Review: Eurovision Song Contest: The Board Game (Just Games) – English

Attention Eurovision fans! The world’s most popular music festival is now also available as a board game. Does this game deserve douze points or rather a disqualification?

 The goal of Eurovision Song Contest: The Board Game is to compose two entries. There are no less than fifty countries to choose from: from festival veteran France to one-time-participant Morocco. As a side note: the country tokens are printed on both sides. This means some combinations are impossible: if there’s a Dutch entry, Denmark cannot compete.

Every entry consists of four parts: song, costume, stage and instrument. As every viewer of the festival knows: a good song is not enough, the act is at least as important. Players collect one card per category to complete an entry. The many possible combinations are completely in accordance with Eurovision: a disco song in ball gown accompanied by a saxophone? A stage with big screen for a romantic song, with bagpipes in the background? Everything is possible. 

 During the game, players move their pawns across the colourful board with music notes, answering questions about the Song Contest. There are photo, multiple choice and open questions, with three levels of difficulty: easy (one star), average (two stars) and hard (three stars), so the game can be as easy or difficult as you would like it to be. Interesting detail: there are two different questions printed on both sides, in Dutch and English, so the game is suitable for Dutch and non-Dutch speakers.

After a question has been answered correctly, players are allowed to expand one of their entries. This is one of the nicest and most exciting parts of the game, because the ultimate objective is to collect as many points as possible. This, however, can be done in different ways: by choosing cards with a high score or by matching symbols on the cards. You’ve guessed it: cards with a high score have fewer symbols and vice versa. Time for some number crunching!

 After one of the players has completed two entries, the finale commences. During the finale 8, 10 or 12 points are awarded in different categories. The categories are not known beforehand. The addition of the finale makes the game, like the symbols on the cards, just that bit more interesting and exciting: those 12 points could be just enough to claim victory…

Let’s be honest: if you don’t like the Eurovision Song Contest, you are not going to enjoy a game which centers around knowledge on that same Song Contest. For fans and regular viewers, however, the game has a lot to offer. Eurovision Song Contest: The Board Game has been made with a lot of love for Eurovision. Furthermore, it contains interesting tactical elements. Europe, start playing now!