and taking over oases, the players gain points as their tribes increase in power. For 2 – 5 players, games run about 45 minutes.
FOR MORE: Buy Through the Desert
#03 | Alhambra
Alahambra is one of the best drafting and tile games ever created and a natural fit for the list of the best Arabian board games. The theme is also well done to back up such a game. If you enjoy drafting at all, you should check this fantastic title out.
The best master builders in the whole of Europe and Arabia want to demonstrate their skill. Hire the right people and have the right mix of the four monies. Because no matter whether they are stonemasons from the north or horticulturalists from the south, they all want a proper wage and insist on their “native” currency. With their help towers can be constructed, gardens laid out, pavilions and arcades erected and seraglios and chambers built. For 2 – 6 players, games last about 45 – 60 minutes.
FOR MORE: Games Like Alhambra | Buy Alhambra
#02 | Tales of the Arabian Nights
Tales of the Arabian Nights makes the list of the best Arabian board games because it is a groundbreaking storytelling game in the space. You are along for the ride but you have just enough control to make for a fun adventure. If you really want to dive into this category, this game will help you achieve that.
You enter the lands of the Arabian Nights alongside Sindbad, Ali Baba, and the other legendary heroes of the tales. Travel the world encountering imprisoned princesses, powerful ‘efreets, evil viziers, and such marvels as the Magnetic Mountain and the fabled Elephant’s Graveyard. You need to make key narrative choices at every turn in order to achieve greatness. For 1 – 6 players, games run about 2 hours.
FOR MORE: Buy Tales of the Arabian Nights
#01 | Five Tribes
Five Tribes takes the top spot on the list of the best Arabian board games because it happens to be one of the best board games in existence period and certainly deserves the accolade. When you think of worker placement games that are masters in their respective areas and Five Tribes is one of those masters.
In a unique twist on the now-standard “worker placement” genre, the game begins with the meeples already in place – and players must cleverly maneuver them over the villages, markets, oases, and sacred places tiles that make up Naqala. How, when, and where you dis-place these Five Tribes of Assassins, Elders, Builders, Merchants, and Viziers determine your victory or failure. For 2 – 4 players, games last 40 – 80 minutes.