Archipelago Review - Heavy In More Ways Than One

Archipelago Review - Heavy In More Ways Than One

From theme to mechanics, this is one of the heaviest board games you'll ever play.

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We're very interested to hear what people have to say about this, from format to writing to design! Let us know.

Very interesting. If I had a consistent group to play with, I would totally try this.

I like the use of gifs, by the way. Keep those up.

The gifs are a great addition, yeah.

Is it just me or do those figures look just like the ones from Carcassonne?

I just signed up for The Escapist yesterday, I didn't know you did board game reviews! Very happy! The bright photos and gifs really bring the article to life. The article itself is very concise, easy to read and gives me an idea of what the game is about and whether or not it's for me.

I think I'll add Archipelago to my 'to buy' list :P

Great review, I really like this as an addition to the site's content.

Archipelago sounds like madness. I have enough trouble getting people to play Settlers without being put off by the learning curve or jaded by a round where you fall behind; can't imagine how they would go with something like this.

Still, it would no doubt make for some hilarious conversations about post-colonialism.

Board game reviews? Nice! I've started getting into board gaming, so this could be quite useful.

OT: I have a question. In the images you posted there seems not much landmass in the pictures and a stack of what appears to be land tiles to the side. Was that for demonstration purposes, or are the map expansion mechanics in the game?

Otherwise, the game looks interesting. I've played a few games of Catan (haven't won any yet, sadly) and this looks like it would play somewhat similarly. I might just have to see what I can get it for, and if the rest of the group would want to give it a shot.

I'm ecstatic to see the Escapist broadening its gaming coverage. Gaming is wonderful, fantastic hobby and there are more play experiences out there than just video games. If it means anything, I'd love to see the Escapist give board games and other table-top games more of the spotlight.

Edit: Archipelago is one of my favorite games to play, and if any fellow Escapists out there are more curious about how it plays, here is an excellent video detailing the game.

http://www.shutupandsitdown.com/videos/v/review-archipelago/

The Eupho Guy:

OT: I have a question. In the images you posted there seems not much landmass in the pictures and a stack of what appears to be land tiles to the side. Was that for demonstration purposes, or are the map expansion mechanics in the game?

The game plays on a modular board made up of hexagonal tiles, each representing various bodies of land and sea. Unlike Monopoly where the board is singular piece of cardboard, you can assemble an entire new game board every time you play the game. The board starts with a single tile, and the very act of exploration is a mechanic in the game that carries it's own form of risk and reward.

Hannibal942:

The Eupho Guy:

OT: I have a question. In the images you posted there seems not much landmass in the pictures and a stack of what appears to be land tiles to the side. Was that for demonstration purposes, or are the map expansion mechanics in the game?

The game plays on a modular board made up of hexagonal tiles, each representing various bodies of land and sea. Unlike Monopoly where the board is singular piece of cardboard, you can assemble an entire new game board every time you play the game. The board starts with a single tile, and the very act of exploration is a mechanic in the game that carries it's own form of risk and reward.

Sounds interesting. So, its something like Settlers of Catan, but instead of the board being randomly generated at the start of the game, its generated as the game progresses... I can kinda see how that works, although I will check out the video you posted to get a better idea of how it all works. Thanks for that!

JonB:
We're very interested to hear what people have to say about this, from format to writing to design! Let us know.

I really dislike having animate gifs scattered around the place. They don't add any useful information to the article and are nothing other than an irritating distraction. You use your hand to move things? Yeah, couldn't possibly have understood that from a still picture. Or no picture at all. There's a reason people hate having animated adverts all over pages they're trying to read, and these gifs have exactly the same effect.

As for the game, it sounds vaguely interesting, but I can't see anything that really distinguishes it from the numerous other similar games that already exist. Does it really have enough more in the game to justify being more than double the price of Catan?

What is the recommended number of players in Archipelago?

I've been looking for games that my wife and I can enjoy by ourselves. At least until my 4 month old develops higher cognitive functions and basic motor skills.

More board game reviews, please! Very well done article. I agree that the gifs of gameplay are a neat addition and gives us some better insight to the aesthetics of the game.

Antsh:
What is the recommended number of players in Archipelago?

I've been looking for games that my wife and I can enjoy by ourselves. At least until my 4 month old develops higher cognitive functions and basic motor skills.

It's 2-5. I've found it plays best with 4, but my wife and I had a lot of fun with two player games. I'd totally recommend it if you and your wife both like complex economy and management!

A great review of a game I'm most definitely getting for my group. I do however struggle a bit with the critique of the theme. I mean, we all kind of know slavery was and is a really, really bad thing, so how it can cause offense is quite beyond me. Still, this looks like a game that is just up my alley, so all I have to do now is go out and actually get it. :)

 

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