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Spirit Island is a cooperative, settler-destruction strategy game for 1 to 4 players designed by R. Eric Reuss and set in an alternate-history world around A.D. 1700. Players are different spirits of the land, each with their own unique elemental powers, forced to defend their island home from colonizing Invaders spreading blight and destruction. Work with your fellow spirits and the Dahan (local islanders) to increase your power and drive the invading colonists from your island in this deep and complex area-control game!

Play details: Every turn, players simultaneously choose which of their power cards to play, paying energy to do so. Using combinations of power cards that match a spirit's elemental affinities can grant free bonus effects. Faster powers take effect immediately, before the Invaders spread and ravage, but other magics are slower, requiring forethought and planning to use effectively. The Invaders expand across the island map in a semi-predictable fashion. Each turn they explore into some lands (portions of the island); the next turn, they build in those lands, forming settlements and cities. The turn after that, they ravage there, bringing blight to the land and attacking any Dahan present. (Who then retaliate.) The game escalates as it progresses: spirits spread their presence to new parts of the island and seek out new and more potent powers, while the Invaders step up their colonization efforts. Each turn represents 1-3 years of alternate-history.

User Reviews (2)

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4 Beta 1.0 Tester
Gamer - Level 4
7 of 8 gamers found this helpful
“Cooperative game to my liking”

I am not a fan of cooperative games, if I like or own them it means those games are really something. Cooperative games tend to end with alpha player problem. One player can run the game by themselves and others would just follow.

At first I wasn’t really into this game due to it’s visual approach and theme, but couple of my friends convinced me to try it after I got disappointed by Black Orchestra.

Given the extensive rules breakdown, I would say that this game has multi-layered game play, required extra efforts to chew them down. But once the game start to run, you will immerse not into the story, but to the gameplay and mechanisms it provides. The game, given its complexity nature required players to solve a series of puzzles that come in waves. There are things that players need to resolve immediately and there are things that will come in the next wave(s), but still required to be consider in the current plant in order to overcome them next. I like how the card system and combo really works, combined with free turn order mechanic which maximize the effectivity of card plays. Basically players will improve their hand of cards with better cards, which mainly have 2 functions, activating the card effect and provide symbols to unlock passive abilities from the spirits player’s have.

The game also offers wide range of difficulty in terms of enemies and levels. You definitely will find challenges in this game. And in addition, the spirits have various level complexities which accommodate new players as well as experienced players.

This is definitely one of the best cooperative games I have ever played since Gloomhaven and Robinson Crusoe in term of game complexity and thematic.

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My First Game Tip
9 of 12 gamers found this helpful
“An Instant Favorite!”

This is one of those easy to learn but hard to master kind of games. Basically you and the other players are spirits living happily when the “evil” invaders come and try to take over the perfect island. They explore, build towns and cities and create decay all over the pristine land. Your job, as the spirit, is to rid the island of these invaders as quickly and efficiently as possible. This isn’t an easy task though. You’ll use every tool at your disposal (lightning, wind, water attacks, fear, and even the island natives).

The replay value of this game is through the roof with the custom powers, different spirits, varying difficulty levels and scenarios. It is a difficult game to win though, so teamwork is essential.

Good luck on your victory.


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