Istanbul is a unique worker-placement game designed by Rüdiger Dorn and publsihed by AEG.
Istanbul is not your typical worker-placement game. Instead of placing your workers wherever you want, you have a stack of discs. One disc is your Merchant, the rest are assistants. Whenever you move your stack, you either drop off or pick up one of your assistants. If you don’t, you can’t take the action associated with the space you landed on.
Having to drop off and pick up your assistants, and only being able to move to spaces close to the one you’re currently on make the game a bit restricted, but these restrictions made the game feel balanced.
In the game, you need to manage money, resources (fruits and jewelry), and your assistants. In the game I played, I thought I had a pretty good handle on money, using it to buy rubies (which increase in price every time someone buys them), but one of the other players was just too fast. At the end of the game, she had 5 and I managed to get 3 rubies.
Overally, I had a good time with this one, and I’d definitely like to play again, maybe with a random set-up.