Review of 'Spirit Island', a cooperative board game that protects the island from invaders who are squeezing their abilities and rushing in

'Spirit Island ' is a game in which spirits living on 'Spirit Island' come to the island and pillage and fight together to drive out the invaders who are devastating the island. ..

The powers of the spirits vary widely, and they try to eliminate the invaders by using supernatural powers and cooperating with the human race, Dahan, who has lived with the spirits on the island for centuries. The invaders are sending in more and more subsequent expeditions, so it is not so easy to get rid of the island.

Since the Japanese version of this game appeared from Engames in January 2021, I tried to see if I could protect the island from the hands of the invaders.

Spirit Island-Engames Shop

◆ Table of contents
Preparation for play 1: Invader board
Play preparation 2: Island board & supply placement
Play preparation 3: Player preparation
Gameplay: Game flow & spirit phase
Gameplay: Immediate effect phase
-Gameplay: Invader Phase
-Gameplay: Delay Ability Phase
Gameplay: Over time
Gameplay: Subsequent islands

◆ Opening
The box looks like this.

The number of players is 1 to 4, the standard play time is 90 to 120 minutes or more, and the target age is 14 years or older.

'The Spirit Island is seeking your help.'

The contents are quite large.

There are many cards and components, and it takes a little time to prepare before playing, so it is safe to proceed with the opening work early when playing for the first time.

◆ Play preparation 1: Invader board
When playing, start by preparing the invader board. This is the 'invader board'.

Place 4 'anxiety markers' on the frame of the central anxiety pool. 16 cards for 4 players.

I often shuffle 15 anxiety cards. With it turned inside out, place the three on the 'Anxiety Deck'. Next, place 3 anxiety cards again with the fear level 3 divider in between, and then place 3 anxiety cards again with the fear level 2 divider in between.

In this way, the divider is sandwiched every three anxiety cards.

Next, make an 'Invader Deck' from 15 invader cards. There are 4 invader cards with 'I' written on the top of the back illustration, 5 'II', and 6 'III', so don't put them together, just 'I' and 'II'. Only ・ Shuffle with only 'III', turn over one card from each card bundle, put it back in the box, and remove it from the game.

For the remaining 12 cards, first place 5 'III' cards in the 'Expedition' column at the bottom right of the invader board, then stack 4 'II' cards and 3 'I' cards in a pile. In other words, the invader's actions are divided into three stages.

Next, place 5 devastated pieces per player in the 'Ravaged' area above the center on the right side of the Invaders board.

◆ Play preparation 2: Island board & supply placement
Once the invader board is ready, install the island board. There are 4 boards, and the alphabets from 'A' to 'D' in the sea part are assigned, but it is not decided that 'A is used when playing alone', and shuffled before playing. , Use a random one.

The back side is a 'theme map' that prioritizes the theme over game balance. Not only is the art more realistic, but the placement is more realistic, making it more difficult. It's better to use the previous surface until you get used to the game.

For solo play, any one island board. In a two-player game, place any two cards so that the sea is on both sides and use it as an elongated island.

If you play 3 players, it will be a round island that is a little rugged.

And if it is 4 players, it will be the largest island.

After creating an island, place the pieces according to the icon display on the island board. The following four types of pieces are placed at this point. From the left, town pieces, city pieces, dahan pieces, and devastated pieces.

Taking the island board of 'Sea A' as an example, 2 is the city and Dahan, 3 is Dahan x 2, 4 is devastated, 6 is Dahan, 7 is Dahan x 2, and 8 is the town. Each board has two non-sea terrains and the same total number of pieces placed. In addition, please take the devastated piece placed on the island board at this time from the box separately from the one placed on the invader board earlier.

Next, shuffle 36 low-capacity cards and 22 high-capacity cards to make a pile, and place them around the board.

Keep spirit markers, city pieces, town pieces, and expedition pieces near the board. The pieces do not need to be neatly arranged as they will move considerably each turn.

