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Spirit Island; otherwise known as "Player, Beating Down on Settlers"

Spirit Island is one of my new favorite games. So good in fact, that I played it solo this past week, something that I usually reserve for learning games only. The only exception to date has been 7th Continent, and now Spirit Island. And more than that, I have no doubt I'll be playing it solo again sometime soon.

The game plays like a puzzle, when playing solo it plays as a solveable puzzle as there's less going on....but with each additional player, the amount you can plan for and optimize around gets harder and harder...with 2 players you might have a chance of "solving" it, but with 3, let alone 4 or more....good luck. Don't get me wrong, solveable or not the game is a blast, it's just a very different experience. As a solveable puzzle it's a pure optimization game and a lot of fun...and with more players it's more chaotic but just as much fun.

The game involves you and other players being spirits, gods of the island here to protect the natives (Dahan), and repel the invaders. This is Catan, Goa, Navegador and more...but instead of being a settler, you are destroying them. This either happens through absolute destruction, or the more terror you impose upon the settlers, the easier it gets to win. The more frightened they are, the less destruction it takes to get them to leave.

On easier levels the game is a little less fun, while you slowly wipe out the impotent settlers. But as you scale the difficulty, you'll find yourself winning or losing by the skin of your teeth, and that's a fun experience. Learning your spirits and how to build a deck to their strengths is the core of why this game is so much fun....you get to wreak fear and destruction on the settlers, or perhaps offering protection to the land and the Dahan. As you level up your spirit and get more powerful, you may find yourself playing catch up to an ever growing swarm of invaders...but when you do catch up, it's with a vengeance (although in the picture above we lost...not enough damage or protection, just fear and control).

I highly recommend Spirit Island, it has risen to being 15 on BGG within a fairly short time span, and I don't think it will stop there. 


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