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Archipelago Game

4.5 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

Price: $89.95 & FREE Shipping. Details
Only 10 left in stock.
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  • Modular game with vast possibilities
  • A semi-cooperative game by Christophe Boelinger (Dungeon Twister, Earth Reborn)
  • The possibility of choosing the length of your game - from 30 minutes to 5 hours
  • 2 to 5 player game
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Yu-Gi-Oh
$89.95 & FREE Shipping. Details Only 10 left in stock. Sold by THE BT GROUP and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Archipelago Game
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Total price: $132.26
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WARNING:
CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.

Product Description

Product Description

Discover the world's archipelagos-Each player takes on the role of an explorer and their team, mandated by a European nation to discover, colonize and profit from the archipelagos. These missions are supposed to happen diplomatically, by answering the needs of the local population as much as the regular demands from the continent. Archipelago combines exploration, resource management, optimization, cooperation, strategy, negotiation, corruption, commerce, suspicion, alliances and betrayals, even a hint of investigation.

From the Manufacturer

Discover the world's archipelagos-Each player takes on the role of an explorer and their team, mandated by a European nation to discover, colonize and profit from the archipelagos. These missions are supposed to happen diplomatically, by answering the needs of the local population as much as the regular demands from the continent. Archipelago combines exploration, resource management, optimization, cooperation, strategy, negotiation, corruption, commerce, suspicion, alliances and betrayals, even a hint of investigation.

Product Information

Product Dimensions 11.5 x 3.4 x 11.5 inches
Item Weight 3.8 pounds
Shipping Weight 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Domestic Shipping This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
International Shipping This item can be shipped to select countries outside of the U.S. Learn More
ASIN B009W2BLJQ
Item model number ARCH01US
Manufacturer recommended age 14 years and up
Best Sellers Rank #213,733 in Toys & Games (See Top 100 in Toys & Games)
#35,328 in Toys & Games > Games
Customer Reviews
4.5 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By N. Yeghiazarian on April 19, 2013
There is no getting around this so I'll get this out of the way first. Archipelago deals with some thorny subject matter, but it never truly confronts or explores it in any meaningful way. There is some thought to be had in the way that players can only win by exploiting native islanders for resources, but I can understand why some would be so offended by the game's inoffensive take on history.

That being said, I believe its important to look past this. Archipelago was an incredibly well designed game in that it's cooperative...yet not. Every players is vying for resources and trying to complete their secret objectives but if players fail on their delivery's too much, the game could be potentially end for everyone, so it is in the player's best interest to keep each other just alive enough to meet Europe's demand of goods. It's cooperative...yet not, and all the more intriguing for it. And because the board is made up of hexes, the board can be different every time, increasing replayability.

Archipelago is a masterfully designed game, and I think it would be unfair to mark it down for its tepid exploration of history. As an educational tool? I wouldn't recommend it. But if you want an incredibly fun game, an incredibly well made game, then look no further than Archipelago.
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This is a great semi-cooperative game, probably the best example of the genre. There's a constant struggle between personal and global goals as every turn unfolds, but you're never paralyzed as in simpler games such as Settlers of Catan where you're a slave to dice rolls and the cooperation of the other players. The mechanics and art are expertly tied into the theme. Exploration feels like exploration, and the huge hexagonal tiles are nothing if not impressive. As for theme, it is a game of European colonialism, but I think people aren't giving it enough credit for self-awareness. I view it as both a kind of critique of games like Settlers of Catan where you're somehow settling a magical "virgin" island with no natives to get in your way. Also, a kind of parody of the lies European powers told themselves: that they were bringing civilization to the natives. If you look very closely at tiles, you can see little natives dragging stone and heavy iron ore on carts from mines, natives working in plantations, and ancestral wooden statues cut down, discarded, and being possibly turned into lumber for export. With cards like slavery, dictatorship, and barbarians its clear that this paradise is being turned into something dark as you slowly expand your reach.

My favorite board game if I have a couple hours.
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First off, I'll come barreling into the review that Archipelago is a BIG game. It uses so many mechanics it makes your head spin. Asking people to play Archipelago is asking them to commit to a 2-3 hour heavy social, strategic, and stressful game. Is it fun? Very much so! For people who click with the game, it's like watching a campfire start from a spark to a roaring bonfire. You play with a group of people fighting against each other, but also the game. Your empire builds and builds, and just when the crises become manageable someone exclaims the game is over, time to score. Your allies are your enemies, and the game is everyone's enemy, except when it's not.

Archipelago requires a certain mindset to play. Simply put, it's a game of balance. There's even a phase with the word Balance in it. You support your opponents, but all while trying to keep them contained. You help everyone out, but not so much that you leave yourself with nothing. When do you stop infrastructure and gold-making and exploring to start preparing for the end, or are those things a part of the scoring itself? Is someone a traitor? Is the game about to end or are we far from it?

Did I mention there is open bargaining, at all phases/interactions of the game?

Despite all that, Archipelago has its faults. One bad game can leave a bad taste, and it's ridiculously easy for the Rebels to win with new players. Depending on your group, first games will be everyone being greedy, mean, and wondering why the game won so early. Or it will be a colonial hugbox, where suddenly someone wins because they happened to have a few resources in their stash and a church. Your experience with Archipelago crutches directly on the experience and/or quality of your opponents. This game can't be played on auto-pilot, requires a mental positioning different from other games, and the manual is a mess.
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When I first saw this game, I wasn't certain I would enjoy it. I've seen a lot of board games themed around trading and worker-management, but the beauty in Archipelago is that worker management is just one of many, many systems in the game. Despite the large number of moving parts, though, I found this game surprisingly easy to learn and teach. There's a lot to wrap your head around, but it's all very understandable and wraps quite comfortably.

The semi-cooperative nature of the game is great for people who are looking for a product that has conflict but still demands that players work together. The game also has fantastic component quality--very pretty, and the weight of the parts feel good.

There has been a bit of controversy over the colonial setting of the game, and I admit that certain representations of the natives can make everyone a bit uncomfortable, but the surrounding game is quite robust--and even includes a secret objective card where you help the natives overthrow these stuffy colonists!

Overall, very nice game.
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