◆ Play preparation 3: Player preparation
Finally, in the player preparation, we will enter the selection of markers and spirits. Choose your favorite color from the 4 color markers and receive all the thick wooden 'existence markers' and the paper '1 turn effect markers'. The color is not fixed for each spirit.

Next, select the spirit you want to play from the 8 spirits. ' Lightning strike ', ' Swell of the big river in the sunlight ', 'Power of the earth full of life ', ' Shadow swaying like a flame ' is a spirit that is safe even for beginners because the complexity of the play content is low.

' Thunder and Talker ', ' Overgrown Green Spread ', ' Hungry Drink of the Ocean ', and ' Dreams and Nightmares Carrier ' are for those who are used to the game to some extent because the play content is a little complicated.

Each 'spirit panel' provides an overview of the initial preparatory actions and guidelines for playing with the spirit, the complexity of the play, and the five points of attack, operation, anxiety, defense, and usefulness. increase. Of the less complex spirits, the attack-type 'lightning strike' looks like this.

Even if it is an attack type, it looks like this when it is a 'hungry drink of the ocean' with high complexity.

On the other side of the panel, what you do when you play the spirits is written.

First, place the presence marker according to 'Preparation' on the back side. In the case of 'Lightning Strike', it says 'Place two existing markers in the desert with the highest number on your initial board', so the board of Sea A that was in front of you on the island. I put the presence marker in the desert of '7' which is the largest number in. Preparation depends on the spirit, and some spirits place the first three presence markers. Only the placement of the first presence marker is done on different island boards, but after that it is okay to advance to another island board.

Also, when the initial placement is completed, place the presence marker in the space drawn by the dotted line of the 'spirit power of each turn' and 'card play' tracks in the 'existence' column on the surface. In short, it's OK if you can see only the two on the left. There is one extra presence marker, but I'll exclude it from the game.

If necessary, we will distribute two quick-view cards for rules and progress.

Then, deal cards with the illustration of the spirit on the back to each spirit player. There are 5 low-complexity spirits and 4 medium- and high-complexity spirits.

Four of the cards are unique ability cards that can be used by spirits from the initial state.

Only low complexity spirits have 'ability progress cards'. This is a card that is suitable for the spirit to play among the 'small ability' and 'large ability' that may be acquired during game play. Normally, acquiring an ability is a procedure of 'drawing 4 cards, holding 1 card, and discarding the remaining 3 cards', so it is necessary to consider which ability is useful, but without making that judgment. You can do it.

The corresponding cards have the same color as the ability progress card on the upper left and lower right of the card, respectively.

The cards extracted with the 'Ability Progress Card' are excerpted as 'This is recommended when acquiring abilities', and since they have not yet acquired abilities at the start of play, they should be placed in a different location from the unique ability cards.

Now the player is ready. To finish, flip over the top card of the Invader Deck in the 'Expedition' section of the Invaders board.

The invaders will send out expeditions from the cities / towns on the island, and newcomers will come from the sea. An expeditionary piece will be placed if it falls under any of the 'adjacent to the sea'.

◆ Gameplay: Game Flow & Spirit Phase
This game consists of 5 turns: 'Spirit Phase', 'Immediate Ability Phase', 'Invader Phase', 'Delayed Ability Phase', and 'Elapsed Time'.

Ultimately, if the invaders abandon the island, the spirits will win. The pattern is

Maximum fear level : Flip all anxiety cards
-Exclusion of invaders according to fear level: No invaders on the island at fear level 1 or no town / city on the island at fear level 2 or no city on the island at fear level 3

One of. On the other hand, there can be three patterns of defeat:

-Island Devastation : No more devastating pieces on the Invaders board
-Extinction of any spirit : The presence marker of any of the placed spirits becomes 0.
-Time out : 0 invader decks left (if you can't draw the invader card the next time you draw a card)

The first phase is the 'spirit phase,' in which the spirit determines what to do that turn. In the spirit phase, the player performs three steps in order: 'growth', 'acquire spirit power', and 'use ability cards and pay costs'.

