Ex Libris, by Adam P. McIver and published by Renegade Game Studios, is a worker placement and set collection game with a fairly unique theme – players take the role of book collectors in a fantasy realm. The local Mayor is set to announce a new Grand Librarian, the title that will be given to the citizen with the greatest book collection.
The game takes place over a series of rounds where you will send your assistants rushing around the various locations in town to collect books for your library in an attempt to become the Grand Librarian. You will need to ensure your book collection is shelved on stable shelves in alphabetical order, with more “prominent works” than your adversaries while trying to collect as few of the banned category of books as you can. You will need to acquire books in a spread of different categories and as many books as you can of the particular focus of your own library! It’s not easy being a librarian!
Each player will take two standard assistants and one of 12 special assistants (which include a goblin, a wizard, a mummy, a worm and even a gelatinous cube!) who each have a unique special ability to help you in your endeavours.
Locations in the village include the Diviners Hut, Auction House, Community Centre, Garbage Dump, Rummage Sale and the Wishing Well, along with many others that all have their own unique effects and benefits for visiting. More locations are added each round while some will disappear. The order the locations appear is randomised so each game will be very different from the last.
The final round is triggered when someone shelves a certain number of book cards on their bookshelf (the number varies depending on player count) and once the final round has completed one player will be nominated as the Official Inspector and tally up all scores with the wonderful glossy “Library Inspection Form B-7c” and the supplied dry erase marker.
Is your library good enough for you to earn the honour of becoming the new Grand Librarian?