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31 thoughts on “So I Played . . . Spirit Island – Played it Once

  1. Thematically, some spirits are better than others. I believe ocean is amazing, mechanics make you feel the tide, going back and forth between the ocean and the coast, like high and low tide. hearts of wildfire fits very well too, mixing the powers of destruction and purification of fire incredibly well. Personally, I find one of the strongest thematic games I know, because it is not a line of text that gives you the narrative, but the mechanics themselves.

    I can understand though if you don't feel the same, the game is not easy to understand and to do well, it is original enough it requires effort before it can be played casually enough to see the narrative

  2. Spirit Island has been my favorite game for a while now. For me the mechanics took a bit to become second nature. Once they did though, and I could see ahead a turn or two without struggling, that's when the theme kicked in and I could immerse myself into the spirit's role. The narrative came alive and I was no longer "placing Fear" and "pushing explorers" I was raining blood and they were fleeing in terror.

  3. Yes, this game is a big and deep puzzle. Why it stand out for me the most (beside other reasons) is, that AFTER i planned my turn/actions i can dive into the theme and enjoy, how beautiful the card names and illustrations immerse me while executing the mechanics.

  4. Boardgamemanagement 😀 like good tips for closets if you sell or trade how best where … good discounts maybe a good AFFORDABLE boardgmetable

  5. I'm with you on the negatives. I tried really hard to like it. Too fiddly, too abstract, too samey, too much stress, time, and admin for an anti-climactic end. Expansions offered more variation for even more admin. Oh and only a few of the many spirits on offer were actually fun for me. I ultimately got rid of it. I know most people like it though, so it will be good for the channel to make SI videos.

  6. I was sad to hear at the beginning that he had only played 3 times because I knew what he was about to say. It took me at least 5-7 plays before I truly understood what I was doing and my goals on each turn. It’s so hard to see what you should be aiming for each turn until you’ve played enough to see what is important and urgent on the board. For example, knowing when to allow blight on purpose is SO hard to learn, but you must learn it to beat high level adversaries.

    I hope you put out another video after you have played much more.

  7. I love Spirit Island, and it's really great when you make that perfect synergetic play. It's also fun being pushed to the brink of defeat only to come back and win.
    I would love to see them do a competitive version of the game, or a legacy version.

  8. Make sure you play it with the Branch and Claw expansion. It transforms the game from an intriguing puzzle into a real game.

  9. This game was the second worst gaming experience I’ve had in my life. The design is absolutely terrible and I’m frankly shocked by how many people are duped into believing this train wreck of a ‘game’ is good or even playable. It is dull, ugly and so, so bad.

  10. Glad you enjoying the game Jessie! If your looking for theme I find the more complex spirits more thematic as they have 2 innate powers and special rules that can limit how they play. My favorite spirit before the jagged earth expansion was the heart of the wild fire, a promo spirit, even just putting your presence on the board causes damage. However eventually the intensity of the fire causes blight to be putdown in addition to the damage.

    There is also a "post play option" in the expansion rule book that you would enjoy. Basically after the game you rename your spirit based how it grew and changed from it's initial state. The example it has uses River Surges in Sunlight which grew in a more destructive way using a variety of fire powers, a more suiting name might be River Shines with Renewing Fire or Torrent of Life's Flame.

  11. Oh man!! I fricken love this game! BUT I never get it to the table even solo. For the exact reasons you’ve mentioned in this! It’s intimidating but my god it’s fun. The whole idea for the game where you are basically the board instead of the characters in the board I just love. I love the complexity of it but my god it’s brutal

  12. Bought this game a few years ago and just never got around to playing it. This seems intriguing though. I'm even more tentative because I don't do well having everything I've built up being stripped away, but the puzzle sounds intriguing enough to try.

  13. I've heard a lot about this game but now I've seen it …..It's far too complex for my old brain to get round.
    So the good thing is i can ignore this in future.

  14. Masterpiece but of course is not for everyone and need i think 10-15 play to really start to be pulled in… More you play more you want

  15. After a few plays I found the game to be pretty boring for me. Which is a shame as I like the idea of it, and assumed it would be something I would enjoy. But everytime I just wanted it to hurry up and end.

  16. Strange… To me, this game is dripping with theme. Playing the sea spirit, for ecample (I don't recall its name) perfectly emulates the motion of the waves coming and going, for example.

  17. Here's an idea for another title. Have you played Gloomhaven / does it qualify for "played it once"?
    I love GH, been playing almost everyday for the past ~5mo.
    You have a friend that has been sitting on a box of GH having played only 2 scenarios, his name is Alexander Sandstorm the 3rd. Maybe you guys would play and discover/rediscover the magic of it, or he'll finally sell his copy. :×

  18. Spirit Island is what I got for Christmas. First game of 2021 for me, played it three times (solo) already. Love it. I tried: A Spread of Rampant Green, Lightning's Swift Strike, and Shadows Flicker Like Flame. Had fun with all of them and they definitely all have a very different strategy. The amount of content in the core box is surprisingly high. That mixed with just how modular Spirit Island is with scenarios, adversaries, spirits, and island tiles themselves will lead to an very high degree of replayability…. and that's without considering the expansions.

    What I've learned already is to not underestimate Slow spells. Instead of relying on Quick spells and playing for the current, it's very effective to play for next turn which allows Slow spells to shine. If you prevent the invaders from Building then that region will be safe during Ravage, completely bypassing Blight. Also, it's VERY important to pay attention to what your spirit's special rule(s) are. The strength of that spirit often comes from how they manipulate the rules.

  19. It’s def a hard grok but stick to it. Once you start to understand the puzzle it might start feeling incredibly thematic. Took quite a few plays for me but once it becomes common sense it really feels alive. My group plays several times a week now. Always down for TTS 😉 My suggestion? Your journey from Level 1 to Level 10 difficulty. You think your brain burning now? 😂🤷‍♂️🤯 hahah We usually play Level 9 at least. One of best games ever made. Was wondering when you’d finally pull it off that shelf.

  20. I totally get you. It’s for sure maybe more of a puzzle than anything else. But, I will say, I think it’s an incredibly thematic game. to me the theme in this game is one of the major reasons why it’s my #1 favorite game. It’s for sure not
    a narrative game, but to me, emergent theme is my favorite kind of thematicness in board games, and spirit island does this with incredible intricacy and potency. To me it feels like me as the player is actually collaborating WITH the game to tell a fantastic story and countless times as I play the game, while yes i am hyper focused on the incredible puzzle, am I taken aback for a moment, imagine what just happened and, and am just awestruck by how awesome it was, or how fascinating it was, or how beautiful it was even. This game to me is dripping with theme, but I actually get to discover it, which to me is much much more rewarding than enjoying the story in a narrative game while I play it. It’s the way Spirit Island is incredibly harmonious, and every mechanic supports the theme and it all comes together in a way that’s nothing short of beautiful.

  21. The Spirit Guide iOS app deserves some more attention! The ability to track multiple spirits for a solo game or to pass around the table while also being able to track your previous games is amazing!

  22. I am not a fan of puzzle games but I like Spirit Island as I find the cooperative nature makes it a shared puzzle. I also find it highly narrative, in that I have a distinct identity that shapes my game and I love the idea of fighting against colonists. As a fan of Root, the asymmetric player styles are intimidating but it’s rewarding to learn them and also how they interact with other players’ styles.

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