'Growth' selects and executes one of the action groups shown at the top of the spirit panel. In the case of 'Lightning Strike', 'Collect Cards / Acquire Ability Cards (1) / Acquire Spirit Power (1 point)' 'Add 1 Existence (Achievement 2) / Add 1 Existence (Achievement)' Select from 3 distances: '0)' and '1 additional existence (1 reach distance) / acquisition of spiritual power (3 points)'. All the actions shown must be performed, but the player can decide in what order the actions in the group should be performed.

'Collecting cards' means collecting all the ability cards used, so it is useless to do it on the first turn. Add Existence allows you to add the Existence Marker of any Existence Track to any land on the map within the Reach Distance (distance from where your Existence Marker is). Basically, spirits wield their power starting from where they are, so it is better to spread the presence marker as wide as possible to deal with invaders all over the island. So, at first, I will play 'Add 1 existence (reach distance 2), add 1 existence (reach distance 0)'. Placing an Existence Marker will increase the presence of spirits and increase the spirit power and number of card plays that can be obtained each turn. In the example below, I used the two markers on the track above, but it's okay to take either one. How you grow will affect future battles.

As a result of each spirit's 'growth', the island looks like this.

Then, 'acquisition of spiritual power'. The spirit power that can be obtained with 'Lightning Strike' is 1 in the initial state, but by placing 2 markers, you can now acquire 2 spirit power.

And 'use of ability card and payment of cost'. The number on the upper left of the ability card is the cost at the time of use, and it is divided into two types, 'immediate effect ability' (red) and 'delayed ability' (blue), depending on the color of the ring surrounding the cost. The number of cards that can be used is determined by the number of card plays indicated in the 'Existence' column of the spirit, and cards that cannot be paid for by the spirit power that you have cannot be played. This time, as a support for other spirits, we used 'Lightning Blessing' that allows you to use two delay abilities of any spirit as immediate effects. If you put the cost to pay on the card, you will not forget to pay.

In this phase, 'how to deal with the invader in front of you' and 'how to prevent the action of the next invader' that is already visible on the invader board, using each ability It takes a lot of time to think about how to prevent it. In some cases, it took more than 5 minutes, except when the action guidelines were very narrow.

Once you have the ability to use it, move on to the next phase.

◆ Gameplay: Immediate effect phase
When the spirit decides all actions, the 'immediate effect ability' is activated first. You can freely decide which ability of which spirit is activated first, but you cannot interrupt with another ability while one ability is activated.

With the effect of 'Lightning Blessing' set earlier by 'Lightning Strike', 'The Power of the Earth Full of Life' uses its own delay ability 'Valley of the Fruitful Earth' as an immediate effect ability. The effect is 'Collect up to 2 expedition pieces. Collect 2 Dahan pieces', the reach is 1, and the target land is arbitrary.

The effect of 'collecting pieces' is that you can move the corresponding piece in the land with a reach distance of 1 (adjacent) from the target land toward the target land. It is a movement aimed at processing in the future phase by collecting expeditionary pieces.

An 'element' is marked on the left edge of the card. If the number of elements on the card you play meets the conditions for activating the innate ability of the spirit, you can activate it according to the conditions for immediate effect and delay. In the case of the 'shadow that shimmers like a flame' below, the elements obtained from these four pieces are 'moon' x 4, 'fire' x 2, 'atmosphere' x 3, 'plant' x 1, 'animal' in order from the top. × 1. Since the element is not 'consumption' but 'whether it exists', you can get the effect up to the second stage of the innate ability 'darkness that swallows the careless'. If you can increase 'Fire' by 1, you can also get the effect of the third stage.

Also, as a special rule unique to the spirit, 'Lightning Thunder Blow' can use the delay ability as an immediate effect ability for each element of 'Atmosphere'.

There was no major movement in this phase.

