Why is Spirit Island the best board game ever?

Over 41,000 Aboriginals were killed in the colonization of Australia.

A sobering thought.

Spirit Island is a cooperative reverse colonisation game. You play spirits protecting or using the indigenous population to stop colonists from destroying the land. It’s a heavy subject. And while this review won’t hold this tone throughout, as that’s not what this site is about. It’s important to acknowledge what came before us. And understand that people today are still suffering from the actions of our forefathers. With that in mind:

I acknowledge and pay my respects, to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people past, present and emerging, whose land I stand upon today.

Alright. Let’s talk Spirit Island.

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Raiders of the North Sea – A board game to play before Ragnarok!

Raiders of the North Sea cover, angry vikings ready to raid

Not so long ago there were two schools of design within board games. On one hand, the uninteresting theme, no luck, all strategy games that came primarily from Germany – called Euro games or Euros. On the other hand, we had American style games where it was all randomness all the time, extremely high player interaction and jam packed with style. These games were lovingly referred to as Ameritrash. While these terms aren’t used so much today, as these styles have bled together over the years, this board game I’m reviewing demonstrates the differences each style brings while attempting to find a middle ground.

Raiders of the North Sea cover, angry vikings ready to raid

Name: Raiders of the North Sea

Players: 2-4

Publisher: Renegade Games and Garphill Games

Designer: Shem Phillips

Artists: Mihajlo Dimitrievski

Raiders of the North Sea allows players to live a week in the life of the Vikings of old. On Monday: you’ll work at the Mill getting food or gold. Tuesday: The Silversmith gives a silver for any help he receives. Wednesday: time to meet the townsfolk at The Gate House, make friends and they’ll join or aid your crew later. Thursday: make an offering to the chieftain at the Long House who’ll honour you with glory and victory points. It’s a good time to note this board game is not historically accurate. Friday: it’s one silver beer night at the Barracks making it a great place to pick up new crewmates and a hangover. Saturday: spoil yourself. Take the crew out raiding and pillage a nearby settlement. Sunday: pour some mead out for those who journeyed to Valhalla – the Viking equivalent of the big farm upstate, and then loot a now defenceless village. Monday: it’s time to do it all over again.

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Jump Drive Review: Start Your Engines!

Roll-to-review-board-game-jump-drive-box-artGiven the Commonwealth Games are 100km away, you’d forgive me for mistaking Jump Drive for a board game about the determination and drive required to become a professional long jumper. Instead, what I found was a baby board game; essentially My First Race for the Galaxy. A 20 minute engine builder for 2-4 players, designed by Tom Lehmann and published by Rio Grande Games.

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