by Harvey Mossman

Publisher: Columbia Games

Designer: Tom Dalgliesh

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I must admit that I was not the original reviewer for this game and it came back to me when that person could not meet his deadline. Now, I am a hard-core historical, hex and counter gamer so The Last Spike was not exactly something I was longing to review. However, I was pleasantly surprised by Columbia Games’ eurogame treatment of land speculation during the great era of railroad building across America.

In the game, players compete to accumulate money from land speculation out West where railroads are due to be built. This differs very much from the railroad building genre popular in eurogame circles where building the rail line is paramount and moving commodities is profitable.  In this game your goal is to buy the land where the railroad track would be laid and profit when the track is actually completed between 2 cities.  There is no product to move and no cargoes to be managed.