◆ Gameplay: Invader Phase
After the spirits use their immediate effects, the invaders will move. There are six processing contents in the invader phase: 'Ravaged Island', 'Anxiety', 'Pillage', 'Construction', 'Expedition', and 'Movement of Invader Card'. Of these, 'ravaged islands' are not treated by this rule.

'Anxiety' is caused by the ability of spirits and the destruction of towns and cities, and when one occurs, one marker moves from the anxiety pool of the invader board to 'created anxiety'.

When all the markers have moved to 'Created Anxiety', move the top card of the Anxiety Deck to 'Acquired Anxiety Card'. The anxiety card obtained in this way will be solved here. There is no anxiety card on the first turn, so there is nothing to do.

Next is 'looting'. When there is an invader piece on the land indicated by the invader card, the expedition deals 1 point, the town deals 2 points, and the city deals 3 points of damage to the land and Dahan. If a land takes 2 or more damage, move one devastation marker on the Invaders board to that land.

For example, in the example below, there is one expedition, one town, and one city, so the total damage is 6 points.

This will give you one devastation marker. If the damage is 2 points or more, there is only one marker for 3 points or 10 points.

Also, each Dahan has 2 health, and will be defeated if attacked by a town or city. However, if the damage received is 1, it survives by simply flipping the piece over and counterattacking any of the invaders in the same land, dealing 2 damage. Dahan received 1 damage from the expedition in the following cases: However, the counterattack deals 2 damage to the expedition and defeats it.

When a town or city is damaged, the piece is defeated to express it.

Actually, there is no 'looting' on the first turn, and the first move is 'construction'. Of the lands shown on the invader card, if the land has an invader piece and there are more towns than the city, build a city, otherwise build a town. The following land already has one town, so a city has been created.

There is an expedition here, so a town has been created.

As a result of completing construction here and there, a town was born all over the island.

Moreover, the 'expedition' will come after this. The processing is the same as at the beginning of the game. In the early stages, the destruction of cities and towns does not progress so much, so new expeditions will spring up every turn.

After a series of processes, the invader card will shift one to the left. In other words, the land that went out on the 'expedition' will be 'constructed' on the next turn, then 'looted' on the next turn, and finally discarded.

◆ Gameplay: Delay Ability Phase
When the invader's phase ends like a storm, it's time to deal with the delayed ability of the spirit's abilities.

The ability of 'Shadow that sways like a flame' 'Terrifying Mantle' is to generate anxiety x 2 and to push out one expedition and one town from the land with the existence marker for any spirit. I will gradually build up my anxiety.

Since the delay ability is activated after the invader's movement, there are cases where looting is done and devastated depending on the land, but since it is also after construction and expedition, actions to prevent the next looting and construction Can. If all the spirits use only the immediate effect ability, they will be vulnerable to the expedition, so the key is how well the delay ability is used for some spirits to interfere with the work of the expeditionary party.

◆ Gameplay: Over time
The end of the turn is 'the passage of time'. All the cards you play will be discarded, and all elements and damage will disappear. The upside-down Dahan and the overturned towns and cities will be restored. In other words, if you want to destroy a town or city, you need to attack intensively in one turn.

◆ Gameplay: Subsequent islands & another island
Even if the spirits drive away the invaders with their mighty power, the invaders rush into stage II in a cat-and-mouse game where expeditions will soon emerge from the sea and town. Then, a series of expeditions to the desert appeared. If it was prepared well, the desert would be safe for a while, but it was difficult to deal with it.

In addition, a tough 'coastal land' appears with the Stage II invader card. In normal land, there are 2 places per island board, but there are 3 places along the coast.

Moreover, as long as it is in contact with the sea, an expedition will definitely appear. Thanks to that, the coastline is terrible ...

A spirit that revives a little with a powerful 'anxiety' effect that each town destroys an expedition in the same land. For every 3 anxiety cards, the invader's 'fear level' will increase, the effect of the anxiety card will be strengthened, the victory conditions will be relaxed, and the spirit's eyes will be bigger.

