Ancient Egypt depended on the Nile floods and Faiyum was an artificial basin that provided a controlled area of flood plain. It was gradually developed into productive farmland. This is the task facing players in the game: turn the crocodile-infested swamp into farms, towns and workshops – and construct the odd monument. Pyramid, anyone?
This is all powered by cards: play a card and do what it says. This could be clearing a farm, building roads, establishing a settlement or something else. And, while there are any left, collecting a bounty for clearing those pesky crocs out of the way. The problem is that, at some point, you'll need to get your cards back. This takes a whole turn and costs money. Plus, you must retrieve cards in the reverse order you played them in. This is where careful planning pays
Of course, you can buy more cards. These will let you do more and different things, but now you've got even more cards in your hand... More things to think about!
Faiyum is published by Friedemann's imprint, 2F Spiele, in a bilingual edition and includes a one-player option. I've only played it solitaire, which was excellent practice, and really want to play it with others.
For 1-5 players, aged 12+, playing time 120 minutes: £45.00 (£37.50 without tax outside the UK)