Hawaii title

The sun, the wide-open sea, and a gentle breeze Five Hawaiians are enjoying the beach and the sun and all agree that the most recent choice of chieftain was good and the title well earned. And, each brags that next time, he will be the one chosen. To demonstrate their worth, each vows to build the most beautiful village on the island.

In Hawaii the players play the game on a variable game board that is different for each game. Thus, the players must adjust their strategies to the board each game in order to be successful. The player who manages to find the best tactics for the board offered will win the game and the admiration of the other players. The players will need to decide when and what to build, when to buy, and when to wait.

Hawaii offers a variable game experience for up to 5 islanders.

images © Rio Grande Games

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“Highly underrated WP euro”

With the amount of games released every year it’s quite hard to pick out those few really great games. Hawaii is by my account one of the games that really deserves a better recognition and a sudden revien by a Dice Tower member probably didn’t help on top of that. It is a game I’m very fond of and where smart gameplay and experience will prove its worth. A sudden revien by a Dice Tower member probably didn’t help on top of that.

Overview

Hawaii is a worker placement/movement game where 2-5 players are trying to create the most impressive village(s) and earn the admiration from the rest of the islanders. This is done by moving 1 worker around the island and buying huts and other parts for your villages over 5 rounds. Points are scored both during the game and at the end for well built villages and most points will of course be the winner.

Gameplay:

The gameboard is prepared at the start of the game with the Island consisting of 12 areas which are randomly distributed. On each area there will be drawn 1-3 cost tiles (value 2-6). This value tells you how much you’ll have to pay for a tile in that area. In addition, several of the areas has two different things for ssle and on top of that you may pay double price to acquire an improved version of that.

Currency in Hawaii is 3 things. Feet to be able to move around on the island, shell to buy stuff and fruits which may be used as a joker for either, but be careful, you may only pay with one type of currency so you can not use 2 shells and 2 fruits to buy a tile for 4 (unless you have the right hut for it, that is).

Hawaii lasts 5 rounds and each round you’re given a set amouont of resources + whatever you receive from the tiles you’ve already placed in your viillage area. Here is a catch, this set amount decreases each turn. In other words, if you go for the point tiles early, you’ll likely not be able to buy a whole lot in the last couple of turns with very limited resources. One of the key aspects is finding the perfect time to stop buying resource tiles and go for the points instead.

Scoring :

There are several ways to score points in Hawaii, both throughout the game and at the end of game. Visiting Islands, end of turn points and spear huts can score you lots of points during the game, while well built villages will gain you lots at the end as well. It’s all about finding that perfect balance of it all and that is what so great about Hawaii. No two games are ever the same, even if you used the same layout in back to back games.

Pros:

– Great replayability
– Not much downtime
– Fairly easy, hard to master

Cons:

– Fiddly. The between turn preparation can be a drag (this is by far my biggest issue with Hawaii)
– Sometimes there are bad luck involved (albeit a lot less with experience and more players)

Conclusion:

Despite the fiddly between-the-turn preparations this is a game that has hit the table quite a lot and I enjoy every time because you really have to adapt a lot. Not only to what others are doing, but also how the Island is set up and how the cost tiles come out. This is definetively in my top 5 WP euros of the last few years and I recommend every euro fan to give it a try.

 

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