However, as expected, the expansion of the invaders' power could not be stopped, and finally a second devastation occurred in the desert. When a second devastation occurs on the same land, the devastation is chained to one of the surrounding lands. It is OK to discuss and decide the chain destination with the spirits.

I decided to chain it to a rocky mountain, but if the land with the existence marker is devastated, the existence will disappear.

The chain calls for more chains, and if you notice, it's the last devastated piece you've got from the invaders board. That means ...

The defeat of the spirits.

On another island, he summoned a highly complex spirit, the Carrier of Dreams and Nightmares. This spirit's innate ability 'Spirit also dreams' has the effect of turning any face-down anxiety card face up, and you can know in advance what the effect of the next anxiety card will be. increase. 'Dream to Nightmare Carrier' uses the special ability 'Dream a Thousand Deaths' to create anxiety instead of destroying expeditions, towns, and cities with the ability. Established a cycle of flipping anxiety cards after producing.

I advanced the fear level to 3 and wiped out the cities on the island, and won the victory under the invader exclusion condition that 'there is no city on the island when the fear level is 3'.

I've played it several times, but each time I get a completely different and fresh playing experience, because the play style is completely different depending on the spirit. Also, even when playing with the same spirit, if the placement of the island board is different, the position of the existence marker at the start will be different, and the initial movement of the invader will also be different, so it is not possible to respond with exactly the same movement, and there is also a response.

The difficulty of the game is not so difficult as to throw it early, but it is a perfect balance that it is really the end of the game that you can be confident that 'this will have won'.

The downside is the complexity of the rules, as evidenced by the large number of components. It's easy to grasp if you play it, but up to that point, I had to read the rulebook over and over again, 'Is this correct for this interpretation?'

In addition, the above play is a tutorial play at the '0' level in terms of the set difficulty level. In addition to this, the rule that when the specified devastated piece disappears from the card, it becomes a 'desolate island' and one marker of each spirit's existence is destroyed, and the setting of 'scenario' and 'hostile country' are added. , The difficulty level will increase dramatically.

There are four scenarios available: 'Dahan Riot,' 'Horror Ritual,' 'Defense of the Center of the Island,' and 'Raid.'

'Raid' is a scenario with difficulty level 0, that is, a scenario with no change in difficulty level. All 'delays' are now treated as 'immediate effects', and the 'immediate effect' ability originally has a 1 reduction in spiritual power cost. If the cost is 0, you will get 1 spirit power each time you use it. On the other hand, the invader's actions in preparation for the start of the game are increased by another set, the first 'construction' is performed before the first spirit phase, and the expedition team added during the 'expedition' is increased by one. To do.

Difficulty 3 scenario 'Ritual of Fear'. To raise the 'fear level', instead of acquiring 3 anxiety cards, 'there is at least one marker for each spirit, and there is a Dahan with 3 players x 3'. You will need a 'fear ritual' that can be done by destroying one.

There are three hostile countries that appear: 'Brandenburg-Prussia', 'Sweden', and 'Kingdom of England'. Even if 'Level' is 0, the effect of Stage II will be strengthened and the difficulty will increase, but there are up to 6 level settings to further accelerate the difficulty.

This is a table that summarizes each scenario and the difficulty level of the hostile country. As you can see in the note, there is a compatibility between the abilities of spirits and the characteristics of hostile nations, so this is not the case.

The editorial staff who played the game generally said, 'It's really difficult ... but interesting', so if you want to challenge a chewy game with multiple players, please try it. Solo play is also possible, but this is also quite difficult because you will be fighting with one spirit and no one will make up for your weaknesses.

At the time of writing the article, 'Spirit Island' is out of stock except for the event sales and is being remanufactured.

The list price is 9900 yen including tax.

Amazon | Spirit Island Japanese Version / Engames / R. Eric Reuss | Board Games | Toys

in Review,   Game, Posted by logc_nt