The game, Glass Road, commemorates the 700-year-old tradition of glass-making in the Bavarian Forest. (Today, the "Glass Road" is a route through the Bavarian Forest that takes visitors to many of the old glass houses and museums of that region.) You must skillfully manage your glass and brick production in order to build the right structures that help you keep your business flowing. Cut down the trees to keep the fires burning in the ovens, and remove ponds, pits, and groves to supply yourself with the items you need. Fifteen specialists are there at your side to carry out your orders...
In more detail, the game consists of four building periods. Each player has an identical set of 15 specialist cards, and each specialist comes with two abilities. At the beginning of each building period, you choose a hand of five specialists. If, during this building period, you play a specialist that no other player has in hand, you may use both abilities on that card; if two or more players play the same specialist, each may use only one of the two abilities. Exploiting the abilities of these specialists lets you collect resources, lay out new landscape tiles (e.g., ponds and pits), and build a variety of buildings, which come in three types:
- Processing buildings
- "Immediate" buildings with a one-time effect
- Buildings that provide bonus points at the end of the game for various accomplishments
Mastering the balance of knowing the best specialist card to play and being flexible about when you play it — together with assembling a clever combination of buildings — is the key to this game.
The 2021 edition of Glass Road includes previously released promotional material: the Oktoberfest and Adventskalender tiles and the Harlekin card for use in the solitaire version of the game.