Posted by James (admin) on October 15th, 2014
In addition to Aquasphere, Stefan Feld is releasing La Isla which looks to be a light eurogame with an interesting card game mechanic.
Players get 3 cards each round, and they secretly allocate one card to each of the 1st, 2nd and 4th action phases before they start resolving them. Each card shows 3 different elements which relate to each of the different phases during the round.
The card in the 1st phase is used for the special ability shown on it – these abilities can be used for the rest of the game, although there’s only room for 3 so these cards start to cover-up existing ones. The card in the 2nd phase is used to gain the specific resource shown on the card.
The 3rd phase is where the players perform the main action of the round (which doesn’t use a card). Players spend resources to place/move one of your explorer figures to a region in the jungle (and taking an animal tile and scoring victory points (VPs) if a region is completed surrounded by explorers.
Finally, the card in the 4th phase is used to advance the marker up the track that matches the specific animal track shown on the card (plus the player scores VPs for each matching animal they own too).
The game ends when the animal track markers have advanced far enough. Players score VPs for each animal tile depending upon how advanced the matching animal tracks are, plus exgtra VPs for each whole set of animal tiles.
So, La Isla sounds like it contains several factors to balance and combine as efficiently as possible. Working out the best combination of the cards you have sounds like a good challenge, especially as players need to combine this with the current board situation, available animal tiles, and the position of the animal track markers.
I generally like Stefan Feld’s games because there’s an interesting game mechanic at the heart and La Isla sounds like one of these.
For more Spiel 2014 previews, check out my Spiel 2014 Previews page which lists the games on my radar with links to their previews too.